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Mike Harris, Senior Writer

Mike Harris has covered sports with a heavy concentration on motor sports for 43 years, including the past 40 with The Associated Press. After growing up in Madison, Wis., Harris graduated from the University of Wisconsin in Jan. 1967 and began his full-time journalism career later that year with The Rockford (Ill.) Morning Star and Register-Republic. After 18 months covering a variety of news and sports for the Rockford paper, Harris took a job as a newsman with AP in Chicago. After a brief apprenticeship on the news desk in Chicago, Harris spent five years as Indiana Sports Editor, five years as a sports writer in the Cleveland bureau and became the AP’s Motorsports Writer in January, 1980. Over the next 30 years, he covered every aspect of motorsports, as well as reporting from the LA and Seoul Olympics and the 1980 Super Bowl. Last May’s Indianapolis 500 was the 40th of his career. Along the way, Harris twice won the Frank Blunk Award, as well as the Henry McLemore Award and the Ray Marquette Award, among others. His coverage of the death of Dale Earnhardt in 2001 was honored as AP’s Story of the Year. After retiring from AP in July 2009, Harris decided to continue his career writing for RacinToday.com. He lives in Wake Forest, N.C., with Judy, his wife of 41 years. They have two grown children, Tory Harris and Lanni Isenberg.

Articles by Mike Harris

Jimmie Time: Johnson Fast When He Needs To Be
Saturday, Sep 21, 2013 – 13:24 | 5 Comments
Jimmie Time: Johnson Fast When He Needs To Be

By Mike Harris | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com
LOUDON, N.H. – Jimmie Johnson’s mini-slump is over.
After finishing the NASCAR Sprint Cup regular season with four straight clunkers – 40, 36, 28, 40 – the five time series champion is back in the groove with a fifth-place finish in the opening event of the 10-race Chase for the championship.
Going [...]

Martin Truex Jr. Filling Role Of Innocent Bystander
Friday, Sep 20, 2013 – 20:16 | One Comment
Martin Truex Jr. Filling Role Of Innocent Bystander

By Mike Harris | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com
LOUDON, N.H. – Martin Truex Jr. suddenly finds himself in a limbo created by the mistakes of others.
The Michael Waltrip Racing driver turned out to be an innocent victim of the team’s manipulation of the finish at the Richmond race two weeks ago.
The key result of NASCAR coming down hard [...]

Latest Crisis Is Different For Michael Waltrip’s Team
Friday, Sep 20, 2013 – 20:09 | 2 Comments
Latest Crisis Is Different For Michael Waltrip’s Team

LOUDON, N.H. – Michael Waltrip has faced difficult days before in his racing career. This time is different, though.
This time, longtime sponsor NAPA decided to break off its relationship with Michael Waltrip Racing, leaving the team facing 2014 with no primary sponsor for the No. 56 Toyota of Martin Truex Jr.
NAPA has been with Waltrip [...]

Vickers Comes Back To Win Cup Race In Loudon
Sunday, Jul 14, 2013 – 22:32 | One Comment
Vickers Comes Back To Win Cup Race In Loudon

LOUDON, N.H. – It has taken Brian Vickers three seasons to get his comeback into high gear. He finally made it to the top Sunday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, pulling away from Kyle Busch on an overtime restart to win the Camping World RV Sales 301.
As he crossed under the checkered flags on the [...]

Johnson Will Have Long Way To Go In Short Race
Saturday, Jul 13, 2013 – 10:59 | Comments Off
Johnson Will Have Long Way To Go In Short Race

By Mike Harris | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com
LOUDON, N.H. – Mistakes happen. Just not that often to the No. 48 team.
Five-time champion and current points leader Jimmie Johnson will start from the rear of the 43-car field Sunday in the Camping World RV Sales 301 because his Friday qualifying lap, good for second on the grid, was [...]

Keselowski On Loudon Pole
Friday, Jul 12, 2013 – 16:28 | Comments Off
Keselowski On Loudon Pole

LOUDON, N.H. – Brad Keselowski and his team have been waiting for something to go right.
For the reigning NASCAR Sprint Cup champion, what he hopes is a turning point in a very disappointing season came Friday in qualifying for the Camping World RV Sales 301.
Keselowski, driving for Penske Racing, was the fastest of 10 drivers [...]

Good News For Harvick; Not For Newman at SHR
Friday, Jul 12, 2013 – 14:18 | 2 Comments
Good News For Harvick; Not For Newman at SHR

By Mike Harris | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com
LOUDON, NH – Everything is falling into place for Kevin Harvick.
Even as he races toward a spot in NASCAR’s 2013 Chase for the Sprint Cup championship in Richard Childress Racing’s No. 29 Chevrolet, Harvick’s 2014 ride at Stewart Haas Racing is coming together.
A big piece of the puzzle fell into [...]

Kanaan Outruns His Past And The Field At Indy
Sunday, May 26, 2013 – 22:00 | Comments Off
Kanaan Outruns His Past And The Field At Indy

INDIANAPOLIS – Tony Kanaan was so excited he forgot to slow down.
After years of frustration at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Kanaan passed Ryan Hunter-Reay on a restart three laps from the finish of the 97th Indy 500. Moments later, three-time Indy winner Dario Franchitti slid into the wall, bringing out a caution flag and assuring [...]

Today’s Indianapolis 500 Favorite Is: The Field
Sunday, May 26, 2013 – 7:17 | Comments Off
Today’s Indianapolis 500 Favorite Is: The Field

By Mike Harris | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com
INDIANAPOLIS – The favorite for Sunday’s Indianapolis 500 depends on who you ask, but the consensus of the 33 drivers is that the 97th running of the big race is going to be ultra competitive.
The 2012 race was about as competitive as it gets, with 10 drivers leading laps and [...]

Zanardi Finally Gets What He’s Owed At Indy
Saturday, May 25, 2013 – 9:58 | Comments Off
Zanardi Finally Gets What He’s Owed At Indy

By Mike Harris | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com
INDIANAPOLIS – Alex Zanardi finally got the bonus he negotiated with team owner Chip Ganassi nearly two decades ago.
The two-time Champ Car champion, who survived the loss of both legs in a race crash in Germany in 2001 and has gone on to even greater triumphs in his life, was [...]