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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

Harris: Do Numbers Tell The Whole Story?
Wednesday, Dec 2, 2009 – 9:07 | One Comment
Harris: Do Numbers Tell The Whole Story?

By Mike Harris | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com
By this time, everyone who follows NASCAR knows that the statistics for Jimmie Johnson’s first eight seasons in the Sprint Cup series are pretty darn impressive, topped by those four straight championships.
But is it the best first eight years for a NASCAR driver? Let’s take a look at some stats [...]

Harris: Thanks For The Memories
Thursday, Nov 26, 2009 – 8:15 | One Comment
Harris: Thanks For The Memories

It’s Thanksgiving and time to think about why we should be thankful having a sport like motor racing to enjoy.
Let’s reflect a bit on the past, the present and the future as 2009 nears its final laps.
We saw some veteran racers find renewed life this season:
* Fifty-year-old Mark Martin  joined Hendrick Motorsports after two years [...]

Johnson: ‘The Cool Thing Is We’re Not Done Yet’
Monday, Nov 23, 2009 – 16:57 | Comments Off
Johnson: ‘The Cool Thing Is We’re Not Done Yet’

By Mike Harris | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com
Homestead, Fla. – As Jimmie Johnson approached his record-setting fourth-consecutive NASCAR Sprint Cup championship, Rick Hendrick said he kept thinking about the kid he used to give cheeseburger money and rides to and from the racetrack.
“He’s come an awful long way from those days,’’ Hendrick said last Friday as Johnson [...]

Cup Notes: Martin Stays Proud
Sunday, Nov 22, 2009 – 21:42 | Comments Off
Cup Notes: Martin Stays Proud

Homestead, Fla. – Mark Martin looked exhausted and sounded dispirited, but his words belied appearances after Sunday’s season-ending Ford 400.
“There’s no frustration,’’ the 50-year-old said Sunday after Jimmie Johnson relegated Martin to his fifth second-place finish in the NASCAR Sprint Cup standings. “I’m very proud of what we accomplished. On top of all that I [...]

Jimmie Johnson Stands Alone
Sunday, Nov 22, 2009 – 18:41 | Comments Off
Jimmie Johnson Stands Alone

By Mike Harris | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com
Homestead, Fla. – No more questions, no more doubts. Jimmie Johnson made it four for the ages.
Topping off yet another consistently brilliant season, Johnson cruised to a trouble-free fifth-place finish Sunday in the season-ending Ford 400, wrapping up an unprecedented fourth straight NASCAR Sprint Cup championship.
“The truth [...]

Remember Texas? Jimmie Sure Does
Sunday, Nov 22, 2009 – 7:45 | One Comment
Remember Texas? Jimmie Sure Does

By Mike Harris | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com
Homestead, Fla. – Surprisingly, Jimmie Johnson came to Homestead-Miami Speedway with a case of nerves.
It seems that just about everybody has conceded an unprecedented fourth-straight NASCAR Sprint Cup championship to the Hendrick Motorsports driver as he heads into Sunday’s season-ending Ford 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
And he’s certainly been through this [...]

France: It’s Not The Format, It’s Jimmie
Saturday, Nov 21, 2009 – 7:42 | 3 Comments
France: It’s Not The Format, It’s Jimmie

By Mike Harris | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com
Homestead, Fla. – The very large headline on the special NASCAR Championship Week section in Friday’s Miami Herald read: “Should The Chase Face The Scrap Heap?’’
The accompanying article didn’t really come to a conclusion, but the headline is representative of the type of questions being asked as Jimmie Johnson prepares [...]

Johnson Wins Pole at HMS
Friday, Nov 20, 2009 – 16:56 | Comments Off
Johnson Wins Pole at HMS

By Mike Harris | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com
Homestead, Fla. – Jimmie Johnson said coming into the final weekend of the season that qualifying near the front would be an important step toward wrapping up his fourth straight NASCAR Sprint Cup championship.
Mission accomplished.
Johnson ripped off the fastest lap of the afternoon on the 1.5-mile Homestead-Miami Speedway track to earn [...]

Jimmie, Hendrick Reach Deal
Friday, Nov 20, 2009 – 12:48 | One Comment
Jimmie, Hendrick Reach Deal

Homestead, Fla. – Somebody’s going to have to figure out how to beat Jimmie Johnson because he isn’t going anywhere for a long time.
Team owner Rick Hendrick, sitting alongside the driver on the cusp of winning his fourth NASCAR Sprint Cup championship in a row and giving the team its record-tying ninth Cup title, announced [...]

Harris: Shed No Tears For Martin
Tuesday, Nov 17, 2009 – 7:47 | 4 Comments
Harris: Shed No Tears For Martin

Mark Martin is going to finish second in NASCAR’s biggest championship for the fifth time unless a minor miracle happens Sunday at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
But let’s not hold a pity party for the 50-year-old racing icon.
For those who doubt Martin’s sincerity when he says – over and over again – that  he’ll still feel fulfilled as [...]