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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: Success Is In The Details
Tuesday, Dec 15, 2009 – 7:51 | One Comment
Harris: Success Is In The Details

One big reason for the long-term success of Hendrick Motorsports is the attention that team owner Rick Hendrick pays to detail.
He’s got more than 500 people working for his elite team, and many of them are among the best at what they do. That’s how his team has matched Petty Enterprises with nine championships in […]

Racing Moves Indoors For PRI Show
Wednesday, Dec 9, 2009 – 8:17 | 2 Comments
Racing Moves Indoors For PRI Show

By Mike Harris | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com
Most everyone who watches and cares about racing thinks of December as the quietest month of the year for the sport.
After all, the seasons are over, the awards have all been handed out by the early part of the month, very little, if any, testing is allowed and the holidays […]

Harris: Vegas Is A Long Way From Manhattan
Saturday, Dec 5, 2009 – 14:18 | One Comment
Harris: Vegas Is A Long Way From Manhattan

By Mike Harris | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com
Las Vegas – The first NASCAR Championship Week and awards banquet in the gambling capital of the world were nothing like the inaugural events in New York City in 1981.
For one thing, stock car’s stars are no longer a bunch of good ol’ boys, hicks from the Southeast, who walked […]

Harris: Cup Banquet Won’t Get Snowed Out
Friday, Dec 4, 2009 – 4:08 | Comments Off on Harris: Cup Banquet Won’t Get Snowed Out
Harris: Cup Banquet Won’t Get Snowed Out

By Mike Harris | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com
Las Vegas – A few observations and random notes from the NASCAR festivities in Sin City.
After 27 years in New York City, champion’s week and its focal point, the Sprint Cup awards dinner, are being held amid the glitz and glamour of Las Vegas.
So far, the biggest difference has been […]

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 on Johnson: ‘The Cool Thing Is We’re Not Done Yet’
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 on Cup Notes: Martin Stays Proud
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 on Jimmie Johnson Stands Alone
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 […]