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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

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 on Johnson Wins Pole at HMS
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 […]

Harris: GM Is Winning On Sundays
Friday, Nov 13, 2009 – 16:59 | 3 Comments
Harris: GM Is Winning On Sundays

It’s been  a lousy year for General Motors, but you’d never know it from the results on NASCAR’s premier tracks.
As we head into the penultimate Sprint Cup race of the 2009 season, Chevrolets have just about decimated the rest of the Cup field.
That’s pretty obvious if you note that Chevy drivers Jimmie Johnson, Mark Martin […]

IndyCar Boss Looks Down The Road
Tuesday, Nov 10, 2009 – 9:25 | 3 Comments
IndyCar Boss Looks Down The Road

Indianapolis – Things are finally looking up for the IZOD IndyCar Series.
As all good open-wheel fans know, the crushing 12-year conflict between the Indy Racing League and the now-defunct CART and Champ Car series ended just before the 2008 IndyCar season began, building hope for a new era of greater competition and growth.
Unfortunately, the crash […]

Harris: IZOD Will Dress Up The IndyCar Series
Thursday, Nov 5, 2009 – 16:34 | One Comment
Harris: IZOD Will Dress Up The IndyCar Series

By Mike Harris | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com
Indianapolis – It appears the IndyCar Series is going to at least be the best-dressed group in racing for the next six years.
But the announcement Thursday that apparel manufacturer IZOD has signed on as the title sponsor for the American open-wheel series is far more than just great news for […]

Harris: Suggested Fixes Abound
Monday, Nov 2, 2009 – 10:49 | One Comment
Harris: Suggested Fixes Abound

It’s doubtful that any of the 43 drivers who competed in Sunday’s Amp Energy 500 at Talladega Superspeedway had much fun.
And, thanks to some rule tweaking by NASCAR, it took 490 miles of ho-hum before any of the usual wild Talladega antics woke up the fans in the stands and the folks catching a few […]

Talladega Jinx Gets Halloween Test
Tuesday, Oct 27, 2009 – 8:31 | 7 Comments
Talladega Jinx Gets Halloween Test

Start with the concept that Talladega Superspeedway is one scary place to drive a race car.
Lives are on the line with 3,400-pound stock cars racing in huge freight train-like packs at speeds close to 200 mph lap after lap after lap on the 2.66-mile, high-banked oval.
Then stir in the eerie history of the place, including […]

Harris: Gil de Ferran Is The King Of The Big Finish
Monday, Oct 19, 2009 – 7:26 | One Comment
Harris: Gil de Ferran Is The King Of The Big Finish

Gil de Ferran sure knows how to retire.
The Paris-born Brazilian did it again in the ALMS season-ending race two weeks ago,  co-driving an Acura ALMS car to victory in his swan song as a sports car driver.
That definitely evoked memories of his retirement from the IndyCar Series in 2003, when that year’s Indianapolis 500 winner […]