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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: 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 [...]

Johnson Makes It Two Straight Wins, Takes Aim At Fourth Title
Sunday, Oct 18, 2009 – 0:10 | Comments Off
Johnson Makes It Two Straight Wins, Takes Aim At Fourth Title

By Mike Harris | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com
Concord, N.C. – For Jimmie Johnson, it was the perfect race weekend. For the rest of NASCAR’s Sprint Cup competitors, it was a recurring nightmare.
Johnson took another big step toward a record fourth consecutive Cup championship with a solid victory Saturday night at Lowe’s Motor Speedway as the 10-race Chase [...]

Harris: The Hall Debate Was A Lively One
Wednesday, Oct 14, 2009 – 16:00 | 3 Comments
Harris: The Hall Debate Was A Lively One

By Mike Harris | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com
Charlotte, N.C. – Being part of the voting panel for the first class to be enshrined in the NASCAR Hall of Fame was the experience of a lifetime.
Sitting in that meeting room Wednesday at the Charlotte Convention Center was very much like taking a personal tour through NASCAR history.
There were [...]

Harris: Silence Greets Thrilling IndyCar Finale
Tuesday, Oct 13, 2009 – 6:16 | 5 Comments
Harris: Silence Greets Thrilling IndyCar Finale

By Mike Harris | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com
The Sunday morning newspapers told the story – or rather, they didn’t.
Checking my hometown  newspaper and surveying many of the papers that appear on the internet, it was quickly apparent that Saturday night’s rousing IndyCar Series finale made virtually zero impact outside of Homestead-Miami Speedway.
What a shame.
It isn’t that many [...]

Harris: IndyCar Finale Shaping Up As A Very Civil War
Wednesday, Oct 7, 2009 – 18:16 | Comments Off
Harris: IndyCar Finale Shaping Up As A Very Civil War

By Mike Harris | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com
One thing about the three-man championship battle in the IndyCar Series:  It’s extremely civil.
No bad-mouthing. No psych-outs. As gentlemanly as a duel, only contested wheel-to-wheel at 200 mph.
Scott Dixon, the two-time and defending champion, is a close friend of his Target Chip Ganassi Racing teammate and closest pursuer,  Dario Franchitti. [...]