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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

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 on Kanaan Outruns His Past And The Field At Indy
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 on Today’s Indianapolis 500 Favorite Is: The Field
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 on Zanardi Finally Gets What He’s Owed At Indy
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 […]

Castroneves Thinks No. 4 Is Within Reach At Indy
Thursday, May 23, 2013 – 16:23 | Comments Off on Castroneves Thinks No. 4 Is Within Reach At Indy
Castroneves Thinks No. 4 Is Within Reach At Indy

By Mike Harris | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com
INDIANAPOLIS – There was a time when Helio Castroneves thought the Indianapolis Motor Speedway was an easy place to figure out.
The colorful Brazilian driver came to Indy for the first time in 2001 and surprised everyone, including himself, by winning the race.
A year later, he returned to Victory Lane, the […]

Hamlin Delivers In New Hampshire; As Promised?
Sunday, Sep 23, 2012 – 16:29 | Comments Off on Hamlin Delivers In New Hampshire; As Promised?
Hamlin Delivers In New Hampshire; As Promised?

By Mike Harris | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com
LOUDON, N.H. – The debate over Denny Hamlin calling his shot or not at New Hampshire Motor Speedway can now begin. Whichever side you take, Hamlin walks away with a dominating win.
After he ran out of fuel on the final lap a week earlier at Chicagoland Speedway, costing himself and […]

Gordon Looking Straight Ahead In Loudon
Saturday, Sep 22, 2012 – 14:04 | Comments Off on Gordon Looking Straight Ahead In Loudon
Gordon Looking Straight Ahead In Loudon

LOUDON, N.H. – Jeff Gordon knows he can’t afford to worry about what the other 11 drivers in NASCAR’s Chase for the Sprint Cup championship are doing.
A week after a crash relegated him to a 35th-place finish in the Chase opener at Chicagoland Speedway, four-time champion Gordon is determined to keep his focus on the future […]

Earnhardt Jr. Has Become A ‘Serious’ Contender
Friday, Sep 21, 2012 – 14:48 | Comments Off on Earnhardt Jr. Has Become A ‘Serious’ Contender
Earnhardt Jr. Has Become A ‘Serious’ Contender

By Mike Harris | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com
LOUDON, N.H. – For years, people expected Dale Earnhardt Jr. to emulate his famous father and race for NASCAR championships.
And year after year, there has been nothing but disappointment for Junior and his legion of fans.
Now in his 13th full season in the elite Sprint Cup series, the 37-year-old Earnhardt […]

Driver Jerry Grant Was One Of A Racing Kind
Wednesday, Aug 15, 2012 – 9:21 | One Comment
Driver Jerry Grant Was One Of A Racing Kind

By Mike Harris | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com
When word came that Jerry Grant was dead, the first thing I thought about was a moment in downtown Detroit during one of the Grand Prix weekends of the ’80s.
Grant, driving a very visible gold and black Jeep, found himself caught in a huge throng of Detroit Pistons fans moment […]

Kahne, Second-Fastest Car Win At New Hampshire
Sunday, Jul 15, 2012 – 16:44 | Comments Off on Kahne, Second-Fastest Car Win At New Hampshire
Kahne, Second-Fastest Car Win At New Hampshire

By Mike Harris | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com
LOUDON, N.H. – Denny Hamlin never had a doubt that he had the best car in Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at New Hampshire Motor.
In fact, nobody watching the race doubted that, either.
But, like the old saw says, having the fastest car doesn’t mean you’re going to win the race.
Kasey […]