Home » Archive by Author

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

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 […]

Hornish In Make Or Break Situation – Again
Saturday, Jul 14, 2012 – 19:59 | Comments Off on Hornish In Make Or Break Situation – Again
Hornish In Make Or Break Situation – Again

LOUDON, N.H. – Sam Hornish Jr. is no fool. He fully understands the opportunity that is being handed to him because of A.J. Allmendinger’s bad luck/bad karma/bad choices, whatever it turns out to be.
On Sunday, Hornish will drive the No. 12 Dodge in the Lenox Industrial Tools 301. Chances are, if Allmendinger’s suspension by NASCAR […]

And The Beating Goes On For Andretti Family At Indy
Sunday, May 27, 2012 – 17:15 | One Comment
And The Beating Goes On For Andretti Family At Indy

By Mike Harris | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com
INDIANAPOLIS – Sometimes the racing gods simply want to have a good laugh.
On Sunday, they gave the Andretti family hope that its 43-year-old Indianapolis 500 curse was about to end.
Marco Andretti, the 26-year-old third-generation driver, went into the race confident that he had a car to give his family its […]

Wheldon On The Minds Of His Friends At Indy
Sunday, May 27, 2012 – 15:43 | Comments Off on Wheldon On The Minds Of His Friends At Indy
Wheldon On The Minds Of His Friends At Indy

INDIANAPOLIS – In the record books, the 96th Indianapolis 500 will show that Dario Franchitti won the race, giving him three victories in The Greatest Spectacle in Racing.
But those who spent the hot, sultry afternoon at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway or watched the very competitive race on TV now know that Franchitti was not alone in the cockpit of […]

Castroneves Looking To Become Mr. Four Time
Sunday, May 27, 2012 – 5:38 | Comments Off on Castroneves Looking To Become Mr. Four Time
Castroneves Looking To Become Mr. Four Time

INDIANAPOLIS –  Helio Castroneves has another chance on Sunday to join a very elite group at the Indianapolis 500.
A victory for Castroneves, who will start sixth in the 33-car field, would be his fourth, putting him in a class with only A.J. Foyt, Al Unser Sr. and Rick Mears.
Castroneves figures he has a secret weapon […]

Young Dudes Out To Add To Families’ 500 Fortunes
Saturday, May 26, 2012 – 9:29 | Comments Off on Young Dudes Out To Add To Families’ 500 Fortunes
Young Dudes Out To Add To Families’ 500 Fortunes

INDIANAPOLIS – Graham Rahal has a picture in his mind’s-eye of the final few laps of Sunday’s Indianapolis 500.
In his vision, he and Marco Andretti are racing for what would be a historic and much-talked-about victory, no matter which way it turned out.
“I think that it would do incredible things for this sport,’’ Graham said. […]

Kanaan To Take Green Flag Sans Stress At Indy
Thursday, May 24, 2012 – 17:39 | One Comment
Kanaan To Take Green Flag Sans Stress At Indy

By Mike Harris | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Tony Kanaan knows what it feels like to be the favorite to win the Indianapolis 500. It’s happened more than once.
The 37-year-old Brazilian driver also knows what it’s like to fail to meet those expectations each time.
This year, heading into Sunday’s 96th running of the Indianapolis 500, […]

Mike Harris: Silence Is Fleeting In Voting Room
Thursday, May 24, 2012 – 11:05 | Comments Off on Mike Harris: Silence Is Fleeting In Voting Room
Mike Harris: Silence Is Fleeting In Voting Room

By Mike Harris | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Being a part of the voting process for the NASCAR Hall of Fame is a pleasure, an honor and, most of all, a responsibility I take very seriously.
But the first year the voting panel met to go through the mechanics of the vote (2010), I looked at […]

It Was A Week Of Loss For Racing
Sunday, Jan 29, 2012 – 9:37 | Comments Off on It Was A Week Of Loss For Racing
It Was A Week Of Loss For Racing

It’s been a tough week for old motorsports writers. Not only did we lose two of our longtime colleagues, Harold Pearson and Benny Phillips, but now comes word of the passing of Joseph “Doc’’ Mattioli.
All three of these men played important roles in my auto racing education and all three became friends.
Harold Pearson was part of the “in crowd’’ […]