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

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

Harris: Newman/Haas Closure Ends An Era
Thursday, Dec 15, 2011 – 10:00 | Comments Off
Harris: Newman/Haas Closure Ends An Era

It was a few days ago when a short, unemotional press release popped up on my computer screen and brought my browsing to a jarring halt.
It was hard for my brain to wrap itself around the news that Newman/Haas Racing, one of the long-time fixtures in American open-wheel racing, is closing its doors after [...]

Harris: Racing Claims Another Of The Good Ones
Sunday, Oct 16, 2011 – 18:18 | Comments Off
Harris: Racing Claims Another Of The Good Ones

Just when you think the worst is in the past, the sport rears up and shows you it’s never going to be truly safe.
SAFER Barriers, head and neck restraints, crushable panels, Kevlar construction, none of that technology is enough to keep race drivers completely safe.
Now the open-wheel division of the sport has claimed the [...]

Hendrick Chasers Have Rough Time In Loudon
Monday, Sep 26, 2011 – 11:31 | 2 Comments
Hendrick Chasers Have Rough Time In Loudon

By Mike Harris | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com
LOUDON, N.H. – The elite Hendricks Motorsports team was anything but on Sunday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
Jeff Gordon led the team’s four NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers with a fourth-place finish, but it was anything but satisfying considering the fact that he had the best car on the 1.058-mile oval [...]

Stewart Wins Second Straight Chase Race
Monday, Sep 26, 2011 – 6:07 | One Comment
Stewart Wins Second Straight Chase Race

LOUDON, N.H. _ Tony Stewart walked a fine line between jubilation and empathy Sunday after passing gas-starved Clint Bowyer with two laps to go on the way to a victory in the Sylvania 300.
“I know exactly what that feels like,’’ said Stewart, whose second victory in a row vaulted him into the points lead in [...]

Earnhardt’s Race For Respect Picking Up Steam
Saturday, Sep 24, 2011 – 14:16 | Comments Off
Earnhardt’s Race For Respect Picking Up Steam

By Mike Harris | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com
LOUDON, N.H. – Dale Earnhardt Jr. isn’t getting much respect these days, at least among the pundits of the sport.
Those in the media who make predictions about who will contend for or win championships don’t give Earnhardt much of a chance to do either this season.
Looking at the results of [...]

Being Cool With Fuel Could Decide Chase Title
Saturday, Sep 24, 2011 – 7:00 | 2 Comments
Being Cool With Fuel Could Decide Chase Title

LOUDON, N.H. – Ryan Newman has an engineering degree from Purdue University and a pretty darn good understanding of the way things work in a race engine. But, like everyone else, he struggles to figure out of the best way to conserve fuel during NASCAR Sprint Cup races.
Asked what makes a difference in saving fuel, [...]

Jimmie In No Mood To Have Record Roll Ended
Thursday, Sep 15, 2011 – 7:01 | Comments Off
Jimmie In No Mood To Have Record Roll Ended

By Mike Harris | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com
For 26 races each season Jimmie Johnson does what he has to do to qualify for and get ready for NASCAR’s big finale, the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship.
Heading into Sunday’s race at Chicagoland Speedway, the opener of the 10-race, 12-driver Chase, Johnson is ready to begin the quest [...]

Future Of INDYCAR In Loudon In Doubt
Sunday, Aug 14, 2011 – 19:40 | Comments Off
Future Of INDYCAR In Loudon In Doubt

By Mike Harris | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com
LOUDON, N.H. – The first IndyCar race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in 12 years could also be the last.
Race winner Ryan Hunter-Reay hopes that is not the case.
“This is a very challenging and fun racetrack and I hope we come back here for many years to come,’’ he said [...]