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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

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 [...]

Wild Finish Leaves Drivers Fuming At INDYCAR
Sunday, Aug 14, 2011 – 18:02 | Comments Off
Wild Finish Leaves Drivers Fuming At INDYCAR

By Mike Harris | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com
LOUDON, N.H. – Tempers flared and sparks flew Sunday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway as Ryan Hunter-Reay was declared the winner of a wild IZOD IndyCar Series race cut short by a wet track and a controversial restart.
A misty rain, like the one which had caused a stretch of 33 [...]

Introduction Of IndyCar Aero Kits Pushed Back to 2013
Sunday, Aug 14, 2011 – 12:58 | Comments Off
Introduction Of IndyCar Aero Kits Pushed Back to 2013

LOUDON, N.H. – IZOD IndyCar Series boss Randy Bernard has confirmed the rampant rumor that aero kits for the new race car that will be introduced in 2012 have been delayed until 2013.
“The ICONIC Committee 16 months ago made a commitment to have an aero kit as part of the new car for 2012 and [...]

Being Nine Is Fine With Castroneves At Loudon
Saturday, Aug 13, 2011 – 18:59 | Comments Off
Being Nine Is Fine With Castroneves At Loudon

By Mike Harris | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com
LOUDON, NH –  Helio Castroneves qualified ninth Saturday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway and appeared to be thrilled by the performance.
After jumping out of his Team Penske car, Castroneves, who is also ninth in the season points, pulled off his helmet, pointed to the scoreboard and smiled broadly.
At that moment, [...]

Franchitti Tames Track, Gets Pole In Loudon
Saturday, Aug 13, 2011 – 16:16 | Comments Off
Franchitti Tames Track, Gets Pole In Loudon

By Mike Harris | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com
LOUDON, NH – Dario Franchitti won his second pole of the season Saturday, taking the top qualifying spot for MoveThatBlock.com Indy 225, the first IZOD IndyCar Series race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway since 1998.
But the star of the show at Loudon so far this week as definitely been the [...]

Kanaan, IndyCar Return To New Hampshire
Thursday, Aug 11, 2011 – 7:13 | Comments Off
Kanaan, IndyCar Return To New Hampshire

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Tony Kanaan vividly recalls the excitement of fellow Brazilian and then-teammate Andre Ribeiro after he took the checkered flag in 1995 at the last CART race at what was then New Hampshire International Speedway.
That was a year before Kanaan came to the U.S. to race, but he enjoyed the aftermath of what [...]

Harris: KyBu Is No Petty, But He Ain’t Too Bad
Friday, Jul 22, 2011 – 7:41 | One Comment
Harris: KyBu Is No Petty, But He Ain’t Too Bad

By Mike Harris | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com
A lot has been made of Kyle Busch’s 100th win, both pro and con.
The number, by itself, is certainly impressive. But, yes, it is more than a little silly to start comparing KyBu, as he has become known in the media, to longtime NASCAR stars like Richard Petty or David [...]

Cup Notes: Jimmie’s Magic Returns In Loudon
Sunday, Jul 17, 2011 – 18:15 | Comments Off
Cup Notes: Jimmie’s Magic Returns In Loudon

By Mike Harris | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com
Loudon, NH – Jimmie Johnson spent a lot of time near the back of the pack Sunday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
Somehow, though, the magic touch demonstrated so often by the five-time reigning NASCAR Sprint Cup champion returned just in time and Johnson came up with a fifth-place finish in [...]