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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

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 on Earnhardt’s Race For Respect Picking Up Steam
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 on Jimmie In No Mood To Have Record Roll Ended
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 on Future Of INDYCAR In Loudon In Doubt
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 on Wild Finish Leaves Drivers Fuming At INDYCAR
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 on Introduction Of IndyCar Aero Kits Pushed Back to 2013
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 on Being Nine Is Fine With Castroneves At Loudon
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 on Franchitti Tames Track, Gets Pole In Loudon
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 […]