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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

Newman Leads Stewart-Haas Charge In Loudon
Sunday, Jul 17, 2011 – 15:25 | Comments Off
Newman Leads Stewart-Haas Charge In Loudon

By Mike Harris | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com
Loudon, NH – Finishing second never felt so good to Tony Stewart.
The two-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion and owner-driver followed teammate and employee Ryan Newman across the finish line in Sunday’s Lenox Industrial Tools 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, the Stewart Haas Racing duo finishing exactly the way they [...]

Busch Gets 100th, Sets Sights On 200th
Sunday, Jul 17, 2011 – 6:11 | 2 Comments
Busch Gets 100th, Sets Sights On 200th

Loudon, NH – Mark Martin congratulated Kyle Busch after the younger driver matched his record of 49 career NASCAR Nationwide Series victories Saturday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
Then he smiled and, speaking into a microphone that carried his words to the crowd at the track and to those watching the ESPN telecast, said, “And don’t [...]

Junior Seeks A Return To Better Times
Saturday, Jul 16, 2011 – 18:48 | One Comment
Junior Seeks A Return To Better Times

By Mike Harris | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com
Loudon, NH – Dale Earnhardt Jr. is one of those guys who is a catalyst for emotion for nearly everyone around him.
Despite years without much on-track success, the 36-year-old Hendrick Motorsports driver remains the most popular driver in NASCAR’s Sprint Cup series, selling more souvenirs than any other active driver [...]

Ambrose Re-Fired Up About Returning To Infineon
Thursday, Jun 23, 2011 – 7:20 | Comments Off
Ambrose Re-Fired Up About Returning To Infineon

By Mike Harris | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com
Marcos Ambrose will be searching for gold this weekend, on and off the track.
The Australian badly wants a NASCAR Sprint Cup win and it seems likely that when it does come it will be on a road course like Infineon Raceway.
A year ago, it looked like Ambrose was going to [...]

Hornish Hoping For A Happy Homecoming
Saturday, Jun 11, 2011 – 17:42 | Comments Off
Hornish Hoping For A Happy Homecoming

By Mike Harris | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com
While Sam Hornish Jr., is enjoying spending more time with his young family these days,  he has missed the weekly racing grind and, particularly, racing in NASCAR’s Sprint Cup Series.
The former open-wheel racing star lost his full-time Cup ride at the end of last season when Penske Racing cut back [...]

Does Tags Have One More Surprise Left In Him?
Saturday, May 28, 2011 – 9:27 | Comments Off
Does Tags Have One More Surprise Left In Him?

By Mike Harris | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com
Indianapolis – Most years the driver who wins the pole for the Indianapolis 500 is a favorite to win the race.
This year, not so much.
While fellow front-row starter Scott Dixon and his Target Chip Ganassi teammate Dario Franchitti, starting ninth in the 33-car field, are the co-favorites in Las [...]

Franchitti Has Three Things On His Mind
Friday, May 27, 2011 – 12:48 | One Comment
Franchitti Has Three Things On His Mind

By Mike Harris | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com
Indianapolis – Dario Franchitti loves spending time at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway museum.
It’s a visit he makes every year early in the month of May, before things get too busy and complicated on and off the 2.5-mile oval.
Mostly, Franchitti loves to see the old cars and bask in the history [...]

Indy Drivers Say Restarts Could Be Disastrous
Thursday, May 26, 2011 – 18:50 | One Comment
Indy Drivers Say Restarts Could Be Disastrous

By Mike Harris | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com
Indianapolis – Here’s a scene that could very well play out in Sunday’s Indianapolis 500:
The cars line up for a double-file restart with five laps to go in a very competitive race. Pole-winner Alex Tagliani is on the inside at the front, with two-time 500 winner and defending champion Dario [...]

Harris: 500 Miles, 41 Years, A Million Memories
Thursday, May 26, 2011 – 15:51 | One Comment
Harris: 500 Miles, 41 Years, A Million Memories

By Mike Harris | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com
Driving through the credential gate at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the first time each year brings back a flood of memories.
Today, as I drove through Gate 9a off Georgetown Road, I thought back to my first time here, in 1970. That day, I drove onto the massive speedway grounds [...]

Harris: Sparks Could Fly As All-Stars Have At It
Wednesday, May 18, 2011 – 6:58 | Comments Off
Harris: Sparks Could Fly As All-Stars Have At It

By  Mike Harris | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com
This week’s All-Star race is supposed to be fun.
Before NASCAR’s “Have at it, boys’’ edict last year, the non-points race at Charlotte’s big track was the one event where stock car’s biggest stars could let their hair down and do some serious fender rubbing without any serious consequences.
Now, though, with [...]