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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

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 on Harris: Sparks Could Fly As All-Stars Have At It
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 […]

Did Richmond Put Hamlin Back On the Rails?
Friday, May 6, 2011 – 7:13 | Comments Off on Did Richmond Put Hamlin Back On the Rails?
Did Richmond Put Hamlin Back On the Rails?

By Mike Harris | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com
What has transpired  so far in 2011 for Denny Hamlin is definitely not what he had in mind after the disappointment of last season.
After coming up short while making a great run at a NASCAR Sprint Cup title a year ago, Hamlin likely spent the winter dreaming about how he’d […]

Harris: Contentious Busch Now A Contender
Thursday, Apr 28, 2011 – 7:13 | Comments Off on Harris: Contentious Busch Now A Contender
Harris: Contentious Busch Now A Contender

By Mike Harris | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com
A lot of you probably read the classic “Waiting for Godot’’ while you were in school.
Basically, it’s about waiting for something that may or may not ever happen. That’s pretty much the way I feel about the future success of Kyle Busch in NASCAR’s Sprint Cup series.
It’s doubtful that anybody, […]

Smith Says He’s Closing In On His First Victory
Saturday, Apr 16, 2011 – 8:00 | Comments Off on Smith Says He’s Closing In On His First Victory
Smith Says He’s Closing In On His First Victory

By Mike Harris | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com
To say Regan Smith is due for some good fortune is probably an understatement.
Despite going through his first 102 NASCAR Sprint Cup races without a win, Smith goes into Sunday’s race at Talladega with a feeling of certainty that he is capable of taking the checkered flag. That feeling is […]

New Season, Same Old Situation For Kenseth
Friday, Apr 8, 2011 – 7:42 | Comments Off on New Season, Same Old Situation For Kenseth
New Season, Same Old Situation For Kenseth

By Mike Harris | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com
Mr. Consistency is up to his old ways and off to a solid start in 2011.
Former NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Matt Kenseth arrived at Texas Motor Speedway this week with three top-10 finishes in the first six races of the season and holding down ninth place in the points.
Even better, […]

Newman Is Driving Like A New Man In 2011
Friday, Apr 1, 2011 – 9:07 | Comments Off on Newman Is Driving Like A New Man In 2011
Newman Is Driving Like A New Man In 2011

Call it solid preparation and execution or call it luck. Ryan Newman is off to a great start in the NASCAR Sprint Cup series.
Heading to Martinsville for the sixth race of the season, the Stewart Haas Racing driver already has rolled up four top-10 and three top-five finishes. That’s just one less top-five than Newman had […]

Harvick Not Happy About Slow Start To Season
Friday, Mar 25, 2011 – 6:50 | One Comment
Harvick Not Happy About Slow Start To Season

By Mike Harris | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com
Kevin Harvick has not gotten off to the kind of start he and his Richard Childress Racing team hoped for.
After four NASCAR Sprint Cup races, Harvick is 15th in the standings and full of mixed feelings.
On one hand, he’s delighted with the way the No. 29 Chevrolet team is working […]

NASCAR Still Waiting For Sliced Bread To Rise
Tuesday, Mar 15, 2011 – 6:29 | 4 Comments
NASCAR Still Waiting For Sliced Bread To Rise

By Mike Harris | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com
Joey Logano is still two months from being able to legally enjoy a brew or a glass of wine.
Sometimes, it’s hard to remember that the tall, slim Joe Gibbs Racing driver is still a callow youth of 20. He’s already started his third full season in NASCAR’s elite Sprint Cup […]