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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

Harris: Cup History Has Vanished in Puff Of Smoke
Wednesday, Jan 19, 2011 – 8:26 | 3 Comments
Harris: Cup History Has Vanished in Puff Of Smoke

By Mike Harris | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com
The announcement that Richmond International Raceway will ban smoking from its grandstands and portals areas, beginning in the upcoming race season, brought back a lot of smoky memories.
When my career in racing began, R.J. Reynolds’ Winston brand was the dominating sponsor in NASCAR.
RJR influenced everything about stock car racing in […]

Harris: Wishin’ And Hopin’ 2011 Style
Monday, Jan 3, 2011 – 13:35 | One Comment
Harris: Wishin’ And Hopin’ 2011 Style

Mike Harris | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com
It seems like 2010, with all its action and drama, just flew by. Now it’s the start of 2011 andtime to start thinking about the upcoming NASCAR Sprint Cup season.
Here’s what I think a NASCAR  wish list for the new year would look like:
– Dale Earnhardt Jr. would like a competitive […]

Harris: 2010 Was A Year Of Hype And Have At It
Wednesday, Dec 29, 2010 – 8:04 | One Comment
Harris: 2010 Was A Year Of Hype And Have At It

By Mike Harris | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com
In a wide-ranging telephone conversation this week, my son suddenly said, “I have an idea for a column you could write.’’
Now this isn’t something I’ve heard often from anyone in my family. Usually, even if they read what I’ve written – which is not a given – the most I […]

Harris: The Lessons Got Harder For Danica in 2010
Thursday, Dec 23, 2010 – 9:53 | 3 Comments
Harris: The Lessons Got Harder For Danica in 2010

A little of the gloss is off the rose known as Danica Patrick after a difficult and disappointing season.
Not only did the IndyCar glamour girl slip from fifth to 10th in the open-wheel points – her worst finish since finishing 12th as a rookie in 2005 – but Patrick’s first foray into stock car racing […]

Who’ll Stop The Reign? Edwards Is Top Candidate
Thursday, Dec 16, 2010 – 7:44 | One Comment
Who’ll Stop The Reign? Edwards Is Top Candidate

By Mike Harris | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com
While covering NASCAR for more than three decades it has become apparent to me that the differences between being a contender and an also-ran are often very small.
Each season, some drivers and teams that came up short the previous year arrive at Daytona with high hopes and a sense that […]

Harris: Busch Had Great Season, But Great-est?
Saturday, Dec 11, 2010 – 9:09 | One Comment
Harris: Busch Had Great Season, But Great-est?

There was quite a spirited debate last week over who should take the honor of 2010 Driver of the Year.
About half the 20 panelists – all among the top motorsports writers and broadcasters in the U.S. – took part in a teleconference to debate the merits of the most deserving drivers before secretly casting their […]

Harris: Franchitti Has Quietly Become An All-Timer
Tuesday, Dec 7, 2010 – 17:31 | Comments Off on Harris: Franchitti Has Quietly Become An All-Timer
Harris: Franchitti Has Quietly Become An All-Timer

By Mike Harris | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com
It’s time to give Dario Franchitti his due.
Yes, he came up short of establishing a presence in NASCAR a few years ago – mostly because of a lack of sponsorship. But the IZOD IndyCar Series star has been nothing short of sensational in the open-wheel cars for most of the […]

Small Field Doesn’t Tarnish Top Rookie Award
Friday, Dec 3, 2010 – 8:38 | 3 Comments
Small Field Doesn’t Tarnish Top Rookie Award

By Mike Harris | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com
One of the drivers being honored during Champions Week in Las Vegas isn’t exactly a household name.
In fact, a lot of NASCAR fans might scratch their heads and ask, “Kevin who?’’
The name is Kevin Conway and the 31-year-old driver from Cornelius, N.C., is the 2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup Raybestos Rookie […]

Five-Time Champ Jimmie Johnson: A Q and A
Friday, Nov 26, 2010 – 8:57 | One Comment
Five-Time Champ Jimmie Johnson: A Q and A

By Mike Harris | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com
What can you say when you’ve said it all?
Jimmie Johnson was faced with that problem this week after wrapping up an unprecedented fifth straight NASCAR Winston Cup championship.
But, somehow, Johnson finds a way to say what he’s said before in a way that sounds new and interesting.
Here’s a sampling of […]

Harris: Where Does Hamlin Career Go From Here?
Tuesday, Nov 23, 2010 – 11:16 | 3 Comments
Harris: Where Does Hamlin Career Go From Here?

By Mike Harris | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com
The look on Denny Hamlin’s face after Sunday’s race at Homestead told the whole story.
An upbeat season in which Hamlin lived up to his promise to contend for a NASCAR Sprint Cup champion ended on a downbeat note when Jimmie Johnson beat the odds and Hamlin to win an unprecedented […]