||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (September 2013)|
Harmon in 2008
January 24, 1958 |
|NASCAR Xfinity Series career|
|179 races run over 14 years|
|Car no., team||No. 74 (Mike Harmon Racing)|
|Best finish||23rd (2003)|
|First race||1996 Winston Motorsports 300 (South Boston)|
|Last race||2015 3M 250 (Iowa)|
|NASCAR Camping World Truck Series career|
|52 races run over 9 years|
|Best finish||54th (2005)|
|First race||2001 MBNA E-Commerce 200 (Dover)|
|Last race||2014 WinStar World Casino & Resort 350 (Texas)|
|Statistics current as of May 17, 2015.|
Mike Joseph Harmon (born January 24, 1958) is an American race car driver. Currently, he drives the #74 Mike Harmon Racing Chevrolet/Dodge in the NASCAR Xfinity Series. In the past, he drove in the NASCAR Slim Jim All Pro Series, finishing 8th in points in 1997. He has also racked up 300 feature wins in short-track competition during his racing career.
Harmon made his NASCAR debut in 1996 driving the #24 MedPartners Chevrolet at South Boston Speedway, where he finished 31st after a transmission failure. He ran seven more races in the car that season, with a best finish of 23rd, but a sponsorship struggle caused his team to close down. He was scheduled to return to NASCAR in 1999, when he signed with Donlavey Racing to compete for NASCAR Winston Cup Rookie of the Year honors with Big Daddy's BBQ Sauce sponsoring. Unfortunately, Big Daddy's never paid, and Harmon was reportedly fired from the team during preparation for that year's Daytona 500 when he refused to let another driver try to get more speed out of the car.
In 2001, Harmon returned to the Busch Series, driving fourteen races for Mixon Motorsports in the #44 Pontiac Grand Prix. Driving mostly with sponsorship from Pegasus and Reliance Tool, his best finish was a 28th at Indianapolis Raceway Park, the only race he finished that year. He made an additional start for Moy Racing at Talladega Superspeedway, finishing 35th, and competed in two Craftsman Truck races for MB Motorsports and Troxell Racing, respectively. He made 25 starts for Mixon in 2002, with a best finish of 22nd at Daytona. The following season, he competed in a career-high total of 32 races, and finished seventeen of them. With a new team partner in Global Industrial Contractors and picking up sponsorship from The FanZ Car later in the season, Harmon had his first career top-twenty finish at IRP and finished 23rd in points.
GIC-Mixon switched to the #24 in 2004 and after the Aaron's 312, he was released from the team and replaced by Shane Hmiel. He made two more starts that season, his best finish being 33rd at Memphis Motorsports Park for Oostlander Racing. In 2005, Harmon and Oostlander purchased part of the assets of Innovative Motorsports and ran the first four races of the season in the #21 Global Pigeon Supply Chevrolet Silverado, before focusing mainly on ARCA racing. Harmon attempted a Busch Series race later in the year at Memphis for Bobby Norfleet, but did not qualify.
Harmon returned to NASCAR in 2007, driving the #44/#48 car for Richardson-Netzloff Racing in the Busch Series. He made seven races with a best finish of 38th before handing the ride off to Jennifer Jo Cobb late in the season. He attempted a full season in the #84 Chevrolet fielded by the new Elite 2 Racing team in 2008. Harmon posted his best finish in the Nationwide Series to date, finishing 17th at the Aaron's 312.
In 2009, Harmon started racing in his own #84 car and then took over the #07 Chevrolet for SK Motorsports. He would also start and park in his own #24 in four Camping World Truck Series races. For 2010, Harmon has run part-time in the Truck Series for both Lafferty Motorsports and Daisy Ramirez Motorsports.
Harmon drove his own #74 Chevrolet in the 2011 season, running approximately half the season's races; he also competed in several Truck Series races later in the year. He returned to the Nationwide Series in the No. 74 in 2012 and 2013. Harmon also operates a driver development program and according to Jayski he works with ARCA/NASCAR driver Mike Senica.
Harmon is also famous for an incident at Bristol Motor Speedway in August 2002. Harmon was practicing his #44 car, when he crashed into the track's infield entry gate in Turn 2. The gate was improperly secured and swung open when Harmon crashed into it. Harmon's car then impacted the end of the concrete wall head-on. The impact was so violent, the car literally split in half. The remnants of the vehicle were then struck by the car of Johnny Sauter, but he hit the half that Harmon was not sitting in. Harmon later walked away from the crash unharmed.
Mike Harmon Racing
For the last several years, Harmon has primarily competed in NASCAR driving his self owned 74 car in the Xfinity Series, as well as part time in the 74 truck for his own team, with additional drivers filling out the schedule. Harmon is one of only two teams that still fields a Dodge Challenger in NASCAR and one of the few remaining owner/drivers. Harmon's team usually relies on week to week sponsorships to help keep his team open. The team currently fields cars for Harmon in the Xfinity and Truck Series, with the Truck ride also being split with Jordan Anderson and Paige Decker.
On May 15, 2013, Harmon was arrested and charged with stealing a hauler and racing equipment belonging to fellow competitor Jennifer Jo Cobb, in association with his sister and Cobb's former partner Dave Novak; Harmon stated that he was innocent. On May 28, officials from the Rowan County Sheriff's Office seized five Camping World Truck Series trucks and two Nationwide Series cars, which were stated as belonging to Cobb, from Harmon's garage. An arrest warrant was issued for Harmon in the case on June 16, 2013; Harmon turned himself in the following day and was released on a $10,000 bond pending trial. In October Cobb requested that the charges be dropped, and they were shortly thereafter.
Motorsports career results
(key) (Bold – Pole position awarded by qualifying time. Italics – Pole position earned by points standings or practice time. * – Most laps led.)
Winston Cup Series
|NASCAR Winston Cup Series results|
Camping World Truck Series
* Season in progress
1 Ineligible for series points
- Mike Harmon Career Statistics
- "Relaxation Drink Maker BeBevCo Announces ARCA and NASCAR Sponsorships". Yahoo! Finance. February 16, 2012. Retrieved 2012-02-17.
- Smith, Marty (August 22, 2002). "Harmon Walks Away after Spectacular Crash". NASCAR. NASCAR Media Group. Archived from the original on October 3, 2002.
- Bromberg, Nick (May 15, 2013). "Mike Harmon out on bond after arrest for theft of Jennifer Jo Cobb’s hauler". Yahoo! Sports. Retrieved 2013-06-01.
- Pockrass, Bob (May 29, 2013). "Authorities seize racecars, trucks from Mike Harmon as Jennifer Jo Cobb dispute continues". Sporting News. Retrieved 2013-06-01.
- Long, Dustin (2013-06-17). "Warrants Issued for NASCAR Driver". Motor Racing Network. Retrieved 2013-06-17.
- Dyches, Chris (June 17, 2013). "NASCAR driver accused of stealing competitor's vehicles turns himself in". WBTV. Charlotte, NC. Retrieved 2013-06-18.
- Pockrass, Bob (October 24, 2013). "Jennifer Jo Cobb asks for charges to be dropped against driver Mike Harmon". Sporting News. Retrieved 2013-10-28.
- Pockrass, Bob (October 29, 2013). "Charges for stealing race equipment dropped against Mike Harmon". Sporting News. Retrieved 2013-11-03.