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Mike Joy
Joy at Bristol Motor Speedway in 2019
Michael Kinsey Joy

OccupationTV sports announcer
Years active1970–present
Known forCommentator on Fox Sports for NASCAR events and Barrett-Jackson collector car auctions
SpouseGaye Joy
Sports commentary career
EmployerCBS (1983–2000)
FOX (1998–present)

Michael Kinsey Joy is an American TV sports announcer and businessman who currently serves as the play-by-play commentator for Fox Sports' NASCAR coverage. His color analysts are Clint Bowyer and Kevin Harvick. Counting 2024, Joy has been part of the live broadcast crew for 45 Daytona 500s (7 for the Motor Racing Network, 17 for CBS and 21 for FOX). He also serves as expert analyst for A&E Networks History Channel and FYI live TV coverage of collector car auctions.

YouTube Encyclopedic

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  • Mike Joy Insults NASCAR Viewers and Is Another Reason Fans Are Frustrated With Fox's Coverage
  • Mike Joy was just as upset as we were
  • Mike Joy Disagrees With Fans on Short-Track Issues and Reveals the Real Problem Is Fox's Coverage
  • Mike Joy & Larry McReynolds - Funny Moments
  • Mike Joy and Jeff Gordon react to Joey Logano's big win at Las Vegas | NASCAR ON FOX


Early life, Education and Career Beginnings

Michael Kinsey Joy was born in Chicago, Illinois to M. Verne Joy and Jean Peters Joy, the oldest of their four children. He was raised in Windsor, Connecticut, and graduated from West Hartford, Connecticut's Conard High School. His career began as a public address announcer at Riverside Park Speedway in Agawam, Massachusetts in 1970 while attending the University of Hartford and later Emerson College. He added Thompson Speedway in 1972 and in 1975 began working at Stafford Motor Speedway in Connecticut, joining Jack Arute Jr., the son of the track owner, establishing the track as a hotbed for announcers. Announcing five nights per week, he was noticed by Motor Racing Network (MRN) co-founder Ken Squier.[1] MRN hired him as a freelancer in 1975, then full-time in late 1978, working weekdays in marketing for Daytona International Speedway.[1] He rose to co-anchor, general manager and executive producer of MRN in January 1980. In 1981, he was the lead broadcaster for ESPN's first live NASCAR telecast in that November's Atlanta Journal 500 at Atlanta International Raceway.[1][2]

CBS Sports and The Nashville Network (1983–2000)

In June 1983, Joy became a pit reporter for CBS' coverage, working with Ken Squier and Ned Jarrett.[1] Since CBS didn't broadcast many races, he also continued to broadcast for MRN radio.[1]

Joy also launched The Nashville Network's NASCAR coverage in 1991, as lap-by-lap announcer,[1] continuing through 1995, and also participated in live NASCAR coverage on TBS. When NASCAR went to Indy, Joy anchored the IMS Radio Network live coverage from the first Brickyard 400 in 1994 through 1998.

Joy was one of the first announcers to embrace the Internet. In 1997, he encouraged Usenet and Jayski readers to e-mail TV coverage suggestions that he could present in a CBS seminar. A member of many Usenet newsgroups, he read them for preparation for broadcasts.

In 1998, after 15 years on pit road, CBS Sports made Joy their lap-by-lap announcer with Ken Squier becoming the studio host, where the pair worked until the end of 2000, when CBS lost the rights to televise NASCAR racing.

Joy's CBS career included most major forms of American motorsports for television: Formula One, CART, IRL, and drag racing, as well as coverage of college football, the Winter Olympics, the Sun Bowl, harness racing's Hambletonian, Pro Beach Volleyball and World Cup Skiing, plus NCAA championship events in soccer, gymnastics, swimming and diving, track and field, lacrosse, and wrestling.

Fox Sports (1998–present)

Joy joined Fox Sports in 1998 to become the lead announcer of Formula One coverage on Fox Sports Net, with Derek Bell as expert analyst.

For the 2001 season, he moved full-time to Fox with the NASCAR TV package. Joy teamed with Hall of Fame driver Darrell Waltrip and former crew chief Larry McReynolds to form the network's broadcast team. The 2024 Daytona 500 will be his 24th as lead TV race announcer, and the 47th Daytona Speedweeks in which he has been part of live broadcast coverage.

Joy, Waltrip, and McReynolds completed 15 years together in 2015, the longest tenure of any three-man announcing booth in US network sports television history. Four-time NASCAR champion Jeff Gordon joined Joy and Waltrip in the FOX-TV booth beginning 2016, with McReynolds moving to a new role as race strategist and rules analyst. Waltrip retired after 2019. FOX added NASCAR Cup driver Clint Bowyer to the booth in 2021. At season's end, Gordon returned to Hendrick Motorsports full-time as vice-chairman. For 2022 and 23, Joy and Bowyer were joined by a different guest analyst each week, including Tony Stewart, Richard Petty, and Dale Earnhardt Jr. Upon his retirement from racing after the 2023 season, Nascar Cup champion Kevin Harvick joins the FOX booth for 2024. [3]

From 2001 through 2024, Fox broadcast the Daytona 500 and the next 15 NASCAR Cup races each season, plus two all-star events. Joy also anchors NASCAR Cup coverage on Fox-owned cable network Fox Sports 1 (FS1), formerly Speed.[1]

Joy also brings his extensive knowledge of collector cars to the Barrett-Jackson auction block as lead analyst for the live TV auction coverage. His unscripted commentary mixes detailed knowledge of the cars and their specs with first-hand recall of how cars of the 1950s to 1970s were viewed back in their day. When the TV rights moved to Velocity/Discovery beginning in 2015, Joy was the first talent Discovery hired to lead their broadcast team in the same role on loan from Fox. Beginning in 2020, the Barrett-Jackson TV rights moved to A&E Networks, with Joy continuing in the lead expert role for their [FYI (American TV channel)|FYI] and History channels.

In September 2008, Fox sent Joy to call a Minnesota Twins/Tampa Bay Rays Major League Baseball game, in which the Rays clinched their first-ever playoff appearance.

Social media

Joy is very active on social media. He engages in many automotive web forums, from El Caminos to MGs, 240Z to Ford GTs, usually using screen name "200mph".

Mike and his son Scott launched the "Joy Riding" YouTube channel in Fall 2023. The Joys cover a wide variety of collector cars and auto racing... sometimes agreeing to disagree with their experiences and perspectives being 50 years apart.


Joy is a charter member of the prestigious NASCAR Hall of Fame Voting Panel, and in December 2013, was named sole media representative to the Hall's exclusive nominating process.

In 2000, Joy was inducted into the Riverside Park Speedway Hall of Fame.

In March 2014, a Sporting News poll named Joy first among network television's 15 NASCAR announcers and analysts with a 93% approval rating.[4]

Joy was voted the 2011 recipient of the Henry T. McLemore Award, (now the "American Motorsports Media Award of Excellence"). Presented since 1969, this award celebrates career excellence in motorsports journalism and is voted on solely by past winners. The Motorsports Hall of Fame at Daytona International Speedway displays a wall of plaques honoring the winners, with smaller displays in several track media centers.[5]

In 2019, he was named to the voting panel for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame, and on November 10 of that year, he was inducted in the New England Auto Racers Hall of Fame.

He is a member, and past vice-president, of the National Motorsports Press Association.

In January 2023, Joy was inducted in the Eastern Motorsports Press Association Hall of Fame.


Silly Season: Joy brought the term to NASCAR during his MRN radio days. "Henry N. Manney used the term frequently in Road & Track to describe the early fall, when there is rampant rumor and speculation about driver/team pairings for the following Formula 1 season. I borrowed it for our broadcasts," Joy said. As the radio feed was carried in each track's press box, writers quickly adopted the term.

Vortex Theory: An unproven theory whereby a large group of race cars circulating on an oval track at high speed create a rising column of hot air, which repels rain-producing cloud formations. Though debunked repeatedly by meteorologists and scientists, anecdotal evidence abounds where rain would begin just after a NASCAR race ended or was slowed by a caution flag. Joy first promoted this "theory" on race telecasts in the 1990s. When he aired it on FOX in 2001, broadcast partner Darrell Waltrip championed its cause. Waltrip popularized Vortex Theory on air to the extent that many drivers and fans think DW invented it.

Personal life

Joy resides near Winston-Salem, North Carolina with his wife Gaye. Their son Scott, 25, graduated Northeastern U. in Boston majoring in finance. Their daughter Kaitlyn, 23, graduated Belmont U majoring in Music Business. Mike restores vintage sports cars, and retains his New England roots as CEO and equity partner in New England Racing Fuel Inc., distributor of Sunoco Race Fuels.

Joy is an accomplished sports car racer, winning races at Lime Rock, Pocono, Watkins Glen, and New Hampshire, and has competed in the Rolex 24 at Daytona, America's premier endurance race. Joy is well known as TV host of the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion. In August 2012, his drive in Historic Trans-Am at Laguna Seca was awarded the Bonham's Cup, and in September 2013, he won an Historic Trans-Am race at Lime Rock.

He previously developed special events advertising for GM's Pontiac Motor Division, including auto racing and a Hall & Oates rock tour, and managed and promoted a major auto racing facility, Lime Rock Park.

Joy was elected to four two-year terms on the Windsor, Connecticut town council, where his committee was responsible for health, public safety and environmental issues for Windsor's 28,000 residents.

Notable calls

February 15, 1998 – Joy was the lap-by-lap announcer for CBS Sports' coverage of the Daytona 500, where he called Dale Earnhardt's win after his 20th attempt to win the Great American Race.[6]

"20 years of trying, 20 years of frustration. Dale Earnhardt will come to the caution flag to win the Daytona 500! Finally, the most anticipated moment in racing! If John Elway can win the Super Bowl, Dale Earnhardt said he can win the Daytona 500, and if he comes around under caution to complete this final lap, the taste of long awaited victory will be his. Checkered flag! Dale Earnhardt finally is a champion of the Daytona 500!"

March 11, 2001 – Joy was the lap-by-lap announcer for Fox's coverage of the 2001 Cracker Barrel Old Country Store 500, where Kevin Harvick, who was the replacement driver for the late Dale Earnhardt, won his first career race in just his 3rd start beating Jeff Gordon by .006 seconds in one of the closest finishes in NASCAR history.[7]

Waltrip: Gordon's gonna make the big move here on the inside when they get down here to turn three! Um... slow car might be in the way! Here he comes he's gonna drive it to the bottom!
Joy: Oh Harvick's leaving a lot of bottom open!
Waltrip: Ah this slow car.. slow car.. slow car is gonna be in the way! (Gordon gets to the inside of Harvick)
Joy: HERE THEY COME! GORDON GOT LOOSE IT'S HARVICK! (cars cross the finish line)
McReynolds (over Waltrip): WOAH!
Joy: HOW-
Waltrip (interrupts Joy): WHAT A FINISH!

March 16, 2003 – Joy was the lap-by-lap announcer for Fox's coverage of the 2003 Carolina Dodge Dealers 400, where Ricky Craven edged out Kurt Busch in the closest finish in NASCAR history at 0.002 seconds.[8]

McReynolds: It's going to be a drag race! (Both cars turn into each other)
Joy and Waltrip: WOW!
McReynolds: THEY TOUCH! THEY TOUCH! (cars cross the finish line)
McReyonalds: OH WOW!
Joy: And–
Waltrip (interrupts Joy): CRAVEN! ALRIGHT! WHAT A FINISH!
Waltrip: NO I'VE NEVER!
Joy: WOW!

February 18, 2007 – Joy was the lap-by-lap announcer for Fox's coverage of the 2007 Daytona 500, where Kevin Harvick made a last lap pass on Mark Martin to win by 0.02 seconds in a photo finish. Joy's call of the final lap:

McReynolds: And Harvick's getting a run off turn 4! It's gonna be a drag race all the way back to the start-finish line! (Kyle Busch spins off turn 4, causing multi-car wreck) No caution! They're side by side right to the line!
Joy: Big crash, here they come. Checkered flag. HARVICK!
McReynolds and Waltrip (over Joy): HARVICK!
Joy: Kevin Harvick wins the Daytona 500!
McReynolds: We got one car on his ROOF coming across the start-finish line, [that's] Clint Bowyer!
Waltrip (over McReynolds): They're still wrecking. They're still wrecking. They're wrecking everywhere. Bowyer's on fire. Jeff Gordon's wrecked.
McReynolds: And they are still wrecking.
Joy: Montoya, Stremme, Kenseth, Biffle, Marlin, Carl Edwards, Casey Mears all crashed on the final lap. **pauses** Have you ever?!
Waltrip: Well, a couple of times.
McReynolds: I'ma repeat what I heard a few years ago, no I have never!

September 20, 2008 – Joy was the play-by-play announcer for Fox Sports's coverage of the game between the Minnesota Twins and the Tampa Bay Rays, where the Rays clinched the team's first playoff berth in franchise history.[9] Joy's call of the final out:

"Fly ball, left field... CAUGHT! Bottom fishers no more! The Rays are going to the playoffs!"

June 26, 2016 – Joy was the lap-by-lap announcer for Fox's coverage of the 2016 Toyota/Save Mart 350, where Tony Stewart won his final career race in a tight last lap against Denny Hamlin.[10]

Gordon: Denny got in there and wheel hopped. I don't think he meant for that to happen but Denny made contact with Tony. I think Tony was also loose getting in there.
Waltrip: Well that is what happened to Tony the lap before you know when he got loose getting into seven and that allowed Hamlin to close up.
Gordon: Hey, this thing's not over guys! Watch what happens into turn 11 in this heavy braking zone!
Joy: Two more corners! Hamlin trying to pull away!
Gordon: Let's see if he's close enough!
Waltrip: I think Tony used up his stuff. I mean we knew he was having issues with the car.
Joy: Here we go! (Stewart looks to the inside of Hamlin)
Gordon: Oh! Oh! Oh! Look at this! Oh!
Joy: Stewart inside! HE IS THERE! HE GETS HAMLIN! THEY HIT! (Stewart passes Hamlin)
Gordon: WOAH!
Gordon: Oh my goodness!


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Lauer, Cheryl (February 16, 2007). "Behind the Microphone with Mike Joy, NASCAR on Fox". Speed Couch. Retrieved April 29, 2010.
  2. ^ 1981 Atlanta Journal 500 clip on YouTube
  3. ^ FOXSports PR
  4. ^ "NASCAR's best and worst TV announcers". Sporting News. March 21, 2014. Archived from the original on July 19, 2018. Retrieved July 30, 2015.
  5. ^ "Joy to receive McLemore Award for 2011". April 14, 2011. Archived from the original on October 24, 2015. Retrieved July 30, 2015.
  6. ^ "Top DAYTONA 500 Moments". Daytona International Speedway. October 13, 2015. Retrieved June 9, 2019.
  7. ^ "THROWBACK: Kevin Harvick Stuns Jeff Gordon in One of the Most Thrilling Finishes in NASCAR". March 13, 2021. Retrieved March 13, 2021.
  8. ^ "2003 Carolina Dodge Dealers 400 finish". August 27, 2018. Retrieved August 27, 2018.
  9. ^ MLB (January 30, 2015), Rays clinch team's first playoff berth, archived from the original on December 19, 2021, retrieved March 30, 2019
  10. ^ "Tony Stewart wins at Sonoma with last-turn pass of Denny Hamlin". June 26, 2016. Retrieved June 26, 2016.
This page was last edited on 13 May 2024, at 02:55
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