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Mike Joy

Mike Joy
Born (1949-11-25) November 25, 1949 (age 70)
Chicago, Illinois
Nationality United States
Occupation TV announcer
Known for Commentator on Fox Sports for NASCAR events and Barrett-Jackson collector car auctions

Mike Joy (born November 25, 1949 in Chicago, Illinois) is an American TV sports announcer, who currently serves as the lap-by-lap voice of Fox Sports' coverage of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. His color analysts are Darrell Waltrip and Larry McReynolds. Joy has broadcast 34 runnings of the Daytona 500, the sport's biggest event. He also serves as FOX Sports' expert analyst for their coverage of collector car auctions and vintage auto racing events.[1]


Early life and career

Joy was raised in Windsor, Connecticut and graduated from West Hartford, Connecticut's Conard High School. While attending University of Hartford and later Emerson College, Joy began his public address work at Riverside Park Speedway in Massachusetts in 1970.[2]

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.[2] MRN hired him as a freelancer in 1976, full-time in 1978, and he rose to co-anchor, general manager and executive producer 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.[2][3] On weekdays, he worked in marketing for Daytona International Speedway.[2]

CBS Sports and The Nashville Network (1984–2000)

In 1984, Joy became a pit reporter for CBS' coverage of the 1984 Daytona 500, working with Ken Squier and Ned Jarrett.[2] Since CBS didn't broadcast many races, he continued to broadcast for MRN.[2]

Joy also launched The Nashville Network's NASCAR coverage in 1991, as a lap-by-lap announcer,[2] continuing through 1995, and also participated in NASCAR coverage on TBS.

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 reads them for preparation for broadcasts.

In 1998, CBS 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 also included college football, Formula One, CART, IRL, as well as coverage of 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, and wrestling.

Fox Sports (2001–present)

He joined Fox Sports for three years of Formula One coverage in 1998 with Derek Bell, and moved full-time to Fox with the NASCAR TV package starting the 2001 season. FOX broadcasts the Daytona 500 and the first 13 Sprint Cup races of each NASCAR season through 2014, starting FOX would cover the first 16 races. Joy also anchors NASCAR coverage on FOX-owned cable networks FOX Sports 1 and FOX Sports 2.[2]

Four weeks every year, Joy brings extensive knowledge of collector cars to the Barrett-Jackson auction block as lead analyst for Fox Sports's live auction coverage. His commentary mixes detailed knowledge of the cars and their specs with first-hand recall of how cars of the 50's-70's were viewed back in their day.

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.

Joy was voted the 2011 recipient of the Henry T McLemore Award. Presented since 1969, this award celebrates career excellence in motorsports journalism and is voted on by past winners. The International Motorsports Hall of Fame presents the Award at its annual induction ceremony, and the hall displays a wall of plaques honoring the winners.[4]

In March 2014, a Sporting News poll named Joy first among network television's 15 NASCAR announcers and analysts with a 93% approval rating. Joy, and his FOX Sports colleagues Darrell Waltrip and Larry McReynolds earned three of the top four spots in the poll.[5]

Personal life

Joy resides on Lake Norman, in North Carolina with his wife Gaye and their two children, Scott and Kaitlyn. He restores vintage MG's, and retains his New England roots as CEO and equity partner in New England Racing Fuel, Inc., distributor of Sunoco Race Fuels.

An avid SCCA amateur race driver, he has won events at Lime Rock, Watkins Glen, Pocono and New Hampshire, and raced professionally in IMSA, including the 24 Hours of Daytona in 1993. He has tested in NASCAR stock cars and trucks, and won driving Historic TransAm cars.

He previously developed special events advertising for a Detroit auto manufacturer, and managed and promoted a major auto racing facility, Lime Rock Park. Joy served four elected two-year terms to the Windsor, Connecticut town council, where his committee was responsible for health, public safety and environmental issues for Windsor's 28,000 residents.