Mike Joy

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Mike Joy
Born (1949-11-25) November 25, 1949 (age 67)
Chicago, Illinois, United States
Nationality United States American
Occupation TV sports announcer
Years active 1970–present
Known for Commentator on Fox Sports for NASCAR events and Barrett-Jackson collector car auctions
Spouse(s) Gaye Joy

Michael "Mike" Joy (born November 25, 1949) is an American TV sports announcer who currently serves as the lap-by-lap voice of Fox Sports' coverage of NASCAR. His color analysts are Darrell Waltrip and Jeff Gordon. Counting 2017, Joy has been part of the live broadcast of 38 Daytona 500s, (7 for MRN Radio, 17 for CBS-TV and 14 for FOX-TV). He also serves as Velocity/Discovery Channel's expert analyst for their coverage of collector car auctions.[1]

Biography[edit]

Early life and career[edit]

Joy 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, Mass., in 1970 while attending the University of Hartford and then Emerson College. He spent 15 years with NASCAR's radio network, MRN Radio (1976-1990) and anchored the first live Sprint Cup telecasts on ESPN (1981) and TNN (1991).

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 (1983–2000)[edit]

In June 1983, Joy became a pit reporter for CBS' coverage, working with Ken Squier and Ned Jarrett.[2] Since CBS didn't broadcast many races, he also 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 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)[edit]

Mike joined Fox Sports for three years of Formula One on FOX coverage in 1998 with Derek Bell, and moved full-time to Fox with the NASCAR TV package starting the 2001 season.

Since 2001, Joy has teamed with Hall of Fame driver Darrell Waltrip, former crew chief Larry McReynolds and (since 2016) NASCAR champion driver Jeff Gordon to form the network's broadcast team. The 2017 Daytona 500 marks his 17th as the lead TV race announcer, and the 38th Daytona Speedweeks in which he has been part of live broadcast coverage. He 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 Committee. Joy also serves on the voting panel for the International Motorsports Hall of Fame.

Fox broadcasts the Daytona 500 and the first 16 NASCAR Cup races each season, plus two all-star events. Joy also anchors NASCAR Cup coverage on Fox-owned cable networks Fox Sports 1 (FS1), formerly Speed.[2]

Four weeks every year, Joy brought extensive knowledge of collector cars to the Barrett-Jackson auction block as lead analyst for Fox Sports' live 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, continuing in the same role on loan from Fox.

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

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]

In 2015, Joy, Waltrip and McReynolds completed 15 years together, the longest tenure of any three-man announcing booth in US network sports television history. Beginning 2016, four-time NASCAR champion Jeff Gordon joined Joy and Waltrip in the FOX-TV booth, with McReynolds moving to a new role as race strategist and rules analyst.[6]

Personal life[edit]

Born in Chicago and raised in Windsor, then West Hartford, Connecticut, Joy currently resides in North Carolina with his wife, Gaye, and their two teenage children, Scott and Kaitlyn. He restores vintage MGs, 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 host of the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion for FOX. In August 2012, his drive in Historic Trans-Am at Laguna Seca won the Bonham's Cup, and in September 2013, he won a Historic Trans-Am race at Lime Rock.

He previously developed special events advertising for GM's Pontiac Motor Division, 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.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "VIDEO: Mike Joy At Barrett-Jackson - Scottsdale". Speed. January 20, 2010. Retrieved 29 April 2010. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Lauer, Cheryl (February 16, 2007). "Behind the Microphone with Mike Joy, NASCAR on Fox". Speed Couch. Retrieved 29 April 2010. 
  3. ^ 1981 Atlanta Journal 500 clip on YouTube
  4. ^ "Joy to receive McLemore Award for 2011". www.thatsracin.com. 2011-04-14. Retrieved 2015-07-30. 
  5. ^ "NASCAR's best and worst TV announcers". Sporting News. 2014-03-21. Retrieved 2015-07-30. 
  6. ^ FOXSports PR