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November 25, 1949|
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
|Residence||North Carolina, U.S.|
|Occupation||TV sports announcer|
|Known for||Commentator on Fox Sports for NASCAR events and Barrett-Jackson collector car auctions|
Michael 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 2018, Joy has been part of the live broadcast of 40 Daytona 500s, (7 for MRN Radio, 17 for CBS-TV and 15 for FOX-TV). He also serves as Velocity/Discovery Channel's expert analyst for their coverage of collector car auctions.
Early life and career
Joy was born in Chicago, Illinois. 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, 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. MRN hired him as a freelancer in 1975, 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. On weekdays, he worked in marketing for Daytona International Speedway.
CBS Sports and The Nashville Network (1983–2000)
Joy also launched The Nashville Network's NASCAR coverage in 1991, as a lap-by-lap announcer, 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)
For the 2001 season, he moved full-time to Fox with the NASCAR TV package. 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 2018 Daytona 500 marks his 18th as the lead TV race announcer, and the 40th 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.
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.
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.
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. He is a member, and past vice-president of the National Motorsports Press Association.
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.
Joy is very active on social media; his twitter handle is @mikejoy500. He engages in many automotive web forums, from El Camino to MG to Ford GT, usually using the screen name "200mph".
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.
- "VIDEO: Mike Joy At Barrett-Jackson - Scottsdale". Speed. January 20, 2010. Archived from the original on 27 March 2010. Retrieved 29 April 2010.
- Lauer, Cheryl (February 16, 2007). "Behind the Microphone with Mike Joy, NASCAR on Fox". Speed Couch. Retrieved 29 April 2010.
- on YouTube
- "Joy to receive McLemore Award for 2011". www.thatsracin.com. 2011-04-14. Archived from the original on 2015-10-24. Retrieved 2015-07-30.
- "NASCAR's best and worst TV announcers". Sporting News. 2014-03-21. Retrieved 2015-07-30.
- FOXSports PR