November 25, 1949|
Chicago, Illinois, United States
|Occupation||TV sports announcer|
|Known for||Commentator on Fox Sports for NASCAR events and Barrett-Jackson collector car auctions|
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. Joy has broadcast 35 Daytona 500s. He also serves as Velocity/Discovery Channel's expert analyst for their coverage of collector car auctions.
Early life and career
Joy was raised in Windsor, Connecticut and graduated from West Hartford, Connecticut's Conard High School. He was the youngest of four brothers. 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). Joy has been a racetrack promoter and advertising executive, and co-owns the New England distributorship for Sunoco racing fuels.
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 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. 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.
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, 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, lacrosse and wrestling.
Fox Sports (2001–present)
Since 2001, Fox's first as a NASCAR broadcast partner, Joy has teamed with Hall of Fame driver Darrell Waltrip, Retired driver Jeff Gordon, and former crew chief Larry McReynolds to form the network's broadcast team. Joy has broadcast most major forms of American motorsports for television and radio. Prior to joining Fox in 2001, Joy anchored CBS Sports' coverage of the Daytona 500 from 1998-2000 after earning his stripes as a pit reporter for 15 years. Joy called "The Great American Race" for Motor Racing Network (MRN) Radio from 1977-1983. The 2017 Daytona 500 marks his 17th as the lead TV race announcer, and the 37th 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 to2 the Hall's exclusive Nominating Committee. Joy also serves on the voting panel for the International Motorsports Hall of Fame.
He 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. Fox broadcasts the Daytona 500 and the first 16 Sprint Cup races of each NASCAR season. Joy also anchors NASCAR 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 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.
In 2015, Joy, Waltrip and McReynolds completed 15 years together, the longest tenure of any 3-man announce booth in US network sports television history. For 2016, 4-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.
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. Retrieved 29 April 2010.
- Lauer, Cheryl (February 16, 2007). "Behind the Microphone with Mike Joy, NASCAR on Fox". Speed Couch. Retrieved 29 April 2010.
- 1981 Atlanta Journal 500 clip on YouTube
- "Joy to receive McLemore Award for 2011". www.thatsracin.com. 2011-04-14. Retrieved 2015-07-30.
- "NASCAR's best and worst TV announcers". Sporting News. 2014-03-21. Retrieved 2015-07-30.
- FOXSports PR