Tuesday, December 18, 2007

The "Daly Planet" Christmas Present: Mike Joy

You might not recognize NASCAR VP Jim France on the left, or the late veteran New England racer and track promoter Ed Yerrington on the right. Chances are, however, you absolutely recognize the young man in the center of the picture.

No matter how you slice it, Mike Joy is one of the best-known NASCAR television personalities in the nation. There are plenty of reasons why.

Mike and I share the small town of West Hartford, CT in our respective histories. I graduated from Northwest Catholic, and Mike from Conard High right down the street. He went on to the University of Hartford, and then Emerson College in Boston, one of the top broadcasting and communications schools in the nation.

It's a long road from the PA Announcer at Riverside Speedway in Agawam, MA to the top NASCAR play-by-play position on TV today, but Joy has made the most of the journey. Older fans remember his years working for MRN, and his TV appearances for CBS as a pit reporter for the Daytona 500.

Moving to the play-by-play position, Joy anchored the first NASCAR race televised by ESPN and then years later, did the same for TNN. He called the NASCAR events on CBS, including the Daytona 500, and expanded his resume by covering Formula One for several seasons on Fox.

In February of 2001, the stars seemed to align when NASCAR on Fox hit the airwaves and took the nation's NASCAR fans by storm. The New York Times wrote "every TV motorsports race team should be measured against Fox's Mike Joy, Darrell Waltrip, and Larry McReynolds for pure intensity."

There are also some facts that most fans might not know about the Chicago-born Joy. He has driven in the 24 Hours of Daytona and won SCCA races at Lime Rock, Watkins Glen, Loudon and Pocono. He is a former Vice President of the National Motorsports Press Association, and even served a couple of elected terms on the Windsor, CT town council.

Now comfortable in the Lake Norman area of Greater Charlotte, Mike has been kind enough to give The Daly Planet readers an early Christmas present...his time.

He said he would be happy to field your questions about TV, NASCAR, racing, or any other topic that you feel would be appropriate to ask a veteran media personality. This opportunity does not come around very often, so my advice would be to focus on one topic, and make your question count.

Update: The Mike Joy mailbox is closed, the answers are being put together, and will be appearing shortly. Thank you for all the great questions.

His answers will appear in an article that will be posted on Friday evening. All we would ask is that you review the rules for posting on the right side of the main page before asking your question. Multiple questions in the same posting have not had a very good track record of being answered.

It has been a long year of very hard work putting The Daly Planet together, and I can't think of a better way to head into the Christmas break than by having Mike Joy stop by.

So, Merry Christmas from all of us and here is our little present to you. Ask NASCAR On Fox's Mike Joy the one thing you were always curious about, and come back Friday for your answer. Good luck!


TexasRaceLady said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Busch Series Fan! said...

Mike, many thanks for stopping by. Do you think Nascar is getting too expensive for one-car teams to field race cars and compete against the "big guys"? Thanks Vicky in Houston, Texas

Anonymous said...

Thank you Mr. Joy for providing us fans the opportunity to ask questions of you.

This question has been asked of our other two fabulous guests, and I've been fascinated by the responses. What does your weekly schedule involve during the racing season? I imagine it's just as hectic as Steve's and Wendy's weeks, but I'd rather hear about it from you than make a guess.

Thanks again for your time,
KarenB in British Columbia

TexasRaceLady said...

First, thank you for your time. It is a rare opportunity for an ordinary fan to meet a truly outstanding member of the media.

Second, my question, what is the most difficult interview you've ever had to do?

Thank you, again.

Palestine, TX

(reposted to correct an error)

Kevin said...


Thanks for taking time to answer our questions! You really seem to enjoy your time during the Barrett-Jackson Auto auction. Do you get to test drive any of the cars?Are there any funny behind the scenes stories you can share? What other car/racing interests outside of NASCAR do you have? Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Mike Joy,
Was there ever a more appropriately named broadcaster? You have brought us so much joy and pleasure throughout the years. And, you've been there to comfort us during the sad times.
What was the most difficult moment on air for you to report?
Can't wait to hear you again in February.

Best wishes,

Anonymous said...


I love listening to you, Larry and DW call a race. How have the three of you developed such a good chemistry together?

Looking forward to hearing you call Daytona!

Ryan, Boulder, CO

Newracefan said...

Mike, Thanks you so much for making time for us. My question also involves the actual broadcasting of the race. Can you describe what goes on in the booth during a race? I am picturing organized chaos, with voices in your ear and from the booth, yet you, DW, Larry Mac, etc always manage to give us race information we want (and the camera angles to back it up). I wish you could call all the Cup races.
Perkiomenville, PA

SophiaZ123 said...

Mike it was a "Joy" seeing you on Wind Tunnel the last race weekend of the season. You made me so homesick for the FOX Crew. Thanks for your giving of your time.

NASCAR's mantra is always "it's about the fans."

But between the bad coverage on tv this season ( Not FOX!), the COT switch, the homogenizing of the driver's personalities, more empty seats at the tracks and lower ratings, too many commercials, etc,something must be addressed.

If you were King for a Day, what would you like to see changed in order to better serve the fans of NASCAR.

near Cincinnati

Matt said...

Hey Mike,

Thanks for taking time to talk with us. I have been a fan of yours since your TNN days with Neil Bonnett. What was broadcasting NASCAR back then on TNN like? How different is it now with FOX compared to back then on TNN? Thanks again, and keep up the great work on FOX and SPEED!

Matt, NYC

Fan at Stafford said...

Mr. Joy, this question might be obscure to those not familiar with local racing in the northeast.

While here have not been serious quality control issues with NASCAR race fuel in many years, have you and the folks at FOX considered what you would do in the event Sunoco became the subject of serious criticism in the garage area?

(As a matter of explanation: Mike has been an equity partner and CEO with New England Race Fuels--the distributor of Sunoco racing gasoline at local tracks in the northeast)

socalijeff said...

Hi there Mike. I look forward to the upcoming season of NASCAR on FOX with you, Larry, and DW. However I just wanted your opinion one little item. Last season's Daytona 500 ended with a dash to the checkers as a multi car crash was ensuing behind the race leaders. This was commended in some quarters and condemned in others regarding whether or not the yellow should have been waved immediately or after the 29 and 01 crossed the start/finish line. My question to you is this: do you believe that NASCAR should have a policy where racing to the yellow is allowed on the final lap of the race? I just watched the Spring 2002 Dover race that you covered on FX and it sure made me wish for the good ole days of the past in which racing back to the yellow was the norm. I understand why freezing the field was done in the name of safety, but NASCAR allowing racing back to the yellow on the final lap would be a good way to go in my opinion. Thank you very much.

SallyB said...

Mr. Joy, Thank you for taking time during your off season the talk to the fans! As you know, many fans are disappointed with much of the race coverage lately. Since nothing is perfect, and not every race will be a 'barn burner' what do you think is necessary to make a race broadcast bring the excitement of a Nascar race come through to the viewers at home? Since most of us here have our own opinions, I'd really be interested to hear yours.

Ritchie said...

Mike, Most NASCAR fans consider the FOX TV crew that you are associated with as the gold standard for race broadcasting. In your opinion, what differentiates you guys from the other broadcasts and why do you think fans prefer the FOX product over others?

Thanks for your time.

joe said...

Hi Mike,
I met you about 11 years ago on a labor day double weekend up at Louden, NH you were running a spec racer. My question is do you still have that spec racer and do you still race it?

Joe Moroney
Woodbury, CT

racefan1588 said...

You are one of the best in the business. And I think it's a shame we don't have more people like you in NASCAR.
Now my question: There have been a lot of changes in the sport over the past couple of years, what is one change you would like to see reversed and why?

Hope you and your family have a great Christmas Holiday!


Bobb said...

Mike- fans on this blog have been critical of ESPN coverage this year , the biggest discussion was that they seem to be watching the TV monitors more than the track- My question would then be: how do you divide your time between watching the monitors - which have scoring info and broadcast previews and live feed and watching the live action on the track? -
explain how this is done between a short track/larger track like Daytona and a road course.

Thanks for your reply in advance and can't wait til Feb 9 2008.

Chris said...


Do you plan on doing anything here in the Northeast during your upcoming year? Any charity events, attending local races, etc.?


Chris Pettit
Warren/New Milford, CT

Garry said...

Mike, I am extremely glad you took the time to answer our questions. My question is not necessarily a NASCAR one, but it involves your passion of classic cars. When you do the Barrett-Jackson auction, my wife and I learn so much from your vast knowledge, it literally is a blast watching! What do you think of the website "Cars in Barns", and how sick does it make you feel that there are that many classic muscle cars rotting away in fields?

darbar said...

Mike, all I have to say is thank God for Nascar on Fox. It's the only time during the Nascar season that I don't need to hit my mute button on the remote.

As you know, Nascar fans have been screaming against the so-called professional coverage provided by
TNT and ESPN, while at the same time the coverage Fox provides is generally applauded. What do you think Fox does with their production of Nascar that differs from the others?

Darlene (darbar)
Genesee, Wisconsin

Alex said...

Is there anyone that you would have liked to work with in the booth, that you never had the chance for one reason or another?


stricklinfan82 said...


Thank you very much for joining us. It is a great honor to get the chance to talk to the man I consider to be the greatest play-by-play announcer in the history of this sport.

During your career you've had the chance to work on the broadcasts of some of the most historic races in NASCAR history, and many of those races will forever be attached to your memorable calls from the booth. I was just wondering what you consider to be the most memorable moment of your broadcasting career, and if there is anything left that you haven't gotten a chance to do as a broadcaster that you would still like to accomplish before you retire?

Thank you very much for your time and I can't wait to see you on TV again at Daytona in February!

Anonymous said...

Hi Mike. I was just wondering how you spend your time after the Fox portion of the season ends, and during your off-season how closely do you follow the sport? Do you attend any of the TNT/ESPN races in person? Do you just watch the races on TV like most fans, or do you have other interests that occupy your time and don't allow you to spend 4 hours every Sunday watching every lap of every race? Thanks for answering our questions and I hope you and your family have a Happy Holidays!

Michael in Pennsylvania

Patrick said...

Mr. Joy, thanks so much for participating.
I, too, am very excited to know that you, DW and Larry Mac will be pontificating Nascar in less than two months time. However, next on my radar is the Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale auction.
My question(s): What amount of preparation do you do for this event? What items are you looking forward to? What collector cars, past or present, have graced your garage? Any wish list of cars?

Patrick in Round Rock, TX

JD, I hope these are related enough to stay posted or to pick from.

jfs-va said...

Mike, I would just like to say that my son and I became NASCAR fans this year and the Daytona 500 was the first race we watched together.

You, DW, and Larry Mac brought that race to life. We're now fans for life. Thanks and can't wait to hear/see you at Daytona again.

Oh, no question, just wanted to say that.

elena said...

Hi Mike, Thanks so much for taking time to answwer our questions. You and the Fox staff have raised the bar so high, I'm sure the other networks as besides themselves.

I think you are the best professional in yor role, but one thing no one can train for is chemistry in the booth. Because of that, I think Fox's broadcast is one of the secret weapons to bring in more NASCAR fans.

It seems that DW is one wild and crazy guy. Have you ever played any pranks or jokes on him? Or him on you and the rest of the gang?

I count the days till you and Fox return in Februrary.

chase said...

John: I can't think of a better present - Mike Joy!!! Thank you so much and I wish you and your staff a very happy holiday season.

I do not have a question for Mike Joy - instead I wish to thank him on behalf of all NASCAR fans. Your credibility is so strong and consistent, your questions probing and your interviews go straight to the heart of the matter. I am sure that I am not the only one when I say that I am looking forward to hearing and seeing you in 2008 -- too bad, especially after the ESNP/ABC fiasco that was their NASCAR 'coverage', that we can't have you for the entire season -- you and Allan Bestwick would make a very formidable team!

Have a happy holiday Mike and thanks for your time.

Anonymous said...

John, what a great Christmas present for us all. Thank you so much.

Mike, it seems like I have been hearing your voice as long as I have been following Nascar. I vividly remember that first race on CBS. The first time I ever "saw" a whole race. You've been around thru a lot of notable times in Nascar, thru scary dangerous wrecks, deaths of notable drivers, etc. Of all the stories of that nature, which was the hardest one for you personally to report on.

Can't wait to hear you again in Feb.

Ann in AZ

Anonymous said...

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!!!

John Potts said...

John, thank you. Mike, thanks for being available. I just want to know if working with DW and Larry Mac is as much fun as it looks. Sometimes you seem like a hockey referee - throw down the puck and get out of the way.

Brian said...

Mike, first off thank you very much for stopping by. You make watching these races very fun, as you have for many years. I was just wondering from your days as a pit reporter to the present, who has been your biggest inspiration, to become what you have today?

Anonymous said...

Mike you and Bob Varsha are the top 2 race announcers today. Who would you put in your class from the old days of radio and early TV?

glenc1 said...

Mike, in recent years it seems as though we hear more constructive criticism of NASCAR during broadcasts than in the old (CBS) days--I know race control is somewhere in a booth close to yours during a race--how do you balance expressing your opinions with knowing the NASCAR officials may not always like what you have to say?

Richard in N.C. said...

JD- Thank you very much for arranging this.

MIKE- Thank you for taking your time to consider questions. I really enjoyed your announcing of F1 races and I do really enjoy your outstanding work on FOX. Other than NASCAR, what kind of racing do you enjoy watching - especially after the FOX part of the NASCAR season. Thank you, and Merry Christmas.

Anonymous said...

Hello Mike,

Your versatility and depth of knowledge about cars and motorsports is truly something to be admired.

My question is this: did you ever have a desire to do more behind the wheel, or were you always more drawn to being behind the mic?

Thank you in advance for your time and answering our questions.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to Everyone!

Orlando, FL

Sam Walker said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sam Walker said...

Now that you have run the gauntlet of just about every position involving a microphone in racing (public address announcer, radio and TV pit reporter, radio and TV play-by-play) which was/is the most difficult, the easiest, and the most rewarding and why?

Sam, Outer Banks NC

Vince said...

Thanks for taking the time to answer some of our questions Mike. I'm old enough to remember seeing or hearing (in the case of MRN) most of your firsts in broadcasting.

I've heard that you sometimes have used the Internet and Usenet newsgroups to prepare for broadcasts. My question is have you ever used this blog to prepare for a broadcast or taken any suggestions mentioned here to change something in a broadcast? Those of us who regularly post here would like to think maybe we some how can make a difference in the coverage we are currently getting of all things Nascar.

Keep up the good work. You're a true professional in the booth.

Vince from MI

Rich said...

Hi Mikle, Thanks for taking some time for us fans. I would like to ask if you think the chase format is good for the sport and has the media given it too much attention and taken something away from the overall racing the last 10 races of the year Rich Hemet CA

Anonymous said...


Thanks for participating in this Q&A. My question is, how much preparation do you do for your appearances on Wind Tunnel?



Anonymous said...

Mike, thanks for taking the time. When the Fox contract started in 2001, you had two very green broadcasters as partners in DW and Larry. We all remember the last lap of your first race together, but I remember that the rest of the race went pretty smoothly as well, first time out or not. How did you and the rest of the Fox team get them prepared and up to speed so successfully? We've certainly learned this year that that doesn't happen automatically ...

SonicAD said...


Thanks for taking the time to answer these questions, you're one of my favorite announcers in all of sports!

My question is, what is your weekend schedule like, and how does it get affected when there's a long rain delay and/or postponement?

Frank, Michigan

Bobby said...


How well does the entire production truck cooperate with the booth team? It seems there is more cooperation between the three of you with Z, Barry, and Artie than any other booth and the truck.

Tripp said...


Firstly, thanks for spending time with us.

I've been a racing fan since the 60s when ABC wedged the fast four wheels in between cliff diving and some other obscure sport.

When Fox won the NASCAR contract, I'll admit that my trepidation was up there because I'd grown accustomed to the coverage from Bob Jenkins, Larry Nuber, Buddy Baker, Ned Jarrett and the rest. Boy were my fears unjustified. By the time a few Fox races were in the can, I was a fan.

Your team, from the crew in the booth,the team on pit road, and the folks in the truck all just get it, and bring us the best coverage this sport has yet sen. My question is, how did your team capture this lightning-in-a-bottle? The whole is clearly greater than the sum of the parts. Why do you think this is so?

Thanks again Mike. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year... from a fellow New Englander.


Alex said...

Thank you very much Mike for taking the time to answer these questions. I'm sure you get this a lot but...

What advice would you give for someone (like me) who would like to break into NASCAR/auto racing play-by-play broadcasting?

Alex F. - Brooklyn, NY

Matt said...

Mike, thanks so much for taking time to answer our questions.

During the many years you have covered this sport, the face of the average fan has changed. When calling a race "today", do you try and discuss certain topics that appeal to the new fans as opposed to things you may have discussed several years ago?

Thanks again,
Matt, Rochester NY

KudzuCarl said...


Prior to the 2001 Daytona 500, FOX showed a feature where Earnhardt took Terry Bradshaw around the track in a street car. As those things go, I'm sure that a lot of great stuff was edited out in the interest of time. Since Dale's death, I've often wondered why FOX didn't put together an expanded or unedited version of that feature and sell it. I'd sure pay for it. Have you seen the unedited footage? Is it as good as I imagine?

Thanks for all you do. You are classy guy who stands far above your competition.


AndyPandy said...

Mike, thanks for taking the time to answer our questions.

Now it's time for a serious question on a vital subject. Do you folks in the booth get to eat during a race, and if so, has it ever caused a problem (spilled food, mouth full when asked a question), and without mentioning names, did any commentators back in the early days of TV racing coverage have an adult beverage or two during races like some of the MNF guys allegedly did?

Anonymous said...

Mike, thanks for taking the time for us fans and JD thanks for all your effort this year.

One of the things that really impacted my race enjoyment, was the next day after a race, to read on the internet, that there were ten or twenty or whatever number of pit road penalties, non of which was mentioned in the recent TV coverage. Only then do I figure out why my guy (or other cars for that matter) fell so far behind. I don't remember this being the case on the FOX broadcasts.

How are these penalties handled/reported by the FOX crew?

Springville CA

Anonymous said...

Hello, Mike!
Thanks for taking the time to answer some questions from the community of race fans! I do remember seeing you race at a number of SCCA events when my family was active in SCCA.
My question is:
Given the changes you've seen and experienced in your 35+ years of radio and TV work, and with the increasing presence of the internet, where do you see the future of autosports coverage evolving to in future years?
Many thanks!
Tom in Dayton, OH.