This biography of a living person needs additional citations for verification. (March 2013) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
Joy at Bristol Motor Speedway in 2019
November 25, 1949
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
|Occupation||TV sports announcer|
|Known for||Commentator on Fox Sports for NASCAR events and Barrett-Jackson collector car auctions|
|Home town||Windsor, Connecticut, U.S.|
Michael Joy (born November 25, 1949) is an American TV sports announcer and who currently serves as the lap-by-lap voice of Fox Sports' coverage of NASCAR. His color analyst is Jeff Gordon. Counting 2020, Joy has been part of the live broadcast of 41 Daytona 500s, (7 for MRN Radio, 17 for CBS and 17 for FOX.) He also serves as expert analyst for live TV coverage of collector car auctions.
Joy was born November 25, 1949 in Chicago, Illinois to M. Verne Joy and Jean Peters Joy, the oldest of their four children. 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 later Emerson College.
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, then full-time in late 1978, working weekdays in marketing for Daytona International Speedway. He rose to co-anchor, general manager and executive producer of MRN 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.
Joy also launched The Nashville Network's NASCAR coverage in 1991, as 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.
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 2020 Daytona 500 will be his 20th as lead TV race announcer, and the 44th Daytona Speedweeks in which he has been part of live broadcast coverage.
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 network 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 the live TV 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 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. On June 23, 2019, Waltrip retired from television.
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".
Joy 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 process.
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 2019, Mike was named to the voting panel for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame.
On November 10, 2019, Joy was inducted into the New England Auto Racers Hall of Fame. In 2000, Mike was inducted into the Riverside Park Speedway Hall of Fame.
"20 years of trying, 20 years of frustration. Dale Earnhardt will come to the caution flag to win the Daytona 500! Finally! The most anticipated moment in racing! If John Elway can win the Super Bowl, Dale Earnhardt said he can win the Daytona 500... and if he comes around under caution to complete this final lap, the taste of long awaited victory will be his. Checkered flag! Dale Earnhardt, finally is a champion of the Daytona 500!"
September 20, 2008 - Joy was the play-by-play announcer for Fox Sports's coverage of the game between the Minnesota Twins and the Tampa Bay Rays, where the Rays clinched the team's first playoff berth in franchise history. Joy's call of the final out:
"Fly ball, left field... CAUGHT! Bottom fishers no more! The Rays are going to the playoffs!"
Joy: (Jimmie) Johnson looked high, (Matt) Kenseth to draft with Edwards. Johnson to the bottom, (Aric) Almirola to the top!
Waltrip: Man! Matt got shuffled out again!
Joy: Jimmie Johnson with Carl Edwards, but Kenseth up the middle, coming back! Help from David Ragan! Up to the bumper of Carl Edwards! Ragan in the middle, his teammate (David) Gilliland is the pusher. They're right on the bumper of Edwards... is there anywhere to go? Ragan to the bottom, Gilliland with him!
Waltrip (over Joy): Look at Ragan!
Joy: David Ragan! July winner at Daytona couple of years ago, Gilliland with him! Edwards up top! Michael Waltrip to help, and here they come off turn 4!
Waltrip: Push boys, push! Push hard!
Joy: Edwards high, Ragan comes up, covers the spot.
Waltrip (over Joy): Gilliland! Gilliland has got it! He's got it!
Joy: Ragan and Gilliland! Front Row Racing is going to victory lane at Talladega! Ragan first, Gilliland second! How about that!
This section does not cite any sources. (March 2019) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
Joy resides near Winston-Salem, North Carolina with his wife Gaye. They have a son and daughter in college. 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 TV host of the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion. In August 2012, his drive in Historic Trans-Am at Laguna Seca was awarded the Bonham's Cup, and in September 2013, he won an Historic Trans-Am race at Lime Rock.
He previously developed special events advertising for GM's Pontiac Motor Division, including auto racing and a Hall & Oates rock tour, and managed and promoted a major auto racing facility, Lime Rock Park.
Joy was elected to four two-year terms on the Windsor, Connecticut town council, where his committee was responsible for health, public safety and environmental issues for Windsor's 28,000 residents.