Mike Joy responds to critics of his NASCAR broadcast style

Veteran NASCAR broadcaster Mike Joy responded to fan criticism by telling The Athletic that maybe he’s not quite as sharp as used to be but he considers Sundays a success if fans generally do not notice him at all.

“There’s now a common thread of people saying that I’ve lost my fastball. And you know, maybe so,” Joy said. “I can’t argue that. There are a number of announcers on TV that sound more exciting, perhaps. But I’ve taken a lot of my cues from (former NASCAR broadcasters) Ken Squier and Barney Hall as I grew up in this business, and Barney in particular would get excited when things are really exciting.

“But otherwise, he wanted to be that kind of friendly, trusted voice, somebody who could toss in a good bit of history of the sport to help explain how we got to where we are and somebody who could be a great traffic cop and really pull the most out of the analysts.”

Joey is expected to return to his role in 2025, one has held at FOX since it first took over NASCAR broadcasts in 2001 and was paired with Clint Bowyer and Kevin Harvick this season.

“My job is to have people say at the end of the day, ‘Boy, Kevin Harvick really gave me everything I needed to know about this race and Clint Bowyer really entertained me.’ And if we can do that, then I feel it’s been successful. I love what I do. I love the people I work with, and I’d like to keep doing it as long as they feel that I can contribute enough for us to have a first-class telecast.”

Before FOX, Joy also handled play by play duties for CBS and TNN and has been a mainstay in the sport for generations.

He says his favorite call is the next one.

“That is probably true at this age more than it ever was,” Joy said. “Everybody points to the 1998 Daytona 500 but I think it’s not because of anything I did or some of the memorable words but because of the way we prepared and reacted.

“To put that all together, and then have (CBS director) Jim Cornell say, ‘Hey, don’t go to break after the checkered flag because something’s happening here.’ That was pretty magical. That’s the one everybody wants to talk about. The rest don’t all run together, but that’s certainly the one that stands out.”

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