BY SCOTT MORGANROTH
During my time covering motor sports, I generally get a lot of my major stories the day before the race. You can find the newsmakers in the Media Center and in the past, when I had garage access, that’s when these people were more than happy to talk to me.
Covid-19 has changed the garage access, but the Media Center is still where the action is at.
In the past, I had the opportunity to talk to “The King” Richard Petty, former drivers Robby Gordon, Tony Stewart, and Dale Jarrett, along with legendary announcers ABC’s Jack Arute and Ken Squier.
In fact, when I interviewed Squier at the Michigan International Speedway in the 1990’s, a car pulled out and nearly hit me, but thanks to Ken, he told me to watch out and I got out of the way. He said with a smile, you have to watch out for those types of things in this area. I thanked him with a smile and a handshake and we began our conversation.
At Daytona International Speedway a few weeks ago, I had a great seat in the Media Center. I was near the back in a corner and I could spot when someone walked in the door.
When Joy walked in the door, I waited patiently until he became available then we took a photo together and I asked him if we can do an interview. He said he had two in front of me but Mike said he would gladly accommodate me.
The 73-year old, who was born in Chicago, Illinois and 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.
He has numerous other honors as well, but when you think of a voice of NASCAR, Joy is it. He worked at CBS Sports and the Nashville Network from 1983-2000. He started at FOX in 1998 and is currently employed there.
FOX broadcast the Daytona 500 and the first 16 NASCAR Cup races each season, plus two all-star events. Joy anchors NASCAR Cup coverage on FOX owned cable network, FOX Sports 1, formerly Speed.
Joy is an accomplished sports car racer, winning races at Lime Rock, Pocono, Watkins Glen and New Hampshire, and has competed at the Rolex 24 at Daytona.
If you’re going to broadcast the sport, it doesn’t hurt that you’re really good at it.
His mentor is Squier and in fact, as our interview concluded, I accidentally mentioned, great talking with you Ken, then mentioned Mike and we both smiled, since Mike had to got to a meeting and I was caught up in the moment. There is no crime when you’re putting him in the class of great announcers as I did with Squier.
During our interview we talked about a lot of topics that you’re going to watch in the video inserted in this story. Just to whet your appetite, we talked about diversity in the sport, women’s participation which included Danica Patrick.
I hope you enjoy watching this as much as I enjoyed producing and doing the actual interview itself.
The video is titled, “Rapid Fire With Mike Joy” as we talked about a lot of topics in a short period of time.
When it comes to motor sports, the drivers, owners, crew chiefs and announcers do a great job promoting and helping grow the sport. They’re phenomenal to work with!
That’s why I enjoy covering this sport when the situation presents itself.
Mike Joy is just the latest broadcaster that I’ve interviewed in over four decades in Sports Media.
The title of this story says it all!
Scott Morganroth can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and you can follow him on Twitter @TribuneSouth.
Also, to see his broadcasts, there is no charge to subscribe to the South Florida Tribune You Tube Channel.