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Quick Stats: Mike Joy Fox NASCAR Chase AnnouncerDaily Driver: 2016 BMW i8 (Mike’s rating: 8 on a calibration of 1 to 10)Other cars: see belowFavorite alley trip: western New EnglandCar he abstruse to drive in: 1966 Rambler MarlinFirst car bought: 1971 Chevy Z28 Camaro
For antagonism enthusiasts, it charge assume like Mike Joy has their dream job. Joy has abounding 42 Daytona 500s, and abutting Sunday will be the 38th one breadth he’s been allotment of a alive TV or radio broadcast.
Joy is the aboriginal to accept he’s blessed. But besides actuality a abundant communication for admirers by actuality up avant-garde at auto and motorcycle races, the 47 years he’s had his dream job has afforded Joy accession perk: accepting a able-bodied abounding barn abounding with a dozen of his admired rides to drive aback he’s not on the alley with Fox.
These days, his circadian disciplinarian is the clear 2016 BMW i8. “I had a Porsche 911 Turbo S, which is a phenomenally able car,” he says. “But it is so capable. It was defective in the fun department. I was out in Phoenix, and the accepted administrator of Roger Penske’s BMW dealership Don Hanson corralled me and said, ‘What about an i8?’ I said, ‘It’s a appearance car, how can that attainable be a circadian driver?’ He said, ‘It’s a actual advantageous supercar.’ He put me in one for a weekend and assertive me that I could drive this every day. And it’s a blast. It’s very, actual abundant a fun car.”
Joy ante it an 8 out of 10 because there are some things that could be improved. “To be BMW’s acid bend arch bend car, it should accept the best avant-garde telematics; it should accept the best basement of any car in the line,” Joy says. “My son has a 428i, which has bigger seats, bigger stereo, and some added amenities that for one acumen or accession this car seems to abridgement aloof a little bit.”
But the i8 has absurd performance. “Obviously actuality a hybrid, it’s got abundant ammunition economy, and it’s fun,” Joy says. “Its abundant affair ambush is the operation of the doors. They’re not scissor doors, as say a Lamborghini would have. BMW calls them dihedral, in that they attainable hardly out and afresh up.”
When the doors are open, they booty up beneath amplitude than a accepted door. “Now because the tub of the car is carbon fiber, there’s a very, actual aerial sill, which makes accepting in arduous and accepting out about impossible,” he says. “So that’s why I accord it an 8.”
Wherever Joy drives the i8, it’s consistently a head-turner. He says there are aloof a brace of them in his breadth about town. “It’s a astounding car, and it’s acid bend technology.”
“That car provides added smiles per mile than annihilation I’ve anytime owned,” Joy says. “For me mainly, but hopefully for everybody. I had them aback in the ‘80s, raced them in SCCA, and afresh I was abroad from little British cars for a continued time But aback new, that was the basal sports car – four cylinders, 60 horsepower, four speeds, 13-inch tires. It’s a unibody car, not a full-frame car, so that makes them about attainable to restore. And through companies like Moss Motors, aloof about every allotment of that car is available.”
Joy likens MGs to potato chips—you can’t aloof accept one. He currently has three, alignment from 1967 to 1973.
“Somebody will appear up and say, ‘My buddy’s got one in his backyard aloof sitting there, would you appetite it?’ ‘My grandfathering larboard me one, would you appetite it?’ Appealing anon you accept a accumulating of them,” he says. “I anticipate bodies see these cars and aback in the day, their electrics were not awfully reliable and a lot of those cars had terminal breakdown at 60 or so thousand miles, which is one-third of what we apprehend of a new car to aftermost today.”
There is additionally an affecting affiliation to the MG. “Maybe bodies feel affectionate and they say, ‘I apperceive breadth there’s one that needs advice or needs saving,’” Joy says. “So what are you activity to do with a abandoned MG? You’re activity to acquisition somebody who loves MGs and see if you can advance it off on them.”
The alone affair Joy dislikes about the MG is that it could be a little faster. “0 to 60 comes forth in about 16 seconds,” he says. “So one of the added MGs has an agent that’s been continued by 150cc’s, has a Datsun five-speed, and is a abundant quicker car. We’re abating it for the additional time, so it’s in the average of reassembly.”
Like the i8, Joy’s MG additionally attracts absorption aback it’s out and about. “My son, who’s a actual affectable 17 and loves cars, was a little put off that aback he’s active that MG, ten times as abounding bodies appear up to him to ask him about the car as they do his BMW,” he says. “I anticipate that’s appealing funny. He gets it. That old cars are article to be preserved and admired and enjoyed and that that adulation is aggregate with bodies who appetite to appear up and apprentice about them.”
Joy says the best accepted affair that happens is somebody comes up and asks, “Is that a GM and you’ve got the belletrist backwards?” “They don’t know,” he says. “MG alien its aftermost car into the United States in 1980, so there’s a accomplished bearing of drivers that accept never heard of it. The MGB—which is this car’s bigger brother and I’ve got two of those—was the best affairs sports car of all time until the Mazda Miata. So as sports cars go, MGs were adequately common. Not so abundant anymore.”
As he does aback he cautiously broadcasts from racetracks or at Barrett Jackson auctions, Joy is abstruse in his commitment akin aback talking about his cars and career trajectory. He generally sprinkles trivia facts into the conversation.
“It’s a actual all-embracing mix,” he says of his car collection. “Obviously I adulation MGs. I’ve got bisected a dozen of them, the two BMWs are abundance for alley cars. We additionally accept two BMW chase cars, and afresh I like El Caminos. Not abounding bodies do. They accede it with mullets and things like that. But the El Camino and the Ford Ranchero were agitating cartage for their time. They rode like cars. They hauled like trucks. They were a abundant compromise.”
He aloof awash his 1971 El Camino and is attractive for his abutting one. “The adolescent that adequate it, it turns out that as I collection the car, I didn’t abundant accede with the administration he’d taken,” he says. “It was abundant added able to advertise that car and alpha with a altered one than it would be to disengage aggregate he did.”
“We’ve got a Porsche Macan S, which is apparently the best all about agent that we own,” Joy says. “If I had to advertise aggregate and accumulate one vehicle, that’s the one I’d keep. I had an Audi Q5, and the Macan aback it came out was congenital on the aforementioned belvedere and aggregate a lot of attributes with the Audi. My wife capital the Porsche. She loves it, that’s her circadian driver. She thinks it’s fantastic, and I do too, It’s a very, actual able vehicle.”
Joy cast the aggregate of achievement and account in the Porsche: “It goes, and like an SUV should, it hauls actuality too. That’s the best allotment about it. I anticipate until the Macan, the Audi Q5 was apparently the best distinct agent on the road. The Porsche is in some means better. The Porsche is added of a driver-focused car. It’ll get a additional glance from people, but bodies don’t hinge their arch all the way about like they do with the i8.”
Joy has two of these BMWs, accurately for the sole purpose of antagonism them with his son. They accept both raced alone and formed on anniversary other’s car during contest through the years, but they accept never been on the clue together. That’s article Joy is attractive advanced to accomplishing this summer.
“We congenital two cars for a chic alleged Blueprint E46. E46 is BMW’s centralized cipher name for the 2001 to 2005 3 series,” he says. “There’s now a blueprint series, antagonism series, for those cars. So we congenital one for my son, and now we congenital a additional car. They’re about artery legal—lights, horn, and wipers. But the body, shape, and design, aggregate is aloof as it came from the factory. They’re adapted commuter cars, so they’re about artery legal.”
It’s artery acknowledged so that his son can drive it and accomplish changes for the racetrack. “He collection his to academy one day, afore he loaded it up with decals on it,” Joy says. “He can drive it on the road. If we accomplish an alignment change or a abeyance change, and he wants to analysis it out, that car is registered. He can drive it.”
Joy ante these cars a 9 aback they were new, but today they’re a 7 out of 10.
His son ability drive his BMW 330ci, but Joy won’t be putting his own on the road. “It’s a actual absolute responding car to inputs, of throttle, anchor and steering, which are abundant attributes for a chase car,” he says. “It’s an affordable car to race, aback in a blueprint series. You’re not antagonism adjoin accession else’s wallet or checkbook because the genitalia that go in the car are actual anxiously controlled. So all that makes it a abundant class. The cars are plentiful, and they’re not big-ticket anymore.”
Joy grew up in West Hartford, Connecticut, breadth he abstruse to drive in a 1966 Rambler Marlin on its burghal streets.
“That was the active school’s car, provided by the AMC dealer, but I chose that car because it was the alone car in the agile with a accepted transmission,” he says. “All the added driver’s ed cars were automatic. I had no absorption in an automatic. I capital to drive a stick. Akin admitting the shifter was three on the tree, a cavalcade shifter, still it was a three pedal car. That’s what I capital to apprentice on because I wasn’t activity to accept any automated chiral cars. I capital a stick. I capital to drive.”
Back afresh he had to complete driver’s ed to get a license. But afterwards he anesthetized the test, his dad bought him a car with an automated chiral and not a manual: a six-year-old 1960 Chevy Impala convertible, which was Joy’s aerial academy car. “He said, ‘A new disciplinarian has abundant to do afterwards annoying about shifting. You’re aboriginal car is activity to be an automatic, afterwards that you can get a stick,’” Joy says.
After the Impala wore out and they awash it, his dad did eventually buy him cars with chiral transmissions: an Austin Mini Cooper to drive to academy in, and afresh an Alpha Romeo Spyder. In aboriginal 1973, while alive allotment time, Joy bought a 1971 Chevy Z28 Camaro.
“I begin a actual affectionate broker to accommodation me $2,400, and I put that with $900, which was all the money I had to buy it,” he says. “I was busting tires at a Firestone store, and I was additionally accomplishing attainable abode announcement at several racetracks in the area: Riverside Esplanade in Massachusetts and Thompson Speedway in Connecticut. I capital a Z28 because that was the car that was accepting abundant success in the SCCA Trans-Am series.”
The Camaro lasted a while afore he replaced it with a cast new one about aloof like it in 1978. Joy did alum to splurge cars, owning a few Porsches, a few Ferraris, and a brace of Rx7s that we awful modified, abundant like the IMSA racers in the 1980s.
Joy didn’t buy an MG aback afresh because he bare a car that was reliable: “I hop in one of those MGs, and I’m 21 again. It’s aloof a simple, actual basal sports car. And that’s the fun of it. In college, I actually lusted afterwards the one that a acquaintance of abundance in academy had. He had British antagonism blooming one. They were abundant cars, but I could allow one car, and it had to be my year-round transportation. We’d use it for alley rallies and autocrosses, but it had to be transportation, and it had to be actually reliable. The MGs are mostly aloof abiding to my sports car roots. I’ve capital them anytime aback college.”
In his 30s Joy’s ambition was to accept a Ferrari. He concluded up accepting a Ferrari 308 GTS. “I had been alive for NASCAR’s radio arrangement and ESPN, and in 1983 I active with CBS Sports,” he says. “And so the Ferrari was my way of advantageous myself. It was a 1979 archetypal that I bought from Bob Sharp, a best racer who additionally happened to be a Ferrari dealer.”
As Joy approved to amount out aback he aboriginal bought an MG, he accursed up a database of all the cars he’s endemic over the years. The database is attainable aback it comes to consecutive numbers, for example, because he can attending up a car that accession mentions on one of the abounding car forums he frequents.
“The absolute cars I’ve endemic is over 100,” he says. “Hey, I’m old. I’ve been accomplishing this for a while. MGs, Austin-Healeys, and Morris, which is all British Motor Company—had a absolute of 23 of them. The Morris was the Mini, the Healey and the MGs, they’re affectionate of synonymous.” He abstracts he bought this aboriginal MG afore he angry 40 and afterwards his aboriginal Ferrari.
One of Joy’s admired times in a car happened in 2006 at the Lime Rock Historic Festival. It brought him aback to his adolescence and was a abounding amphitheater moment in his life.
“I had a adventitious to drive one of Ken Epsman’s cars—his Mark Donohue-Roger Penkse Trans-Am alternation Javelin,” Joy says. “This car won a lot of contest in 1970 and won the championship in ’71. Aback I came beyond Big Bend, which is the aboriginal big bend at Lime Rock, and looked up at the hillside breadth I sat 36 years afore watching Mark Donohue and aloof adulatory that I could do that some day, my eyes actually abounding up. I was actually affected with emotion, and auspiciously I had the blow of that clip lap, which was accession mile, to get my thoughts calm and get bottomward to the business at duke of antagonism that car. If I had to aces a moment abaft the wheel, that would be it.”
As for a admired able alley trip, Joy loves active in his built-in New England: “I’d rather drive than fly aback possible,” he says. “I’ve apprenticed cross-country three times. Put me in a acceptable administration two-seat auto anywhere in western New England, from Connecticut all the way up to the top of Vermont. Absurd anchorage and admirable scenery.”
Joy does these alley trips often. “Every time we go up to Lime Rock, they don’t chase there Sunday, so the contest are Friday, Saturday and Monday,” he says. “I’ll aloof booty off Sunday and drive on the all the anchorage that I alley rallied on aback I was young. Or aloof go and aloof adore the drive.”
Even admitting Joy is now based in the South for his job, he is generally up there to race, spectate, and blush comment with Historic Trans Am. “We run the best contest at Lime Rock, at Watkins Glen and Laguna Seca in California,” he says. “That’s for fun.”
He cast that they advance the exact cars to the blueprint they were aback in the 1970s. “It’s a actual deeply controlled group, and some of those cars are priceless, but the advisers that own them, they chase them hard,” Joy says. “It’s a amazing accumulation of people. They’re admirable cars, but it’s a abundant accumulation of people. That’s actually for fun. We do the Rolex Monterey Motorsports reunion, which we’ve done on Fox Sports Net, and now it’s on Motor Trend and Automobile. I got to chase and commentate, which is appealing fun.”
Joy loves it so abundant that he does that on a advance basis. But of course, there are its perks. “I advice them with their promotion, and I additionally get to drive,” he says. “I get to race, so what can be added fun that that? Aftermost year we did Monterey, Lime Rock, Watkins Glen, and Sebring, and I anticipate we’re activity to do Monterey, Alley America, apparently one or two added events.”
In accession to racing, Joy wants to restore MGs and added cars with his son. “I’m aggravating to get my son complex in car restoration,” he says. “He’d rather absorb his time driving, which I can absolutely understand, but we’ve got a barn abounding of accoutrement and accessories from Eastwood, and they are abundant partners.”
The added job Joy has had for about 12 years aback it was on Speed, afresh Fox, and now Discovery and Velocity, is accoutrement Barrett Jackson auctions. He looks at these cars in abundant detail and analyzes them for viewers.
“It’s real’ly arduous because every car is different, and every car offers something,” he says. Forth with Steve Magnante—Steve is actual focused on capacity and casting numbers and actual parts—I booty a broader appearance and try to explain to the eyewitness what we anticipation of these cars aback afresh and why this accurate is or isn’t actual collectible now. I try to hit that balance.”
He cast that the auction, while accepted for its high-end cars, offers access akin ones awash for as little as $4,500 and tips to those who appetite to buy cars at auctions. “Go attending at the cars while they’re on affectation afore they appear to the block, allocution to the buyer or consigner, acquisition out about that car, acquisition out it’s history, who adequate it, what affectionate of assignment they do, what affectionate of action the car is in,” he says. “There’s a lot you charge to apprentice about a car afore it rolls up assimilate the block, and you alpha bidding, to accomplish sure. If a car gets pushed into position, that will affect the bidding.”
Whether at an bargain or racetrack for his Fox duties, Joy’s assorted jobs feel beneath like assignment and added like fun best days. “People acquaint me that I accept the best fun career that any car guy could anytime want,” he says. “I can’t disagree with that at all. I adulation it. This job actually didn’t actually abide aback I was in college. There were actual few contest on television, actual little on the radio. But as the action grew and its media attendance grew, I was actual advantageous to be able to abound with it.”
He got on this abnormal aisle that he carved out for himself while at Emerson Academy and started autocrosses and brace racing, active at advance such as a little speedway in Massachusetts: Riverside Park. Joy was announcement academy sports aback the bodies who ran the sports car club asked him to acquaint bodies what was activity on via the attainable abode arrangement while he was cat-and-mouse his turn.
“The ablaze Irishman who endemic Riverside Park, he couldn’t accept why bodies were sitting in his alarm seats watching one car go about cones and not out spending money at his action park,” he says, abacus the PR guys absitively to appoint him to advertise the banal car contest on Saturday nights.
That’s how Joy’s career started. He formed bristles nights a anniversary beyond New England and New York, putting a lot of afar in the summertime.
“It was abundant timing. NASCAR asked me to appear and aboriginal assignment allotment time for their radio network, afresh abounding time, and forth came cable TV, and ESPN, CBS bare people,” he says. “What’s that old saying, ‘It takes a lot of assignment to accept this abundant fun?’ I am blessed.”
Fox’s alive advantage of the 14th anniversary Daytona 500 is on Feb. 26 with alive pre-race advantage alpha at 1p.m. This year three-time champ Darrell Waltrip and Jeff Gordon are abutting by Joy, who is accoutrement his 42nd Daytona 500, and above aggregation arch Larry McReynolds.
“It’s amazing,” Joys says. “It’s absolutely clashing any added action because no added action starts it’s division with its bigger event. It’s a blast. Every year is altered because every year there’s new drivers to learn, new teams to learn, new drivers in old cars. In antagonism 40 cars, annihilation can appear at anytime. It’s like arena pinball with 40 assurance in play.”
After four decades, Joy gets approached by abounding admirers at races. “There’s audience at every track,” he says. “The hardest affair is aback somebody in their 30s comes up and says, ‘Man, I’ve been watching you aback I was little. It’s a abundant compliment.”
Having had a adored career, Joy’s new ambition is for him and his son to be on aforementioned racetrack. That will appear for aboriginal time this summer in that BMW Blueprint E46 series, afterwards Fox advantage of NASCAR finishes.
“My wife, Gaye, she’s abundant about Scott’s racing,” he says. “She says ‘The alone affair I assert aloft is that he be in the safest accessories possible.’ He doesn’t get in the car afterwards abounding faced helmet, gloves, a HANS device, a arch and close support, and a six-point harness. He’s apparently got about $3,000 in assurance accessories on afore he akin climbs in the car.”
Joy has thoughts about the camera-laden era racers are now in. A few years ago, his son got a GoPro for Christmas: “He was so bedeviled with accepting his video that he wasn’t advantageous absolutely abundant absorption to his racing. So I pulled the affair out of the car, and it hasn’t been back.”
For abounding abecedarian racers, the abiding camera on lath is now de rigueur.
“If you blazon ‘Spec E46’ all these videos will appear up because everybody posts their videos,” he says. “People accept cameras out the front, the back, they accept telemetry from the on-board computer overlaid on the video, for acceleration and RPM and added altered parameters, G forces.”
Joy says there are advantages: “If the admiral accept an analysis as to who pushed who off the clue and who did what to whom, bodies now appearance up with their video evidence. But as a teaching tool, the video is abundant because I can attending at video of Scott on a alley advance and say, ‘Hey you absent this apex. Let’s aback up and let’s amount out why did you absence this apex. Did you anchor too late? Did you about-face in too soon? Or did you aloof absence it?’ Aback when, it was all by feel and by stop watch.”
Joy has noticed that due to the abstruse aides, there are now added able racers. “We’re catastrophe up with a lot bigger accumulation of racers who are abundant bigger able to go into the pro ranks, so abundant so, there’s not abundant allowance for them all,” he says. “There’s a lot of really, actually acceptable racers that are not accepting the opportunities to drive actually acceptable cars because there’s a lot added acceptable drivers than there are acceptable cars these days. That’s accurate in any class.”
When he abstruse a new clue 30 years ago, Joy acclimated a accomplished convenance affair to amount it out. “The video is a abundant adorning apparatus and afresh the kids are on iRacing or whatever added computer antagonism platform” he says. “If you go up to Alley America, there’s 20 turns, and four of them all attending akin until you get there. Now these kids go on iRacing and aback they go to a clue for the aboriginal time, they apperceive the track. They apperceive breadth it goes. They apperceive what to do. They accept it all sequenced out. Everybody, appropriate up to the top akin at NASCAR and Formula 1, is all accomplishing a lot of actor time, to advance genitalia and pieces, and the cars and their own active skills.”
The technology is abundantly astute now. “The best adventure about iRacing is that Dale Earnhardt Jr. is on there a lot, and iRacing will not let you use an affected name,” he says. “You accept to go on there and use the name that’s on your acclaim card. Well, he gets antagonism with bodies online and this one kid is actually good. They alpha a chat offline, and the kid’s name is T.J. Majors. He is now Dale Jr’s spotter. He’s abounding time in antagonism as the anchor for the 88 car, all because of what he did on iRacing adjoin Dale Jr. How agrarian is that?”
Joy says the downside to new technology is that bodies now accept added of a addiction to say “I appetite what I appetite and I appetite it now.” Aggregate is so accessible.
It still comes bottomward to the animal aspect that can’t be replaced, which Joy teaches his son. “Sometimes we’ll be at a clue with Scott with his Legends car, and we’ll accomplish a change,” he says. “We consistently explain to him, if we accomplish a anatomy change, we consistently explain what the change is and what it should do. That’s the primary affability apparatus for us to account him. I’ve had him accept to Jimmy Johnson. Go out there, and accord us that affectionate of acknowledgment so we can tune the car so it works best for you.”
Joy has noticed that it acclimated to be the aggregation arch who alleged all the shots and that now seems to be changing. “Now added and added in every anatomy of racing, it’s the aggregation engineers that are calling the changes,” he says. “They attending at the data, but they’ve additionally got to accept to the driver, and they’ve got to accept to what he feels and what he needs.”
Another affair technology cannot replace, aback it comes to auto racing, is the adulation of actuality abaft a absolute caster at a absolute track. “There’s two things that don’t change,” Joy says. “They all adulation to go fast. And they all adulation to canyon cars. That doesn’t change.”
Joy is the annual anchorperson for all Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Alternation contest airing on FOX Sports. Fox Sports’ Daytona Speedweeks’ advantage bliss off today, Feb. 17 on Fox Sports 1 (FS1).
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