On any weekend during the NASCAR season, there are several people giving you all the action that’s happening down on the track.

There’s some running through the garage and pit areas interviewing the crew chiefs and drivers. They need to have a lot of energy to chase people while holding onto their microphones.

But there are three people that have a much better view of the whole track. They are kind of like Simba from the movie, “The Lion King”, when he is up on that big rock looking out at his kingdom.

I recently got to ask one of them some questions, and it was very exciting.

He’s not the one with the glasses and kind of reddish hair. The one that tells you how the crew chiefs are thinking.

And he’s not the one that tells you what the driver is probably thinking. The louder of the three. The one that yells, “Boogity Boogity Boogity”.

He’s the one putting the questions to the other two, like he’s the fan trying to learn about NASCAR. He has a gentle face. He is the one you can always count on for the facts.

I really enjoyed working on the questions to ask him.

I didn’t think he would answer all of them. And I didn’t think he would send the answers back for at least two or three months.

He sent them back overnight and even included more information than I expected.

Mr. Mike Joy must be a very nice person, just like the person we see in the booth on race days.

I hope that everyone will enjoy this as much as I enjoyed doing it.

JAW

Q & A With MR. MIKE JOY

Please finish this sentence: “If I weren’t a NASCAR announcer, I would be a ___________________________.”

I’ve been able to do some pretty exciting things, since our races happen
just on weekends. I’ve been a racetrack promoter, we own a racing fuel
distributorship, I’ve worked for a big Detroit advertising agency, and I’ve
covered 15 different sports for TV. If I couldn’t be broadcasting, I think I
would either run a racetrack or work in advertising and promotion

Do you think your job is more fun or hard work?

A lot of people get down about their jobs because they focus on how hard
they work. Its much better to focus on how much fun it is, because when you are having fun, you don’t even begin to realize how hard you are working. This is great fun, and I don’t mind the hours of preparation it takes to do it well.

If NASCAR fired you, is there another sport that you would enjoy announcing for?

I don’t work for NASCAR, I work for FOX. I enjoyed covering football and
baseball. The sport that is most like NASCAR is World Cup skiing. The
athletes have the same intensity and the same risks, and the travel in Europe is really fun.

Is it confusing with people talking in your ear when you are broadcasting?

Like any job that requires multitasking (doing several things at the same
time), it takes some getting used to. It’s very similar to when your mom is
trying to tell you something while you are talking on the phone. You can
hear and understand her while you are still carrying on your conversation.
Sometimes you need to ask her to repeat what she said, and sometimes I have to ask the producer to do the same.

Finish this sentence: “It is ______________ working with D.W. and Larry Mac.” Do you ever get mad at them?

“a lot of fun”. We’re good friends on and off the air, and most
importantly, we all respect one another. If we have an issue to raise, we do
it at the end of the show before we leave the booth. That way, no hard
feelings or misunderstandings can have a week to build up. If you listen
closely, you’ll find we laugh a lot during the broadcast. That’s a good sign
we’re having fun. You can’t laugh if you’re angry or upset.

If you could change or add something to the NASCAR rulebook, what would it be?

There are a lot of areas that might benefit from some tweaking. This
year they fixed our biggest complaint. They now let everyone know at the
drivers’ meeting, what lap near the end of the race when they will no longer
consider using the red flag so they can restart the race.

I will graduate high school in 2006. What driver do you think will be a champion in the year I graduate?

A lot can happen in four years, but Jeff Gordon, Matt Kenseth, Kurt Busch,
and Jamie McMurray are sure to be on that list.

What is the strangest NASCAR event or happening that you ever saw?

The day it was freezing and snowing hard in Atltanta and all the teams had left the garage area but one.
Alan Kulwicki, dressed in a heavy coat and his race helmet (for warmth) was under the hood of his race car, working on the engine.
As strange as that looked, it was a constant reminder of his
tremendous dedication and his work ethic, which surpass anything I have seen in this sport.

We all know about Tony’s troubles with fans. Did you ever have a fan do something to you that you didn’t like to you?

Sure. I think sometimes the fans forget that we are working, and not
just walking around meeting folks and making small talk.
It’s easy for folks to think we are being rude when we are in a hurry to get somewhere. We’re not trying to be rude, just keep in mind we are working, and they are enjoying a day off.

What is your favorite personal piece of NASCAR memorabilia, or autographed item?

I don’t have a lot of souvenirs, but I have a whole lot of happy
memories.
I do have a few victory lane interview photos from the Daytona 500
that are special, along with some early race programs

I would like to ask you some questions that aren’t about NASCAR. What is your favorite movie, or kind of movie?

I like to be entertained, not scared at the movies. I like comedies.

I LOVE Bobby Labonte green. What is your favorite color?

Blue. A deep Indigo, with just a touch of purple to it. Corvette
admiral blue, MG mineral blue, Ferrari Pozzi blue. Or a bright electric blue
like BMW estoril blue or 60’s Chevy marina blue… and I’ve had those cars
in those colors.

If I took you to our local amusement park, Kennywood, which ride would you want to ride first?

Go-karts, or a dragster simulator like the one in the SpeedPark across
the street from Daytona.

We have a lot of different kinds of pets. Do you have any? Do you like dogs or cats better?

We have two young children, so no pets. I like cats, my wife likes dogs.

What fruit or vegetable makes you want to gag?

Cooked spinach.

What is your favorite dish for dinner?

King crab legs. If they aren’t on the menu, grilled chicken over
pasta.

Do you like fishing, or any outdoor sports? Have you ever gone with a NASCAR driver(s) if you do?

I like cycling, and boating, but I don’t have a lot of patience for
fishing.

Do you like playing video games? Do you think the NASCAR drivers that play the racing games really learn anything from it; or do you think they say that just so they can keep doing it?

Yes, I really believe that the video games of road race courses are quite
helpful. They give you a great picture of the course in your mind before you actually go out on the track. But as far as it being just like real racing,
I haven’t tried the latest games so I cant really say. Dale Jr. thinks so. He
took a video gamer that kept beating him online and helped get him a Goodys Dash series ride!

I’m my Grandmother’s only grandchild, and she spoils me like crazy. Did you have a grandmother or relative that really spoiled you?

My Dad’s parents thought I was pretty special and I wish they were still
around so I could properly thank them.

The radio station in your car is currently tuned to what kind of music station?

Album rock, blues and 60’s rock

What country are your ancestors from? Have you ever been there?

Ireland (no) and England (yes)

What color is your bathroom? Do you like it, or do you secretly wish your wife would redecorate?

Browns and beige. We just bought this house and that’s the first room we
are going to redo. It’s too dark.

Where did you go to school, and how old were you when you had your first crush on a girl? Did you ask her out?

In Windsor, Connecticut. Bonnie Sullivan and I went though third through
sixth grade together. We went to different schools after that.

Did you ever get a speeding ticket?

Yes, a few. And usually I deserved them.

What is your wife’s name?

Gaye.

What is the one thing that you do that makes your wife want to pull her hair out?

hmmmm… there are so many things…

Did you ever spend a lot of money on something that your wife didn’t think you should have? What was it?

A new Porsche 996 turbo. It wasn’t that she didn’t think I should buy it,
she just wished I had discussed it with her before it showed up in our
garage.

What do you do when you have a bad day and you want to feel better?

I play with the kids, which is great. If its after their bedtime, I’ll
read… lose myself in a good book or magazine.

Mom and I write about NASCAR, and disabilities like Tourette Syndrome, at CawsnJaws. Please come by and visit us there sometimes.

Sure.

I would like to send your office some information about Tourette Syndrome, so that you can learn about it; and then maybe help someone else that doesn’t know about it. Is that OK, and where would we send it? We want people to learn about it so that people that have it don’t have to be teased or treated badly.

Sure you can.