Voice of NASCAR Mike Joy Has Quite a Car Collection — Here’s 5 of His Favorites

Jackson Wheeler
13 Min Read


  • Even though his professional broadcasting life is wrapped around NASCAR stock cars, Mike Joy’s off-camera life is taken up primarily by sports cars.
  • Joy has announced well over a dozen different sports in his career, including lacrosse and soccer.
  • But racing has and always will hold his heart.

Cars have been Mike Joy’s business for more than a half-century, starting with smaller series like super modifieds in his native New England, to being lead play-by-play announcer on TV since 1998, first with CBS and since 2001 with FOX.

Televising such a popular race as this weekend’s Daytona 500, where millions of viewers will tune in not only in the U.S., but also globally, Joy also has a unique way of relaxing once the 500 or any other Cup race he broadcasts is over.

It’s at that time that he goes from Mike Joy, announcer, to simply Mike Joy, car guy.

Joy has a large collection of both race cars and daily drivers. When asked how many four-wheelers are in his collection, Joy demurs.

“It kind of varies with the amount of garage space that’s available,” he said with a laugh. “I would like to keep it to a dozen cars, but with project cars and projects in progress, that doesn’t seem to happen. If we say 15 to 18, it’s somewhere in there. It’s more than a dozen and less than two (dozen).”

Even though his professional broadcasting life is wrapped around NASCAR stock cars, Joy’s off-camera life is taken up primarily by sports cars, particularly the English-built MG brand. For example, one of the biggest projects he’s currently working on is a ground-up restoration of an MG Midget, one of his favorite cars.

“There’s a great tendency to improve things beyond what they were,” Joy said. “I try to limit modifications to either reliability issues that were unsolved in the day back in the day or using period speed equipment that was available back in the day. That’s fun. What’s the point of getting into a 1970 car that drives just like a 2024 car?”

Unlike some of his peers, who seemingly treat racing with kid gloves and don’t aspire to get their hands dirty, so to speak, Joy digs right in, doing whatever his latest project car needs, be it swapping out motors, replacing or upgrading transmissions and more.

auto jun 09 historic trans am at sonoma

Icon Sportswire//Getty Images

When not calling a race, there’s a chance Mike Joy will be in the middle of the racing action on the track somewhere.

“Yeah, absolutely,” Joy said when asked if working on cars is both a hobby and therapy when he’s away from in front of the cameras and in the broadcast booth at tracks from Daytona to Sonoma. “Sometimes, we will part cars out and I think my record is one MGB that we parted out that provided donor parts to over 20 different owners who were working on restoring those cars. That’s a fun part of it.

“There’s two keys: an understanding wife, that’s No. 1, and having a large enough garage where you can stop in the middle of a project, not have to pack everything away and then you can return to it where you left off. That’s the other key to getting stuff done.

“I grew up on the pages of Car and Driver, Road and Track and Sports Car Graphic. And on the hillside at Lime Rock, watching the sports cars and especially the Trans Am cars race when I was in college.”

Then came the big break that would lead to one of the most diverse and successful careers in sports broadcasting history.

“I was working at a Firestone dealer, installing tires for $3 an hour when he was approached to do public address announcing at a local track where the owner said if (I) could do stock car races, (I’d) get paid $25 per night. That was Riverside Park in Massachusetts. They’d bring Ken Squier in for their big events so I got to share the microphone with and learn from Ken, and that was the start.”

“I grew up on the pages of Car and Driver, Road and Track and Sports Car Graphic.”

A NASCAR Hall of Famer, Squier was also a native New Englander and made the biggest impression upon Joy as his own career grew and flourished.

“Next to Bill France, Ken Squier was probably the most important non-driver to the success of NASCAR,” Joy said. “He started their radio network, brought CBS to the table and got them to televise the first 500, which he broadcast.

“He was always giving of help and advice and never hesitated to recommend me for opportunities as they came about at MRN and later at CBS and with TBS and TNN and so on. He was a great mentor.

“I learned real early on that I was never going to be Ken Squier. He was just a fantastic wordsmith and just painted unbelievable word pictures. But he taught me that I could be the best of me and gave me a lot of advice how to go about that.

“I owe him my career. It doesn’t get any better than that. It was a thrill to work alongside him and to eventually succeed him calling the races at CBS and then on to Fox. … Dave Moody, Bob Varsha, Dave Despain, David Hobbs, Ned Jarrett—we all owe Ken for our careers and the opportunities to succeed.”

Joy has announced well over a dozen different sports in his career, including lacrosse and soccer. But racing has and always will hold his heart. He admits there’s one sport or event that he always wanted to do, but never happened, namely, broadcasting the Olympics, particularly the Winter Games.

“It would have been fun to do speed skating or bobsledding,” Joy said.


Here are Joy’s five favorite cars in his collection that is split between race cars and daily drivers:

1960 el camino

Courtesy Mike Joy

Mike Joy’s 1960 El Camino is his, “Oh My Gosh!” car.

1960 Chevy El Camino

Joy’s first car in high school was a 1960 Chevy Impala convertible, and his 1960 Chevrolet El Camino has been restored with several individual touches from the Impala. “If the garage was on fire and I had to reach for one set of keys, that’d be the one I’d save because the way it’s been done, it’s pretty irreplaceable. That’s the car he owns that most people come up to him and say “Oh, my gosh!” more so than any other.”1972 MG Midget

“A very basic sports car. It sold for under $2,000 new in 1972, weighs under 2,000 pounds and has a whopping 70 horsepower. That little car delivers more smiles per mile than anything I own. I hop in that car and I’m 21 again. You hop in that car and it’s like, ‘Yes!’”


mike joy datsun

Courtesy Mike Joy

A tennis ball color is how Joy describe his Datsun

1972 Datsun 240Z

“It’s tennis ball color. It’s a brightly colored tennis ball. Back then, they called them ‘safety colors’ to make them easier to see. It’s a six cylinder with three big carburetors and a modern suspension and five-speed. It looks exactly stock. When my son’s not driving it, I’m happy to get behind the wheel. It’s fun to drive, that’s a blast. That’s like if it’s parked in a long line of cars where you walk up and say, ‘Yep, that’s mine!’ It’s great fun.”


Current Ford GT

“It’s a race car with turn signals. I look at it and shake my head that anything this beautiful could come out of Detroit. Both the race cars and the road cars, there were only 1,300 made, all built on the same assembly line. It has a 647-horsepower turbo V6 and goes from 0 to 60 in nothing.”


camaro z28

Courtesy Mike Joy

Mike Joy’s Camaro Z28 still mixes it up on the racetrack.

Camaro Z28 race cars

“We have a pair of those, my son and I. They are cars that actually raced in the Trans Am series from 1970 to 1972. They’re a second-generation Camaro, which is my favorite GM car ever.” Joy and his son will both be racing the Camaros this June during the NASCAR weekend at Sonoma Raceway.


1972 MG Midget

“A very basic sports car. It sold for under $2,000 new in 1972, weighs under 2,000 pounds and has a whopping 70 horsepower. That little car delivers more smiles per mile than anything I own. I hop in that car and I’m 21 again. You hop in that car and it’s like, ‘Yes!’”


Joy talked about the juxtaposition of going from a racing broadcaster to a race car driver.

“I’m no longer winning races, but still can do at a reasonable level and have a lot of fun at,” he said. “Really, the only parallel I can make is downhill skiing. If you’re skiing well, you’re turning while the skis are sliding and you’re controlling those skis which are technically sliding out of control, and it’s the same with a race car and bending that car to your will and competing with a group of people who are your friends and you have a lot of fun on and off the track, as well as being a custodian of history.

“All these cars have great stories and if that (AMC) Javelin passes me, that was Mark Donohue’s Javelin. If that Mustang passes me, that was Parnelli Jones’, and if that (Plymouth) Cuda passes me, that was Dan Gurney’s. These were all the real deal cars and sadly, not a lot of those drivers are still with us.”

Racing has been Joy’s life since he was in high school. In fact, while going through college catalogs to decide which school he’d attend, if a particular school did not have a car club, Joy tossed the brochure in the trash.

Fast forward to today and Joy has two daily drivers, so to speak: a Ram 1500 pickup and a Porsche 911 GT3, which Joy gleefully says, “Which is another race car with turn signals.”

As if broadcasting and racing himself aren’t enough, Joy and his 24-year-old son Scott, recently began their own YouTube channel, appropriately called “Joy Riding.”

“We love cars, we don’t agree on everything, well let’s talk about it,” the elder Joy said. “We’re 50 years apart, so our views are very different.”

Follow Autoweek contributor Jerry Bonkowski on X/Twitter @JerryBonkowski



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Jackson Wheeler is a skilled editor at Speedofdaily.com, specializing in automotive content. With a background in Journalism and Automotive Engineering, he combines his passion for cars with his writing expertise to deliver captivating articles. Jackson's deep knowledge of automotive technology and his racing experience make him a valuable asset to the team, providing readers with informative and engaging content.
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