By Erica Renee Davis
Especially for FOX Sports
“Charlotte Motor Speedway is very fast, has a high slope, the two ends of the track are slightly different and it is also temperature sensitive. Grip and therefore more speed.”
“And that’s why it’s the biggest torture test on the track.”
Thus, esteemed on-air talent and FOX NASCAR race announcer Mike Joy illustrates its difficulty and uniqueness, which he should definitely know.
Before the green flag drops each weekend and until the last of the RVs are on the lots, it’s Mike Joy’s distinguished voice and unforgettable personality that NASCAR faithful have adored throughout the 23 consecutive seasons he’s been with the network. Joy started running the FOX NASCAR broadcast team in 2001, so to call him an expert is an understatement. He is one of the foremost authorities in the sport.
Mike does predict that this weekend’s Coca-Cola 600 race on FOX will be physically demanding. After all, drivers have to compete for 600 non-stop miles.
“It’s endurance. This race is going to be four hours. You have cars going into corners at over 180 miles per hour and the drivers have to deliver top performance every lap,” he noted. “Except for marathon running or perhaps football, there is no other sport that demands that from the athlete constantly and for so long.”
But even with all those challenges — the impressive mileage, the track changing stripes based on the thermostat — it’s the Speedway’s commitment to honoring the American troops that makes this race so great.
“It’s Memorial Day Weekend, our most solemn holiday,” Joy reflected. Charlotte Motor Speedway does more than any sporting event in America to honor our armed forces who gave their lives in the service of our country.
“It’s a theme we’ll be running throughout the broadcast. A great show of patriotism like no other in professional sports. Combine all of that, and it makes for a truly incredible event.”
Speaking of unbelievable, last season NASCAR took an extraordinary turn as the new cars rolled out. From crew chiefs to seasoned analysts, everyone expected more equality in the sport in 2022 as the new cars took center stage. And that was in fact the case. A year later, however, the best-funded teams with the best available technology and top drivers did not dominate as effortlessly as some might have expected.
Joy, who earns extra money as a classic car driver, admits to being surprised.
“We knew the playing field was going to be leveled. We had a record number of race winners and we had a lot of good teams performing at a great level. However, this year some of the best teams have gone back to their victories.” ways, but not all.”
For example, the veteran broadcaster notes that most fans and pundits had not predicted William Byron as the driver who would have had the most wins at this point in the season. And “Kyle Larson,” he laughed, “if he doesn’t hit the wall, he wins everything else.”
When Mike enters the booth this weekend, he will be joined by racing royalty Clint Bowyer and Tony Stewart. But beyond “inform, educate, and entertain,” there’s another important takeaway that Joy wants audiences to appreciate.
“We’re all really good friends, and I really hope that comes across on the air,” he revealed. “And when you have Clint and Tony up there, the entertaining part comes pretty easy.”
Speaking of easy, could this be the weekend where you cruise to a cool $25,000 playing the FOX Bet Super 6 NASCAR Stage 2 Contest?
FOX bet Super 6 is a free-to-play contest where you can choose six different outcomes in the NASCAR Stage 2 Contest featuring the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway to win Clint Bowyer’s $25,000. Just download the FOX Bet Super 6 App on your phone or mobile device, make your picks and submit your selections before the race starts next Sunday.
Remember that playing FOX Bet Super 6 is always free, easy and fun. And by the way, people really to win!
But before you dive into your picks, check out Mike Joy’s expert insight below. Let’s dive in!
Where does the pole sitter end up at the end of the race?
1st-2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th-6th, 7th-8th, 9th+
“The pole sitter will be top five. Pole position also gives you first choice of pit box. And pit box No. 1 is usually very useful for getting out of the pits quickly. That’s an advantage. If you’re the leader, you are in clean air.”
Which driver — Pursue Briscoe or Ross Chatain – will they have a better finish at the end of stage 2 and where will they finish?
1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th+
“I’m going to say Chase. Chase Briscoe is driving better every week. He was the best Ford in the All-Star Race. I think Ross Chastain will probably turn it back a few weeks and maybe fly under the radar. Maybe, that’s for sure maybe.”
Prediction: Pursue Briscoe, 9th+
Which driver — Eric Jones or Daniel Suarez – will they have a better finish at the end of stage 2 and where will they finish?
1st-2nd, 3rd-4th, 5th-6th, 7th-8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, 13th+
“Comparing the performance over the past few weeks, I think Trackhouse has more positive momentum right now. And I think Legacy Motor Club just haven’t played up their full potential over the past few weeks. They need a rebound.”
Prediction: Daniel Suarez, 12th
Kyle Larson or William Byron: Who will win more races this year?
The “NASCAR Race Hub” crew gets into gear, debating a few hot topics about the season so far.
Which manufacturer – Chevrolet or Ford – will have more cars in the top 10 of Stage 2 and how many will they have?
0-2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10+
“There are more Chevys than any other make, so they have a numerical advantage. And they drive better than the Fords and about on par with the Toyotas.”
Prediction: Chevy, 4
Which driver — Martin Truex Jr. or Joey Logano – will they have a better finish at the end of stage 2 and where will they finish?
1st-2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th+
“You can’t forget the Coca-Cola 600, where Martin Truex led 392 of the 400 laps – including the last lap. No one knows better how to run at the front for most of the race than Martin.”
Prediction: Martin Truex Jr., 3rd
Which driver — Kyle Bush or Pursue Elliott – will have the better finish at the end of the race and by how many positions?
1-2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10+
“Chase has momentum, he finished recently and the Hendrick organization is really doing well. Now that Chase is coming back from that injury I think he’s pretty much back in shape. And I don’t think the extra distance in this race is going to bother him .”
Prediction: Pursuit, 8
Biggest Takeaways from All-Star Weekend in North Wilkesboro
The “NASCAR Race Hub” crew discussed their thoughts on the All-Star weekend in North Wilkesboro and whether they should keep it there for long.
While the brilliant broadcaster praises William Byron and Martin Truex for their recent success, Dan Gurney holds his breath as his favorite NASCAR athlete of all time.
“Dan has the highest winning percentage ever of any NASCAR driver with 10 or more starts. He was the best road-course ringer ever in NASCAR. He won in Indy Car, he won in Trans Am, he won the 24 Hours of Le Mans , and he won in Formula 1. And he was always my hero.”
Joy recalled how his admiration for the late Gurney grew into kinship.
“He wrote me a note one night and said, ‘I watched the race and I hear how you are a fan of mine. And I wanted to send you this note before you changed your mind.’ But it was all a joke because he had been retired for 30 years. But that led to a really cool friendship.”
While you may not be as lucky as Mike for your hero to become a friend, your luck could very well bring you a nice cash prize of $25,000.
Download the FOX Bet Super 6 app and submit your selections now for the NASCAR Stage 2 Contest. Then be sure to share your choices with us by tagging @FOXSuper6 And @EricaReneeD and using the hashtag #EricaSuper6 across all social media platforms.
Cheers to a safe Memorial Day weekend!
Download the FOX Super 6 app for your chance to win thousands of dollars every week on the biggest sporting events! Just make your choice and win the grand prize. Download and play today!
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