Skip to Content

What happened to Mike Joy’s nose?

What happened to broadcaster Mike Joy’s nose?


If you follow NASCAR—or if you’re a fan of FOX Sports’ NASCAR coverage, at least—then you already know who Mike Joy is.

Arguably one of the most recognized voices on Fox Sports, Joy provides lap-by-lap commentary of all NASCAR events on Fox Sports.

By mid-2022, the iconic commentator has been part of the action for a whopping 43 Daytona 500s—he worked 7 for MRN Radio, another 17 for CBS, and the last 19 for Fox.

And when he’s not on the grind for NASCAR fans across the world, he also lends his expertise to A&E Network’s History Channel and FYI TV collector car auctions.

But forget all that for a minute, because there’s one thing all Mike Joy’s fans really want to know: what happened to Mike Joy’s nose?

The question was everywhere following Mike’s appearance on April 11, 2021, at the NASCAR Cup Series race at Martinsville Speedway. So what really happened?

We’re here to set the record straight on Mike Joy: his career, his nose, and that hiccup with Clint Bowyer.

Who Is Mike Joy?

Dale Earnhardt Sr interviewed by Mike Joy – @Getty

Mike Joy was born on November 25, 1949, and he hails from Chicago, Illinois.

He grew up in Windsor, Connecticut, and headed to the University of Hartford and Emerson College to pursue a degree in journalism and broadcasting.

It was while he was studying at the University of Hartford that Joy took on his first announcer role—he did public address announcements at Riverside Park Speedway in Agawam, Massachusetts.

A Commentator is Born

By 1972, he was working at Thompson Speedway, and in 1975 he took on a role at Stafford Motor Speedway in Connecticut, alongside the track owner’s son, Jack Arute, Jr.

Before long, Joy was on the microphone five nights a week. It was only a matter of time before somebody took notice—and that somebody was Motor Racing Network co-founder Ken Squier.

Squier hired him to work in the marketing sector at Daytona International Speedway, where Mike quickly progressed to co-anchor, general manager, and eventually executive producer of MRN.

Welcome to the Big Time


By 1981, Mike Joy was the lead broadcaster for ESPN’s first ever live NASCAR telecast at Atlanta International Raceway.

It was the beginning of an era that would include almost two decades at CBS Sports—while still working with MRN—and launching The Nashville Network’s NASCAR coverage as a lap-by-lap announcer.

Mike became one of the first announcers to embrace the internet back in 1997—he asked fans to email in suggestions that he could present to CBS, and joined forums and newsgroups to stay across early versions of trending topics.

In 2000, CBS lost the rights to televise NASCAR racing—at which point the famed commentator headed over to Fox Sports to continue his career.

He has also covered most mainstream motorsports on US television—from Formula One to drag racing.

That Misunderstanding with Clint Bowyer


NASCAR is a high octane sport—and tempers on the track can quickly get as hot as the engines as cars and personalities are pushed to their limits.

Case in point: Mike Joy and Clint Bowyer.

Mike had already been the Fox Sports’ lap-by-lap NASCAR reporter for 19 years when he unintentionally offended color analyst and fellow Fox commentator Clint Bowyer back in March of 2021.

While watching the race unfold, Mike Joy made a comment about Clint Bowyer and Jeff Gordon’s careers as drivers.

He said at the time, “This is a situation that I don’t think (either of) you faced. Show up to the track. Get in the car. Drop the green flag and go.”

Gordon was quick to come to Bowyer’s defense, saying “He did. Bowyer did.” At almost the same time, Clint said, “I did.”

While there may have been an awkward second or two while Bowyer processed the insult and Joy realized his faux pas, Mike was quick to apologize for his mistake and make amends.

“That’s right,” said the long-time lap-caller. “You did. I’m sorry.”

While the incident was water off a duck’s back for the pair, one eagle-eyed fan brought up the moment following the drama over Mike Joy’s nose injury.

Bill Keen commented: “Thought maybe you got in an argument with Bowyer.”

READ MORE: Why is Big Chief not on Street Outlaws America’s List?

What happened to Mike Joy’s nose?

So, what happened to Mike Joy’s nose? The situation wasn’t quite as dramatic as fans seemed to think it was, when they caught a glimpse of Mike looking slightly battered and bruised at Martinsville Speedway.

Some followers speculated that he looked as though he was bleeding, or that his face was swollen.

Luckily, it wasn’t as dramatic as fans initially suspected—although one laid-back Twitter user ruminated that Joy perhaps “got himself with a black sharpie.”

The reality was simple, as the radio personality and NASCAR fan Parks Stamper discovered.

Stamper shared a tweet from Mike Joy himself, who responded to the questions by saying:

“Had a few areas of skin cancer removed during the off week. Its healing up fine, but looked really stupid with a bandaid on it. Thanks.”

READ THIS NEXT: Abby Hornacek’s eye injury