Words. They speak volume. Especially during big sporting events. We hang on to every word announcers speak. During the biggest competitions in the world, the broadcasters call always becomes etched in our memories forever. For a majority of the Daytona 500’s since 2001, FOX Sports has had Mike Joy making the call at the end of the race. Joy has described the endings of various Daytona 500’s in such rich ways that leave his words with us forever. His words enlighten us, while educating us on the biggest race of the season.
Just in the past ten or so years, Joy has spoken some memorable lines at the conclusion of the Daytona 500. As the drivers race to the finish, his call adds excitement to the already thrilling finish that seems to always take place. Below, I reminisce on some of Joy’s most recent calls and the ones that I will permanently remember forever.
2007 Daytona 500 (Replay of Finish: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ZOltYjYk4E)
“Here they come, checkered flag…Harvick!”
There may not be much to this call, but it surely is a memorable one. As Mark Martin and Kevin Harvick battled side-by-side all the way to the line, it was too close to call. No one had the edge until Harvick inched ahead right before the start/finish line to win his first Daytona 500.
2008 Daytona 500 (Replay of Finish: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qztm17I4mjY )
“It’s the boilermaker, Ryan Newman. Ryan Newman, Roger Penske win the Daytona 500!”
2008 featured Ryan Newman in a family-affair pulling into victory lane after a miraculous drive to the finish. Newman had drafting help from teammate Kurt Busch all the way down the backstretch. Busch never let go of Newman’s bumper as he pushed him past Joe Gibbs Racing teammates Tony Stewart and Kyle Busch and into the history books. It was a special win for Roger Penske as well since it was his first Daytona 500 victory and his first one-two finish in NASCAR.
The emotion of this win was evident in the late race calls from Newman’s father on the spotters stand. Newman’s father can be heard telling his son “Come on” in the final corners. Then the post race hug between father and son in victory lane made the win seem even more special. The enthusiasm spoken by Joy, Darrell Waltrip, and Larry McReynolds in the booth as the cars rounded the final corners was another heart-warming feature in the emotional finish at Daytona.
2011 Daytona 500 (Replay of Finish: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=brGT0eVao2A )
“Cinderella Trevor Bayne is going to win the Daytona 500!”
The upset of all upsets came in 2011 when Trevor Bayne beat all the odds to take victory for the Wood Brothers in the biggest race of the season. Bayne maintained a position up front through the final few restarts and found drafting partners each time to stay in contention. As Bobby Labonte pushed Bayne on the final lap, they were almost able to completely hold off Carl Edwards and David Gilliland. Edwards got to Bayne’s bumper, but he was too late as Bayne had just crossed the finish line to send his career off like a rocket. The underdog story of that day is what we remember most as it was just a kid beating the field to claim victory in the Great American Race.
It has been a few years since there has been a truly memorable finish to the Daytona 500. Will one be coming on Sunday? With drivers being able to move around a lot more under the new racing package, the chance for a spectacular conclusion to the 56th Annual Daytona 500 is greater than ever.
The waiting game for the potentially magical moment is on. Everyone will be watching the end of the race to see a possible stunning finish. They will also be listening to hear some memorable words uttered by the FOX Sports crew who have called so many special Daytona 500 finishes in the past.
By Jason Schultz
Follow him on twitter @NASCARJason