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FOX’s Commentating Team Recall Their Favorite FOX Daytona 500 Memories

FOX’s Commentating Team Recall Their Favorite FOX Daytona 500 Memories

by February 18, 2015 0 comments

Photo credit: Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images for NASCAR

Sunday’s telecast of the 57th Daytona 500 will mark the 12th instance that FOX Sports will telecast the Great American Race.

For their 12th broadcast of the 500, FOX’s lap-by-lap and color commentator lineup will once again comprise of the long-time commentating trio of Mike Joy, Larry McReynolds, and Darrell Waltrip.

In their 11 years of calling the action of the opening race of the Sprint Cup season, Joy, McReynolds and Waltrip have experienced plenty of exciting moments and finishes in their decade-plus history of being together as a commentating unit. As Waltrip puts it, “We’ve seen it all.”

When asked about what has been each of their respective favorite moments of calling the Daytona 500 while a member of the FOX Sports broadcast team, both Waltrip and McReynolds were quick to point out that, while historic for being their first 500 with FOX, the 2001 Daytona 500 was certainly a memorable race, but definitely not their favorite considering the circumstances that surrounded its conclusion 14 years ago today.

“Certainly not our favorite, but how in the world could we ever forget our first?” Waltrip stated. “The 2001 Daytona 500 and the events of that day, that will be in my mind and a part of me for the rest of my life.

“Seeing Michael [Waltrip] win and Dale [Earnhardt] crashing and just all of those things, it almost seems like it happened yesterday.”

“When you’ve had the races that we’ve had here, to your point in those 11 years, I’d be hard-pressed to say that there was one that we didn’t enjoy,” McReynolds added. “Obviously, we did not like what happened in the 2001 Daytona 500, to Darrell’s point, it was tragic.”

When pointing out their favorite moments, the many fantastic finishes held at Daytona over the years come to mind with each commentator specifically pointing at the 2007 Daytona 500 as a particular highlight.

“The amazing finishes that we’ve experienced down here whether it’s Ryan Newman passing Tony Stewart on the last lap [2008] or Kevin Harvick passing Mark Martin on the last lap or cars coming to the start/finish line upside down on fire like Days of Thunder [2007],” Waltrip said. “We’ve had some amazing races. The one we had last year with Dale Jr. [with] the rain and the race at night and Junior getting a big piece of trash on his grill and winning the race – we’ve really been fortunate to have some incredibly exciting broadcasts to cover down here.”

“Every one that we’ve done, the different storylines and the things that unfolded, probably as you were asking the question the one that jumped into my mind was [in] 2007 with Harvick beating Mark Martin back to the line and the big crash happening and like Darrell said – with Bowyer coming across the line on his roof and when he got out he was more worried about where he finished than what his car looked like. That’s the one that kind of just maybe rises to the top just a little bit,” McReynolds added.

Joy also agreed with his colleagues that the 2007 finish stuck out in his mind as his favorite Daytona 500 moment from his time with FOX Sports, but he pointed out that his favorite moment of the Daytona 500 weekend is not from the race itself, but from the moment that the cars first hit the track for practice.

“I agree with Larry, that was the first one that came to mind as the big moment,” Joy said. “My favorite moment every year happens in the first practice session on the very first lap at speed.

“This year, we just all stood silent and we just enjoyed the glorious noise of the cars coming through at full speed to start a new season. I think I said it ‘was the most glorious noise of winter since your snowblower or snowmobile started on the first pull.’ It means the season started.

“We are so full of all the excitement and enthusiasm and stories to tell as are the other members of the media and as are the drivers and the teams. At that moment, every one of them has a chance to win the Daytona 500 and most of them feel that they have a chance to win the Sprint Cup.

“It’s a great time of year, every year.”

500 miles full of that glorious noise will be on hand for the FOX broadcast team, the 43 drivers privileged to take the green flag for the Great American Race, and for spectators and television viewers alike this Sunday.

Live coverage of the Daytona 500 will commence on Sunday at 1:00 p.m/ET on your local FOX affiliate.

Follow Kyle Pokrefky on Twitter at @KPokrefky

Kyle Pokrefky
Follow Kyle Pokrefky on Twitter at @KPokrefky

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