Mike Joy and Clint Bowyer will have a new person in the booth for the first two NASCAR Cup Series events in 2022. Hall of Famer Tony Stewart will join the broadcast booth for the Busch Light Clash and the Daytona 500.
Longtime broadcaster Joe Buck broke the news during the third quarter of the playoff game between the Green Bay Packers and San Francisco 49ers on January 22. He revealed that Stewart will join the FOX Sports booth for the two races while temporarily replacing Jeff Gordon, who left to take on a vice-chairman role at Hendrick Motorsports.
“To call the very first Busch Light Clash at the Coliseum AND the Daytona 500 is an opportunity you don’t pass up,” Stewart said in a statement from FOX. “The size and scope of both these races is massive, and it’s an honor to be a part of them with FOX. Anytime you get to talk racing with Clint and Mike, you’re going to have a good time.”
Along with Stewart joining the booth, the FOX broadcast will also see the return of Larry McReynolds as a technical analyst. Jamie Little and Regan Smith will serve as pit reporters during the Busch Light Clash and the Daytona 500. Vince Welch will also join the team for the season-opening race at Daytona International Speedway.
FOX Sports Will Use a Rotating Third Seat in 2022
When Gordon announced his departure from the FOX Sports booth, he created questions about whether there would be a permanent replacement. McReynolds teased a potential return to the booth, but the expectation is that he will remain in the FOX Sports studio.
According to Adam Stern of the Sports Business Journal, FOX Sports will take a different approach in 2022. The longtime insider reported on January 22 that there will be a rotation throughout the year to fill the third seat. Stewart will only be the first person to take this spot as he reunites with a former teammate in Bowyer.
FOX Sports has used special guests for other races on the schedule in recent years. Drivers such as Kevin Harvick, Kurt Busch, Ryan Blaney, Bubba Wallace, and Brad Keselowski among others have helped call both Camping World Truck Series and Xfinity Series races.
Stewart & Bowyer Previously Called a Race Together
The trips to Los Angeles and Daytona will not mark the first time that Bowyer and Stewart have worked together in the booth. The duo previously joined forces to call a race at Daytona International Speedway, albeit with a different play-by-play man.
Stewart and Bowyer made their in-booth debut together in 2021 to kick off the NASCAR Xfinity Series season. They joined Adam Alexander on the broadcast and provided commentary as Austin Cindric won both the pole position and the season-opening race.
The team-up between the two former Cup Series drivers entertained viewers at home, and they will aim to provide the same level of entertainment in 2022 while welcoming the Gen 7 era of NASCAR.
“It’s going to be awesome working with my buddy Clint Bowyer,” Stewart said in a video celebrating the news. “Poor Mike Joy, he’s got to babysit both of us. Excited. We’ll see you soon.”