NASCAR: Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Mike Joy Disagree on One Longtime Tradition

by Caitlin Berard
(Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

NASCAR fans of today have become accustomed to watching front stretch interviews, in which a reporter is waiting with a microphone immediately following the winner’s victory burnout. In years past, however, each NASCAR race came with a Victory Lane interview instead, capturing every second of the winner’s celebration with their team. Drinks flew, confetti rained down, and fans were pulled into the moment with their favorite NASCAR drivers.

One NASCAR fan took to Twitter to express his disappointment in the replacement of Victory Lane interviews, saying he’ll miss them forever. This opinion was met with overwhelming agreement, both from fellow NASCAR fans and Dale Earnhardt Jr.

NASCAR announcer Mike Joy, on the other hand, said that he prefers the new layout. “TV and Nascar agreed on interviewing the winner at start/finish, capturing immediate raw emotion and sharing it with fans close by,” Joy wrote. “It also eliminates a sometimes long and uncomfortable pause getting the winning car to victory lane. We often show shots from the VL celebration.”

“Victory Lane got to be a joke,” he continued in a second tweet. “People drape a towel on the driver covering up his sponsors, put hats on his head, change them mid-interview, stack crap on the roof of the car, and even put up a ‘fence’ so he couldn’t swat competing brands off his roof. Sad fight for TV airtime.”

Dale Earnhardt Jr Agrees With NASCAR Fans About Victory Lane

With over 50 years of involvement with racing, there’s no question that Mike Joy’s opinions on NASCAR are valuable. That said, he was vastly outnumbered by fans who much prefer the old Victory Lane celebrations.

Dale Earnhardt Jr, a big name in NASCAR himself, to say the least, then chimed in as well. And to NASCAR fans’ delight, he was on their side. “Have to agree that this does more for me than the often awkward front stretch interviews,” Earnhardt wrote. “The first thing a driver usually wants to do after taking the checkered flag is get to his crew to celebrate. It’s a special moment.”