NASCAR: Why isn’t Tony Stewart in the Fox booth at Las Vegas?

Fox Sports, Tony Stewart, NASCAR (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)
Fox Sports, Tony Stewart, NASCAR (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images) /

For the first time in the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series season, Tony Stewart isn’t in the Fox broadcast booth for Sunday’s race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

The third race of the 36-race 2023 NASCAR Cup Series season is set to take place at Las Vegas Motor Speedway later this afternoon, but the Fox broadcast booth is set to look slightly different than it has in recent weeks.

Mike Joy is still the lead announcer and Clint Bowyer is still the analyst, but Danica Patrick is set to be in the third spot instead of Tony Stewart, who joined Joy and Bowyer for the Busch Light Clash preseason exhibition race at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, the official season-opening Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway, and the Pala Casino 400 at Auto Club Speedway.

The reason for this is the fact that Fox refrained from committing to a single individual in the booth for the 2023 season to effectively keep the seat open for Kevin Harvick in 2024 once he retires from full-time Cup Series competition.

They rotated individuals in the third spot throughout the 2022 season as well, with Jeff Gordon having stepped away from his full-time role after Fox’s 2021 portion of the broadcast schedule to focus on his new role as Vice Chairman of Hendrick Motorsports.

Tony Stewart is set to return to the Fox broadcast booth, but not for another two weeks of NASCAR Cup Series action.

Just as she did last year, Patrick is set to call both this afternoon’s race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and next Sunday afternoon’s race at Phoenix Raceway. Stewart is set to return for the race at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Sunday, March 19.

Throughout last season, Fox generally selected other announcers to join Joy and Bowyer as the season progressed, from the Busch Light Clash all the way until their final race of the season at Sonoma Raceway in June.

They didn’t enter the year with a fixed schedule in terms of who would be the third booth member, and they haven’t done that this year either.

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Tune in to Fox this afternoon at 3:30 p.m. ET for the live broadcast of the Pennzoil 400 from Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Start a free trial of FuboTV if you haven’t already done so!