The 36-race 2024 NASCAR Cup Series season isn't officially scheduled to get underway for another three weekends, but Cup Series action is indeed back this weekend with the Busch Light Clash preseason exhibition race at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.
And the Fox broadcast booth has a different look for the year ahead.
Kevin Harvick, who retired from driving at the end of the 2023 season to conclude a 23-year Hall of Fame-worthy career, is set to join lead announcer Mike Joy and analyst Clint Bowyer. Harvick is a former teammate of Bowyer, having spent time with him at both Richard Childress Racing and Stewart-Haas Racing.
The 2014 NASCAR Cup Series champion is set to make his Cup Series broadcasting debut this weekend.
The 60-time race winner's long-anticipated move to the broadcast booth signifies a change in Fox's approach from the last few seasons, as it marks the first time they have had three full-time announcers since 2021.
After Jeff Gordon left the team following the 2021 season, his sixth in the booth, to focus on his new role as Vice Chairman of Hendrick Motorsports, Fox could have stuck with a two-man booth like they did in 2020 with Joy and Gordon following Darrell Waltrip's 2019 retirement.
Instead, they went with a three-person approach, but with that third person varying from race to race. Former NASCAR drivers such as Tony Stewart, Danica Patrick, Matt Kenseth, and yes, even Gordon and Waltrip, spent time in the booth during Fox's portion of the broadcast schedule in 2022 and 2023.
While they have not ruled out having occasional guests throughout their portion of the 2024 schedule, which runs from this weekend's race through the race at Sonoma Raceway on Sunday, June 9, their booth is officially set with three full-time announcers again.
In fact, when Fox opted to take the same approach in 2023 as they did in 2022, it was widely believed that they were trying to keep the third spot free for Harvick whenever he decided to retire (as opposed to hiring somebody else for possibly only one year).
When he formally announced his post-2023 retirement before the 2023 season began, it was indeed only a matter of time before his new destination was confirmed.
Fox Sports 1 is set to broadcast the Busch Light Clash live from Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum beginning at 8:00 p.m. ET on Saturday, February 3, one day earlier than initially scheduled due to bad weather.
The 2024 season is officially scheduled to begin on Sunday, February 18 with the 66th annual Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway. Fox is set to provide live coverage of the "Great American Race" beginning at 2:30 p.m. ET. Start a free trial of FuboTV and don't miss any of the action!