Tony Stewart, not Jeff Gordon, was in the Fox NASCAR broadcast booth alongside Mike Joy and Clint Bowyer this past weekend at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.
The Fox NASCAR broadcast booth has seen quite a bit of change in recent years, and that is the case once again for the 2022 Cup Series season, with Jeff Gordon out after spending the last six seasons alongside play-by-play announcer Mike Joy.
The booth has not looked the same since the 2018 and 2019 seasons, when Joy was joined by color commentators Gordon and Darrell Waltrip for the third and fourth consecutive years.
But Waltrip, a three-time Cup Series champion, retired after the 2019 season, leaving just Joy and Gordon, a four-time champion, for 2020.
Clint Bowyer joined them in 2021, making the long-rumored switch to broadcasting after retiring from his Cup Series career following the 2020 season, but once again, things have changed.
After the 2021 season, Gordon made the decision to move on.
He stepped down from his booth duties and opted to become the vice chairman of Hendrick Motorsports, making him the second-ranking member of the team to chairman and majority owner Rick Hendrick.
Hendrick has long said that Gordon will be the man who takes over his spot at the helm of the organization once he retires. This expanded role had been in the works for the 93-time Cup Series race winner for several years.
Hendrick Motorsports was the only team for which Gordon drove throughout his Cup Series career, which lasted from 1992 to 2016 (1993 to 2015 as a full-time driver), and he signed a lifetime contract with the organization in 1999. To this day, he remains the lone partner in the organization.
Gordon was in attendance for Sunday’s Cup Series season-opening Busch Light Clash exhibition race at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, but he was not in the booth; he was serving as one of the multiple grand marshals ahead of the first ever race at the home of the USC Trojans football team.
Gordon does not yet have an official replacement in the Fox booth, making his departure similar to that of Waltrip.
However, there was still a third member present this weekend, and there is set to be one present throughout Fox’s portion of the 2022 schedule, unlike in 2020.
Three-time Cup Series champion Tony Stewart joined Joy and Bowyer for Sunday’s race, and he is set to join them for the official season-opening Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway in two weeks as well.
However, the third seat in the booth is set to feature a rotation of individuals from now until Fox’s portion of the schedule wraps up with the 36-race season’s 16th race at Sonoma Raceway on Sunday, June 12.