Ever watch the TV show “Home Improvement”? Yep, the Tim Allen show from the 90’s about a hilarious handyman was a huge hit for eight seasons, and no matter the show’s plot, there was always one phrase that the comedian preached on every episode: “More power! Arrrrr, arrr, arrr!”
Times haven’t changed. Whether utilizing the rays of the sun or the gusts that spin the giant blades of a wind turbine, our planet is the home to some super-smart scientific folks searching for the latest and greatest source of energy. Heck, down in Texas, Willie Nelson once toured on a bus powered by soybeans! OK, it was actually biodiesel made of this member of the pea family, but still…following his bus was like being downwind of a fast-food burger joint!
Solar power. Wind power. Burger power. They’re all pretty darn cool. But, they got nothin’ on a California ball of fire that’s currently touring the country with the nitrofreaks from the NHRA. Not even close. You want energy? You gotta meet Amanda Busick.
Busick, a correspondent for the Fox 1 Sports coverage of the 2018 Mello Yello Tour, is a California resident who loves telling the many tales that are written by the cast of characters at NHRA events across the country. Whether taking a 1000-foot walk with a nitro pilot, or interviewing a driver while dodging pit crew members in the midst of a 90-minute motor rebuild, her energy and enthusiasm for her craft practically pours out of the TV screen.
But there’s tons more to this native North Carolinian than meets our viewing eyes, and in this installment of Getting Off Track, we learn that she plans to hang out with a bunch of buffalo, her wish for her last meal, and the reason she’d hang out with a ballroom dancer. Let’s get Trackin’!
RPM–Talk about a TV show that you’ll stop everything to watch.
AB–Probably “Fixer-Upper” with Chip and Joanna Gaines. I’d binge-watch that.
RPM–You’re asked to film a reality show about your life. What are we going to learn about you that we don’t already know, and what would be the name of the show?
AB–Oh goodness! The name of the show would be “Surviving the Dream.” Ummm…what people don’t know about me is I’m a small-town girl from North Carolina that lives in downtown Los Angeles with my mom and my cousin.
RPM–Let’s say you’ve been chosen to be on “Dancing With The Stars.” Your partner is not a professional dancer, but another celebrity. Who would you want as your dance partner?
AB–I would need someone that’s going to help me with the dancing. Ummm…ooooh…who’s a good dancer? Maybe I’d just take Jim Oberhofer. (Vice-President of Kalitta Motorsports) He’s a ballroom dancer. Can we call him a celebrity?
AB–Yes, I’ll take Jim Oberhofer.
RPM–Talk about something you want to buy for yourself but you just keep putting it off.
AB–Ummm..probably a vacation with my mom.
RPM–Where would you go?
AB–Europe. She lived in Germany when she was a little girl. I’d like to take her back. Munich.
RPM–What store would you most like to be locked up in overnight?
AB–(Laughing) Locked up in overnight…a store. Hmmm…that’s a good one. Ummm…it’s probably like a Best Buy. I think that would be fun. I’d probably play “Rock Band” all night.
RPM–For a moment, think about the Seven Dwarfs. I’m not going to ask you to name them, but…which of the dwarfs is most similar to you?
AB–Hmmm…I’d say Happy! Yeah.
RPM–Alright, now…create the 8th dwarf for us.
AB–Ummm…create a dwarf. I would say…there wasn’t a Smiley. We’ll go Smiley.
RPM–Occasionally, you’re on the road for long periods of time, so you don’t always get home cooking. But, what’s in your refrigerator right now?
AB–My mom’s homemade pimento cheese. That’s what I ask for. I’m lucky. My mom makes sure that I’m fed well, so we typically have a stocked refrigerator.
RPM–Complete this sentence: “I wish someone would invent a ______.”
AB–A hair dryer holder so I don’t have to hold it. (Laughs)
RPM–You’re going on a week-long car trip with two other people. There’s only one little problem: the radio doesn’t work.
RPM–Lots of talking.
RPM–No family members on this trip. Who would you love to travel with, in a car, for a week, but with no radio?
AB–Oh, gosh. Who would be an interesting person to talk to? Let’s see. Barbara Walters. I’d want to know her entire life story. And…let’s say…Chelsea Handler. (Comedian, hosted “Chelsea Lately” on the E! Network) She’d make it fun. She’d tell jokes. Car trips can be annoying. She’d be able to bring that layer. She’d create the fun.
RPM–Where would you go on this trip?
AB–Well, believe it or not, we’re doing a car trip for the Western Swing, and we’re going from Denver to Sonoma to Seattle, and we’re doing all these stops along the way. We’re going to feed bison, mine for gold, whale-watching. I think Cruz Pedregon wants to go to a prison, so…(Laughs)
RPM–I hate to tell you, but I like to eat bison.
AB–I like to eat bison burgers. I’m with you.
RPM–Who can you count on to make you laugh…someone you know personally?
AB–Lauren Adams. She works out here with us. You’ll see her with me all the time. Without a doubt, Lauren has me rolling all the time.
RPM–Let’s pretend that someone has already written your autobiography. We open up the book to read it. What does the first line say?
AB–First line of my autobiography. “Small-town girl from McLeansville, outside Greensboro, North Carolina.”
RPM–In high school, you were the person most likely to_______?
AB–It’s sounds really….I was friends with everyone. I started an anti-bigotry club in high school,
and I always wanted to make people feel included.
RPM–And, you were the person least likely to_____?
AB–Least likely toooo…hmmm…high school was funny for me, because I did a lot. Least likely to…(Long pause) show up on time. (Laughs)
RPM–What did your first grade report card say about you?
AB–Actually, I know what it said about me. It said I liked to lead the class. It wasn’t a kind thing. It was like, “She’s bossy.” (Laughs)
RPM–So, you pretty much took over the lessons? What did you teach?
AB–I was really strong in Math, and then I grew to hate Math and fell in love with History and more of the Literature.
RPM–You’ve been on a deserted island for a year. You come off the island. What’s the first meal you want to have, and where do you want to go to eat it?
AB–(No hesitation) Chips and queso. In the South. White queso. Oh, yes.
RPM–Any special restaurant?
AB–It doesn’t matter. Just anywhere in the South that has white queso, because you cannot get it outside of the South. It’s the craziest thing to me. Chips and queso. Would be my last meal. $2.99. Sign me up.
RPM–What’s the very first place you went in your car after you got your driver’ license?
AB–(Immediately) To high school. I was the person who got my license the day of my birthday, and I still remember pulling out and looking over with no one being in the passenger’s seat and I drove to high school. It was the most unique feeling.
RPM–When you look at your bank account register, (Amanda is already laughing) what gets most of your money?
AB–Rent in downtown Los Angeles. (Keeps laughing)
AB–Store…you know what store gets a lot of my money? Uber. Yeah, so I like to spend money on experience. I like to travel, or go to restaurants. I don’t really do a lot of shopping. I like to spend my money doing things.
RPM–You mentioned food. Do you consider yourself a foodie?
AB–Do I like to cook? I tend to be on the road too much, so I don’t do a lot of cooking, but I like to make…I like hosting. I like doing big meals, having family over. Big casseroles, lasagnas, meatloaf, chicken pot pie. I like big comfort family foods.
RPM–Choose one. Which would you want to make the most?
AB–My mom’s lasagna.
RPM–What magazine cover would you like to be on most of all?
AB–Probably Sports Business Journal. It’s the publication that recognizes Sports media and what people are doing in our world. You know, it would be great to have the honor come from what we’re doing here at the NHRA and this new era for our fans and in motorsports.
RPM–What do you want to be known for the most?
AB–I think the best part about my job is that I get to tell stories of some really awesome people, and being able to bring that out and have them trust me with that…that to me would be…for me it’s about having the respect of my peers and the people I work with. I love that our fans love what we do, but I get the most enjoyment and joy making the people around me proud.
RPM–Last question. In five words or less…what’s the secret to life?
AB–Trust the process