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Now You’re Talking

Knowing how to speak sports has taken Amanda Busick ’08 to reporting on the dragway.

Photographs courtesy of Amanda Busick ’08.

By Jack Daly ’01

The road that led Amanda Busick ’08 to sports broadcasting is much longer than the quarter-mile dragstrips from which she now reports for the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA).

After graduating with a business degree, Busick’s career plans evaporated amid the global financial crisis. With nothing to lose, Busick moved to New York to see if she could find a broadcasting job. TV was Busick’s first passion; she grew up in Greensboro, N.C., watching morning weather reports that she then repeated to her mother.

After relocating, Busick experienced many of the twists and turns associated with media careers. She initially supported herself by working at a steakhouse — Del Frisco’s — before leveraging connections to catch on at an agency that represented sports broadcasters. That led to her landing as a production assistant at the upstart Campus Insiders network in Chicago in 2012 before another financial crisis struck closer to home. Her mother had to move in with her; Busick left broadcasting for a more stable income in sales in the meat industry.

Busick’s gift for connecting with people not only opened doors in television, but it also contributed to growing her territory 100% in the first eight months selling Italian sausages. Her strategy was talking with clients about sports.

Serendipity struck when Busick heard from an old friend from Del Frisco’s. It was 2015, and the NHRA was moving from ESPN to Fox Sports. The network had openings for prime positions on the broadcast. Was Busick interested?

“I was hesitant to even take the first meeting with the executive producer,” Busick says. “It’s kind of a heartbreaking path in pursuit of your dream sometimes. But the 30-minute conversation I was supposed to have with the executive producer turned into two hours.”

“You can smell it, taste it, hear it, feel it — 10,000 horsepower per car just rocketing through your body.” —Amanda Busick ’08

She flew herself to Dallas to watch a race and was hooked. “It is a sensory overload of a sport,” she says. “You can smell it, taste it, hear it, feel it — 10,000 horsepower per car just rocketing through your body.”

Some six years later, Busick thinks she has the best job in sports. “After two cars that go 330 mph down a drag strip and turn off, I am the first person they see. So you can imagine the intensity of moments you can have in that place, from defeat to pure joy and glory. “I get to see it all.”

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