GUEST: Alanis King - Automotive and Motorsport Writer, Reporter, and Presenter

Episode Transcript

Julia Landauer 0:05 Hello everybody and welcome back to another episode of if I'm honest with Julia Landauer. Today I'm thrilled to be joined by Alanis King who is a writer, editor podcaster and video presenter who focuses on cars and motorsports. She started writing for car magazines while in high school and never really stopped. She's worked for Jalopnik, Business Insider, Road and Track, top gear, Donut Media and many more. And she's currently a full time video presenter for Doug Demuro's online car auction website, cars and bids. She also wrote a book about Formula One called racing with rich energy. And she is just so great. Such high energy. So smart, so articulate, and I'm thrilled to have her on the show with me. Alanis, thank you for joining me on if I'm honest. Alanis King 0:42 Oh, you're so welcome. Thank you for having me. I'm glad to be here. Julia Landauer 0:45 So I saw you in my then Twitter feed a few years ago. And I don't know I just came across you. And I thought oh, my goodness, she is articulate. She is sassy. She is real. She is honest. And you know a lot about cars. So I was immediately interested. And then I think we kind of started interacting a little more over the last year or so. And 2022 When I was doing more in XFINITY and I was listening to your Twitter spaces, I've joined a few Twitter spaces. And yeah, so I'm just really thrilled to have this conversation with you, because I think you are a wonderful voice in motorsports and a different voice in motorsports. I think it's fair to say so thank you. Alanis King 1:26 Oh, my God, that's so nice. No, I was I was talking to Alex Bowman the other day. And he was like, You're feisty on Twitter. And I was like Alex, I tried to be so nice. Julia Landauer 1:36 This is the pared down. Like, Alanis King 1:39 this is me being nice. And I just love that, like people are like, oh, yeah, you're like feisty and sassy. And I'm like I am but I try not to like direct it toward people. You know, I try to be really nice to people. But I think because it's just a different voice than people are used to, like people are used to just like, generic, like updates about things like Oh, I'm doing this, or oh, this driver is doing this. And I think because I bring that like, you know, like more smart mouth side to it. People are like, Oh, you're kind of scary. Julia Landauer 2:11 That's so interesting because at least you're consistent, though, like you're consistent across the board in your tone. I think also, like I speak for myself here certainly, like I get nervous about, you know, people misunderstanding my tone, or not picking up on sass or sarcasm. And so then I'm always inclined to not send the X post at this juncture. So I'm gonna want to get into this a little bit more in a bit. But for people who may not be familiar with you, you are a motorsports journalist. And I was watching a clip that you did with Jay Leno. So Alanis King 2:45 Oh, my goodness. Julia Landauer 2:46 And I'm saying this only for the fact that you had mentioned that you got tickets to a NASCAR race when you were about 12. And that kind of hooked you on to the sport. So my question is, like, Did you know In that moment, like, I want to be involved in this forever? Or was it something that you were interested in? And then kind of dove into, was motorsports journalism always on your radar? Talk to me? Alanis King 3:07 Oh, my goodness, I love this question. Because I have such a bizarre answer. So when I was a kid, I had a very good friend who always knew what she wanted to do with her life at the time, she wanted to be a global correspondent for CNN. And we were like, 11, right. And she would always ask me, like, what do you want to do with your life? And I would say, I don't know, I really don't know there is nothing that I feel so passionate about that I want to do it every single day. And she would just respond. Like, I don't know how I don't know how that's the case. I don't know how you haven't found something that you're so passionate about that you want to do. And we're like, 12, right, gosh, and I always felt because you know, when you're a kid, and you get asked, What do you want to be when you grow up? Most of the kids have an answer. They're like, I want to be the president, I want to be a teacher, I want to be a lawyer, I want to be a doctor. And I never had that. I was like, I don't know, I really don't know what I want to be when I grow up, because I have not come across that yet. And I do think a lot of those answers come from the fact that like, you're just expected to pick something, even if it's not something that you're just like, I am so passionate about being a doctor like you're 12 you know, you're 12. And so I think people are just so pressured into picking something that they pick something. I didn't, I didn't want to do that. And I hadn't found something that I wanted to do. And so when I was 13 It was 2009. So we were about a year into the great recession. And my mom got free tickets to a NASCAR race from her job. And she said we're going to NASCAR at Texas Motor Speedway in April. And I was like that sounds awful. Like I That sounds like the worst way to spend a weekend ever. I don't want to do that. And she said it's the recession. And if you want to go on a vacation, we're going to NASCAR and I was like, That still sounds awful and we went, right. So we drove up to Texas Motor Speedway. And I remember we drive up and this facility was like, it looked like something God would live in like, it was so big, because you go to other sporting facilities, and you know, it's housing a football stadium or a basketball arena or whatever. This is a one and a half mile giant piece of pavement, basically. And you look at the walls around this thing. And it's like a, it's like a castle. It's like, it's crazy. And so I see this and I'm like, oh, okay, this is interesting. We walk in there like some dale earnhardt, jr. Shirts for sale. And my mom's like, that's Dale, Jr. and I was like, who's dale jr. And she was like, That's Dale Sr.'s son. And I was like, who's Dale Sr? I didn't know what was going on. I was like, what is the I don't who is that and we go in. We went to the XFINITY race on Saturday, then it was the Nationwide Series. So we go to the nationwide race on Saturday. And these cars go by and they like take the green flag and it's a field, I think it was 40 Back then maybe 43. I'm not sure. They take the green flag. And it just like shakes the earth like the grandstands are rattling and you look off into the distance and you feel like you can see the end of the world because you're so high up watching this. And like all the smells and the sights, everything was just like extremely visceral, like, the tire smells, and the gas smells like it'll almost make you nauseous. And I was just like, Okay, this is what I want to do with my life. I don't know what's going on. I have no idea what's happening in front of me. But I've found what I want to do with my life. And so we watched that nationwide race. Kyle Busch wins the race. And we were there. We got free tickets from my mom's job. So one of her co workers was there was there. He was a huge dale earnhardt jr. fan. And he said, You can't be a fan of Kyle Busch. That guy is a punk. And I was like, he won the race. So I became a Kyle Busch fan. And it was really interesting. I rewatched, the April, Samsung 500, that first cup race I went to, I rewatched it the other day, and I didn't understand what was going on then. But in that race, Kyle had a bunch of issues on pit road, he had some issues with his wheel. And he ended up spending the whole race trying to race for his lap back. And I had no idea what was going on then. But it was so fascinating to rewatch it for the first time and see like the amount of like strategy and head down, just like driving he had to try to do to try to get labs back. It was really impressive. And that was it. I saw this and I said that's what I'm going to do. And I have not missed a NASCAR race since I watched every single race from that day forward. I had no idea who anybody was or what was going on. And I just learned everything as I went. I watched every single weekend. Julia Landauer 8:06 That is amazing. I feel like you should be a paid spokesperson for NASCAR because that was like the best advertisement for it I've ever heard. No. Especially because for those who don't know NASCAR has released all of their races, I think on Yes. Now classics channel. Yeah, exactly. So people have gone back and watch them. That is truly incredible. Do you remember where you were sitting in the grandstands section? Alanis King 8:28 109. Julia Landauer 8:30 For those of us who have not been to Texas Motor Speedway, is that like turn one? Is it straight away Alanis King 8:34 It's right on the start finish line? Like you're basically looking down. Yeah, it was section 109. And it might be in front of the start finish line and you look a little bit backward at the start finish line, but it's right in the middle. Yeah, it was section 109. And I remember watching those races we had the same tickets both days and when I was little is really interesting. When I was a young teen, I remember sitting in the grandstands watching this like once I was a fan I remember watching these races and going there is such a divide between me and the inside of the track and like the wall in the middle is the track and like I can't get down there. But I want so badly to be down there. And now that's like that's what I do. Like I'm down there, you're there and I get to do that I get to like I get to be on the other side of it whenever I want and it's just I really do try to center myself and go. What you do is very, very cool. And it took a lot of work to get there because 13 year old you who was becoming a Kyle Busch fan for the first time and like 14 year old you who cried when he wrecked Ron Hornaday and got parked and you didn't get to watch him race that weekend like literally, he got parked for the weekend at Texas Motor Speedway. I can't remember what year it was like maybe 2010. And I didn't get to watch the truck race because I had school. We were going up on Saturday and Sunday for the races and Kyle got parked, and I cried because I only got to watch Kyle drive twice a year. And I was like, the biggest Kyle Busch fan in the world. And now it's like, oh, yeah, now I like talk to Kyle Busch on the phone. You know, it's Julia Landauer 10:23 like those pinch me moments. Like, yeah, I'm living the dream that I had for myself. Alanis King 10:28 Yeah. And like teenage me would go, Oh, my gosh, you like interviewed Kyle Busch last week, and he was giving you ideas for your story, because he enjoys talking to you and like teenage me would cry. Julia Landauer 10:41 That's, that's incredible. That's so cool. Alanis King 10:45 It really is. And I try to remind myself of that, because you know, you can get really caught up in like, oh, yeah, this is the everyday like, whatever. I do this all the time. But childhood, you would just like marvel at it. Julia Landauer 11:01 Yeah. And it's not just NASCAR, right? Like you're talking about Formula One drivers. There's every all kinds of drivers. And that's just like, that's really cool. And I'm like getting goosebumps. That's like, being the dream that you want to have. So, so from so did you do? Did you study journalism in school? Did you go to school? I would be honest, I don't know that. But yeah, Alanis King 11:19 I did. Um, you know, it's actually interesting how I got into motorsports journalism and motorsports reporting and video stuff. The reason I chose this route was because when I was a kid, that's what I saw. And that also speaks to the lack of diversity among drivers in NASCAR and motorsports, in general, you didn't really see women driving, you didn't really see a lot of diversity in the driver ranks at all. And so when I was a teenager, I was a young teenager, all I really saw was women doing pit reporting, or women doing this. And that's fantastic. That's a great career. I love the career I've made from it. I think if I would have seen more women doing other things, maybe I would have had like more of a decision. But I made the decision based on what I saw women doing because you know, that's my childhood brain. Yeah. What you see is what you think you can do. And I said, Okay, that's what I'm going to do. And there wasn't much of a deviation from that. I went to school for journalism. I went to the University of Texas, and I ended up while I was in school, getting a job doing automotive journalism, so I had to learn the entire car industry. And I learned the car industry. And so now I do automotive and motorsports combined. And that is what got us here. Julia Landauer 12:37 That's amazing. So I want to read some of your some of your titles. Oh, are they called byline? I am because they're they're so diverse. And they're so impressive. Alanis King 12:45 Oh, thank you some of my headlines. Julia Landauer 12:46 Yeah, yeah, some of your headlines. I'm gonna read some of your headlines. So one that I loved "NASCAR street wear is in the challenge is bringing NASCAR with it." Ah, "the Austrian Grand Prix was a nightmare for female fans." Which sidebar so awful. Like, yeah, everything about that so awful. So I digress. Anyway, more headlines, "the making of Lando Norris's streaming Empire" "The crash that changed everything for Kyle Busch", which I remember, I'm assuming I'm remembering the same crash. "NASCAR pitstop training will break you" And I've got one more. "The $430,000 Rolls Royce ghost is a lesson in opulence and worthiness." So my question after that is, how do you get your ideas for what you want to write about? But then also, how do you or what is your process for taking the initial idea and getting it out there? Alanis King 13:40 Oh, my goodness, I love these questions there. These are so good. Like you did a really good job crafting these, oh, my goodness, I never get to talk about like my process. This is so fun. Julia Landauer 13:50 It's so interesting, because I don't do it. So I do it in a different capacity. But yeah, I'm really interested in your process. Alanis King 13:56 So I think people differ. And one of my good friends is Bozi Tatarevic. And we talk all the time. Bozi is like an all over the place person. He's like, I have ideas that are just here and here and here. And I just start writing them. And then I do whatever with them. I am a very structured person. So when I talk to someone, I am kind of like listening to what they say, and figuring out where it's going to go in a story. And I also when I have multiple sources in a story, I take what one of them says, and I feed it into another one because people really like the flow of one person says something and then another kind of response, even though they're not like directly responding to each other. They're playing off of each other. So whenever I'm talking to someone and whenever I'm doing interviews, or whenever I'm whenever I'm at an event, I'm looking for these key moments that I pulled out. So like what is my intro? What is my ending? What are my key transitions in the middle, and that's the process I take to write the story. And then I will note all of those down, and then fill in the quotes and fill in the information. And that's how I craft the story. I'm like, What is my beginning? What are my points in the middle? What is my end. And usually what I do is I'll do like interviews, and I'll go and I'll do whatever I need to do for the story. And then I'll just think about it for a while, like, maybe take two or three days of just thinking, what stands out to me. And usually I'll be like, in the shower or in bed, and I'll be like, That's the intro that that's the intro. And that's the end. And then I'll just pick up my phone and I'll go to the Notes app. And I'm like, this is the intro and this is the end. And then I'll get everything together. And I'll be like, okay, here are my highlights. And here's how I weave in between. So for example, I'm doing a story right now about car numbers in NASCAR. And for people listening who don't know, card numbers are team property in NASCAR in other series, like, you'll have drivers pick a number and that number stays with them forever. You know, Max Verstappen is the 33. Daniel Ricciardo is the three in Formula One. In NASCAR, if you move teams, you move numbers. So this whole brand that you've created around yourself changes. That's the story I'm working on right now. I talked to Kyle Busch last week about it because he moved from the 18 to the 8. I talked to Justin marks about it. And when I'm talking to Kyle Busch, he said, Just an idea here, I was thinking about this, have you talked to Kyle Larson? And I said, No, tell me more. And he said, Well, when Kyle Larson was young, he drove the one and his son Owen drove it drives the 01. And to me, that's kind of like the little one. But also, if you think of Owens initials, it's Owen Larson. And an O is a zero, and an L is a one. And so he was like, You should talk to Kyle and see if that's actually the case. And so I have Kyle Busch's quote about kyle larson. I'm talking to Kyle Larson tomorrow. And I will feed basically the basics of what Kyle Busch said to Kyle Larson, and see how he responds. And then those quotes will be next to each other. So I'm always thinking about the structure of it, and how I'm stalking people with each other, basically. And I tried to do that. Julia Landauer 17:19 That is so cool. So interesting. So with something like the numbers, is that just something where you were thinking about it? Or did the idea come to you or like from the for the for the seeds of a story idea? Is that just something that pops up? And you're like, Well, let me look into this a little more. Alanis King 17:36 So most of my ideas I come up with on my own. This one actually came from my editor at ESPN, he was like, I'm really interested in car numbers, will you check it out and see what you see? And I was like, Yeah, that sounds great. So that was one that actually came from an editor. Most of my stories, they'll all just like, dream up in my head, and I'll go, Hey, can I do this? This sounds fun, or someone will come to me. And I'll go, oh, that's a story. So like, yeah, with the Austrian Grand Prix, there were a lot of there were a lot of anecdotes online about how bad it was last year with the Austrian Grand Prix. And so I put out a call out and I said, Hey, if you were there, come to me. Let's talk about it. You have to confirm that these people were there, you have to confirm that. Yeah, like, to some degree, what they're telling you lines up with what they did. So like, obviously, I wasn't there. I can't confirm all of these little things happen. But what I did with that story was I confirmed that they submitted complaints that aligned with their story to me. And so these people submitted complaints to the track and to f1 and everything like that. That was kind of how I backed up their stories that they had already submitted complaints with what they told me so sometimes you'll come to me, sometimes my editor will have an idea. Sometimes it's my idea. Sometimes you just like dream it up out of nowhere, right? I think the NASCAR streetwear. That's just an example of a trend story. You see trends that are going on in life, and you write about those trends, and you find relevant people to tell you about those trends. And people love trends stories, because they're like, why is everybody wearing NASCAR gear? Why don't they know the names of the people on the gear they're wearing? Yeah, that's something that tries to answer that question. Julia Landauer 19:21 Okay, no, that makes sense. So then, I'm thinking about, like, you know, I think the closest that I have to this is one with the podcasting, but also with giving keynotes and like the stories that I'm telling. And so I found that audio storytelling or oral storytelling is where I do well. And so for me when I'm practicing a keynote, especially if I'm putting together new stories and new themes that I'm talking about, when I'm going through it, I will talk out loud, I will record myself all that stuff, and I just kind of have a gut feeling when it doesn't flow right or if the transitions aren't perfect or if the story is not punchy enough and how I'm delivering it I can't there's no scientific backing of winging it. I feel like it works or it doesn't. But I just know in my gut, do you have a similar thing with the final product of what you're delivering? Whether it's video or written or something where like, you have like a very specific editing process, or what's that like final product, like, Alanis King 20:16 it's absolutely a gut feeling. But it's also in writing in writing in particular, which is very different from like speaking or video or anything else. In writing, in particular, what you want to do is get your point across in the fewest, simplest words possible. So what I'll do is I will write a story. So that pitcrew story I did, that was another thing I had wanted to do, from the time I was a kid. So when I was 15, I went to Joe Gibbs racing, and I watched them practice their pitstops. And I was like, I want to learn how to be a tire changer. And, you know, 10 years later, however long after I finally got to do that, and it was the wildest experience in the world. So what I will do is, I will write the full story, and I'll just like, write it all out, then I'll wait a little while, and then I'll go, there are a lot of extra words here that don't need to be here. So with that story, in particular, I think I wrote like 25 to 2800 words originally, and I brought it down to 1500. I cut 1000 words, yeah, cut 1000 words, because what you'll do is you'll keep that original draft, and then you'll make a copy of it. And then you'll just start accessing from it. Just cut, cut, cut. And it makes you really think what is necessary for this story to get the story across, and you'll read the original again. And then you'll read the one where you cut 50% of the words and you'll go, this new one is more impactful than the original with all of the extra stuff. Yeah. And that's what I like to do I just freefall write everything. And then cut it by probably 40% is what I usually do. Julia Landauer 22:05 Oh, yeah, sound process. That's, it's Alanis King 22:07 I love cutting things like I love Cutting Words, because I'm like, Oh, I don't need that. It's like a little brain puzzle. You know, we were talking before we started recording about like, word games and stuff like that. It's like a little brain puzzle. How many words can I get away with? Like, I need to cut the extras? Julia Landauer 22:27 And like what's, you know, I think it's always really satisfying. Just how do you how do you make it as punchy as possible and most impactful, and it was interesting, because I was on a pre event call for an upcoming client, and they were talking about how they have are gonna have a lot of international people in the audience. And so it'll be really important to be as simple as possible in my delivery of what I'm doing. And it was kind of a reminder to me, and like, I experienced this with my husband and international friends, because he's French needing to kind of think about your audience in that capacity is really cool. I didn't really continue that thought as I thought I was going to, but it's just it's a good exercise. And how do you keep it simple so that everyone can have access to it? And? Alanis King 23:09 Exactly, it's great. No, you're so right. And, you know, I thought you did the thought really well, because it's exactly how I feel it's you want to get these you want to get these points across in words that normal people understand it's an it's a very common practice. In journalism, where you can't use journalism speak, you also don't want to just like be a thesaurus. Because you're not impressing anyone, by using like, rare words that no one knows. Like, you want someone to be able to read a story without having to Google the words that you're using. You also want someone to be able to read a story without having to Google the characters. Like when I'm talking about these car numbers, I have to tell you why Kyle Busch is the 18 why it was such a big deal, that he is no longer the 18. You also have to when you're doing these things you have to write for speak for present for the audience you want, but also the audience you have. So you need to tell people the basics of what's going on. You need to tell people who these people are, why they're important without being redundant for the hardcore fans who are tuning in as well. Julia Landauer 24:22 Definitely. And that kind of, I think it's an art in writing and speaking whatever that kind of the giving the education like the very basic level of education in a niche area, because not everyone's going to know it and it's special and that it makes people feel seen, I think and that's the feedback I've gotten is that it makes people feel seen that I recognize that not everyone is a racing fan, and therefore not everyone's going to know what qualifying is, you know, like and just giving you a one liner that helps it Oh, very cool. It's cool. There's such similarities. So we're gonna take a quick break, but we'll be right back with Alanis King Julia Landauer 25:09 We're back with the Alanis King on if I'm honest, so we were talking about your process for writing and for the videos and everything. It seems that journalism or having an opinion in general can welcome a lot of negativity online. And I see this in comments on not not just stuff that you post, but anyone else. And I think it's particularly bad for women, especially women who are smart, and women who are opinionated, especially in certain demographics. And I've personally always been a bit of a people pleaser, and I've always been aware that as a quote unquote public figure, you know, what I say has impact I don't want people to perceive it the wrong way. And so I tend to, like shy away from saying stuff that I deem might be a little more controversial. Does it ever scare you? Or do you ever get nervous having a stronger opinionated voice? Alanis King 26:03 No. I mean, it's, it's a thing that impacts a lot of people, people wonder, like, should I say these things online? What should I do? How are people going to treat me, I think the thing about me is that I am very well versed in the internet. And I'm also very well versed in like, modern talking points, and like modern discussions about diversity, and how to speak and how to not make people feel left out, and also how to give your opinion without offending people. And like, if you do offend people, they're probably just like, offended for a goofy reason, not for a real reason. So I'll give you an example. As an editor, a word I see a lot is lame. Another word I see a lot is blind or deaf. Those are disability words. And when you're using Disability words, you need to use disability words to describe disabilities not to describe situations. So you don't want to call so you don't want to say, oh, that's lame. That's a disability word. Like you don't use that. And so I think of these things, and I think of my words that I use and how that affects people, and also how it may alienate people or how it may offend people, and I go, Oh, wow, yeah, that's like a legitimate issue, I will take that out of my speaking and out of my writing, and out of all the things I do, and I tried to be very, very conscious of including everyone, when I'm speaking about things, I also know that in order to drive any conversation forward, you have to have opinions. And when people don't have opinions, nothing moves forward. Nothing moves forward. And you also don't teach people. So a thing I have noticed, in the many years of being on the internet, is there will be very, very vocal detractors, and people who just hate me a lot and harass me and whatever. Usually, about five or six years later, they'll come around and they'll go, Hey, I was wrong. And you taught me a lot about how to see the world. And I'll go, glad I did, buddy. Good to see ya. Yeah, that happens. It happens a lot. And so I'll be like, great. I'm so glad I could help you. So a thing I like to think about when I'm putting my opinions out there is Yes, I am going to make some people mad. But if those people like my work enough, and like my jokes enough, and like the things I do enough, eventually they will start listening. And also not even on like the controversial stuff just on the stuff you say, in general, people will pay attention if they know that you speak about the important things. So a thing I think everyone has to learn on the internet, especially opinionated people is you can't be opinionated about every little thing that happens. Because then even if you're right, even if it's a legitimate complaint, it is the boy who cried wolf people will be like, Stop, come on, like it's every single day. And is it fair that they do that? No, not really, because you know, you're making legitimate complaints. But if you space it out, and you save it for the stuff that really, really, really matters, people will associate you with positivity, they'll associate you with, like, whatever your personality traits are. And then when you do, say something that's impactful, and you do have an opinion, they'll go okay, maybe I need to stop and listen. Let me let me see what she says whether I agree with her or not. Let me see what she says. And I think that's something I've morphed into over the years, like, maybe in 2015, I would talk about things that made me mad more often. Now. I'll talk about those things in group chats and like talks with my friends. But I'm not necessarily going to talk about every little thing that happens because when I do talk about something, I want you to pay attention, and I think that's really, really important. And I just think it's important And to know your audiences know who is watching. And also know that when you say something, even if it is opinionated, you are not offending people or alienating people or doing the wrong thing. And I think that scares a lot of people. But I have, I feel like I have a really good handle on it. Julia Landauer 30:19 That's awesome. And I think you do too. And again, I think it comes across in the consistency, it comes across, in in your replies to people like, I know this about myself that I'm a very reactionary person, I know this, whether it comes to an email that comes in I'm like, typing out my answer within 30 seconds of receiving it, or if something you know, I know that that is an area that I will constantly have to work on. Do you find yourself like when you do choose to respond to people? Is it something that you will come back to? Or is it kind of what you think in the moment is what you send out and you're clearly level headed and be a little less reactionary than I am. And then it just comes naturally. Alanis King 31:01 You know, I honestly feel like it comes pretty naturally. And a thing I equate myself with a lot is my friend JR Houston. He is an engineer on the 23 car in the Cup series, he sends me this screenshot a lot. And it's a screenshot of an exchange on Twitter, where a person is like, can anybody name a fruit that is also held like has the name of a color in it, and someone response and it's like starfruit, and the person is like, so close, that's a shape and puts a heart at the end. Like, it's not a color, that's a shape. That's how I act on Twitter. So like people say, like the Most Out there things, they'll say something that's just like, totally wild and totally wrong. And I'll be like, hey, really close there. But um, and so, I think I think that comes from learning to not take offense, and also learning to know that what people are saying should only affect you in very, very specific situations. So the thing I always tell people, is, if you would never do what this other person is doing, then ignore it. It doesn't matter. So if I would never go on Twitter and say, Hey, I think you're ugly and stupid and bad at podcasting, and bad at everything. If I wouldn't do that to someone, does it matter that someone did it to me? No, because obviously, that person doesn't have the level of restraint that I have. So is their criticism valid? No. Now if someone sends me a valid criticism, like, Hey, I think you should do this differently. I'm like, Oh, hey, thanks, I appreciate it. But if it's just someone like doing something for the sake of it, and it's not something that I would do, it doesn't matter slides right off. Julia Landauer 32:52 That's a really good reframe of like, kind of knowing where it's coming from. I think that also involves like putting your ego aside, probably putting your emotions aside which I've been really diving into the ego lately, because I recognize where mine gets me hooked up and are held up. But yeah, and that kind of where it comes from same with like, seeking advice from people I've learned, like that was kind of hard. Not hard. But it was an important and probably a little too late lesson that I learned is like people, even people who mean well, if they're not someone who either you respectfully or would do the same way or think the same way as like, being a little more strategic in who you get advice from or seek advice from kind of falls in line with that. Alanis King 33:33 No, you're so right. And it's just, you know, you have to learn that life is short, you're only here for a certain amount of time. Am I really going to let something bother me like that? No, I also apply this in my personal relationships, and like my friendships and things like that. I'm like, hey, yeah, you did something that maybe like I don't agree with or like I, I'm not super stoked about, but it doesn't really matter. Whatever. Like, you're you, I'm me, it's fine. And I think I'm very good at letting things just slide off because I know that like, the conflict is not worth whatever the situation is, and when the conflict is worth whatever the situation is. Okay, like, let's go let's like Let's have a fight, you know, for it. But that very rarely happens because it's very rarely worth the time the energy or the conflict. Julia Landauer 34:29 Totally, so smart, so concise, so synched with words. Thank you. So we're gonna switch gears a little bit pun intended, it's my favorite auto related pawn that I use all the time. I love it, who and I have test driven the same type of vehicle? I don't know if you know which one that might be. Alanis King 34:52 Oh, I've driven a lot of vehicles. Oh, Julia Landauer 34:54 I haven't actually driven that many vehicles. It is a race vehicle Alanis King 34:59 It is a race for you. Oh damn. What race vehicles? Um, I've driven the Honda Civic Si tcaa car? Julia Landauer 35:08 No, Alanis King 35:09 um, I have driven the oh what's it called? I've driven the KTM crossbow. Julia Landauer 35:17 Nope, I don't know what that is. Amazing. Alanis King 35:20 Oh my god, what am I? Oh, it's so intense. I've driven Well, no Monster Jam truck is a is a car. Is it a Monster Jam truck? Julia Landauer 35:30 It's a Monster Jam truck. Alanis King 35:32 I love Monster Jam trucks. Tell me about it. Julia Landauer 35:37 It's like so I, you know, tested a little bit. And yeah, when zero programming, it didn't work out. And it was truly astonishing. Like I have a whole new appreciation. I'm sure you do too, after getting in it. Because it's, for those who don't know, Monster Jam trucks are 12,000 pound machine, these big like five foot high tires, like incredibly soft suspension. And they're the ones that are in the arenas and stadiums. And so I basically I got to the level of doing jumps off of what felt like a very high jump, it was probably a three foot jump. So I probably I probably got like, four or five feet of air. But when you're almost 12 feet high, nine feet high, whatever it is, you feel very high in the air. And I just remember being like, oh shit, I like the first time I went over, you just have to brace yourself, they just tell you to go for it and just like hit the gas. And I know that being scared is part of the process. But I was like shitting myself, it was so unpleasant. And I didn't know how it was gonna feel when I was gonna land because the only experience I have is like, in race cars. And when you land after being in the air on race cars, it's very unpleasant. And I landed, I was really impressed with how soft all the suspension was and how easy a landing was. But it it was so much it was so much. And so anyway, yeah. And it was really impressed by the power. I love doing the figure eights. Actually, that was my favorite part. But yeah, so that was my experience. Alanis King 37:02 I only got like three laps in it. And this was actually before I had had a lot of track experience. So I didn't, I didn't have the track experience, I wanted going into this and I feel like now it would just be so much more intense. And I would like have, I would have the ability to have car control. If I did more than like three laps and like got to do some jumps and stuff. I would have that car control that I didn't have back then. And I would have just like all the posture you're supposed to have and like holding the wheel and all that. Oh my God I want to drive on again, I think I'm gonna reach out to them soon. Oh, make it happen and see if I can jump one and just like see if I can do it. I I really, really enjoy driving cars on track and like driving off road vehicles. So I also did a video where I went to an off road park and I just like, took this frickin CanAm car and just like launched it off of like several jumps. And it was like a legitimate Off Road Track like it had like this really high banked turn, it had this like steep steep hill, it had this jump and like you're just whipping that thing around. And it was so much fun. I always like one of my favorite things to do, which I only get to do a few times a year is go do a track day, you know and go drive a car, I really like going to Circuit of the Americas because I know the track super well. And I'm just like, Let's go like give me a car, I want to do this. Because it's so much fun for me to be able to go on track and like learn the things that the drivers I watch every weekend do like I want to hit apexes I want to do all this, like I want to do what they do, so that I know more about it. And I know what it feels like. And that is so much fun for me. And obviously you know everything about that? Julia Landauer 38:58 Well, and you bring up a really interesting point, which is something I tried to you know, express to people is that racing is such a hard sport to access if you haven't been involved in it because unlike most other sports where you play it in gym class, or like you play it in a league, you can't really like how many people know what it's like to go racing. And so they equate it to being on the street or something. And so I think it's really cool to obviously cuz it's a lot of fun. I'm sure you have fun with it, but to try to get that deeper understanding of what what the vehicle dynamics are and what it's like and how quickly things happen. I think, especially at least like when our friends get into go karting or we go to track house motorplex. Right. And so you realize just how quickly things happen. And then they happen at higher speeds and then with more consequences. And so I really appreciate that and that desire to kind of understand more of the technical aspect because it is so different than what even if you're a big fan watching it. It's hard to kind of think about all of the different inputs you have to think about how quickly you have to make decisions. Yeah, Alanis King 40:01 exactly. And the thing that a lot of people, like a lot of people just don't know, the technicalities that go into driving on a track and going into corners like obviously, I've never done ovals, I would love to drive on an oval, but I only do road courses. And a thing that I think is really interesting is being able to take my notes from a track and talk about them. So a thing I often mentioned is at Circuit of the Americas turn 11 is before the really sharp one turn 12. So like there's that long, long, straight away, and then you go into turn 12 is a really sharp left hander. And it is crazy. I love that turn. But the thing that always surprises me, no matter how many laps I do at Circuit of the Americas, is actually how much you have to slow down for turn 11. Because turn 11 is kind of like an optical illusion, because you can see the whole turn in front of you because it's kind of like a little downhill portion toward turn 11. And you're like, Okay, this is going to be a pretty smooth and easy turn, I can take it at a high speed. And then you go into it, and you're like, Oh, I'm going too fast, I'm going too fast, I'm going too fast. And there are so many times where I will just get the back end out going into turn 11 Because I'm always expecting it to be a faster turn than it is. And then there's also like turn 19 I'm expecting it to be a slower turn than it is. And I'm like, damn, I could have taken that way faster. I think it's really interesting to learn those little characteristics of a racetrack and to be able to learn all the little things you need to know about driving like the contact patch, the racing line, the apex, all of that, because then you're watching a race and you're able to talk about what's going on. Julia Landauer 41:40 Oh, totally. And and it'll be like, you'll have even more factors when you get on an oval, which I'm sure will happen because like, then you have like more sensitivity to things like rubber buildup, because there's so many laps in, in in the same spot and how you know, time of day makes it and this is the case on road courses too. But like, you know, when you're in the afternoon, and the sun's hot, and therefore it's heating up the rubber that's on the track and the oils come out and then it's slippery here and then so like, it totally messes up with your practicing in the afternoon, but then not racing until the evening when the track will be cooler. You know, there's all these different things that you have to think about. And so it's really cool. You know, you're you're digging for that added detail. So we'll have to get you on an oval. Alanis King 42:21 I know I really like I really, really want to I think it would be so fun. Obviously ovals are higher risk, like when you're on the road course when you're on certainly the Americas you have lots of runoff like, like I've never run off the track. I've never done that. I've never wrecked a car, knock on wood. I know. I know tons of people who have but yeah, we have, oh yeah, I know that I know tons of people who have but when you're on an oval, it obviously is a higher risk scenario. Because if you get the back end out like I do in turn 11 at circa the Americas, there are walls on either side of you, you know, you have to be a lot more careful, a lot more reactive. And I just really like being able to drive cars because I like to be able to talk to drivers like you about what is going on with the car because I think too often in motorsports media. And just like in coverage of motorsports, we just talk about, like the results of something we don't talk about what it took to get there. And what I thought was really fun was I wrote a story about Kamui Kobayashi, his NASCAR debut a couple of weeks ago, and I am able to because I'm friends with Tyler Reddick, I'm able to ask Tyler questions, and Tyler knows, oh, I can talk to her like about the actual driving part that she's asking me about, because she knows what I'm saying. And I love to be able to have that. Because it's just really nice when a driver knows like, oh, okay, she knows what I'm saying. And she can translate that to people, because it's not worth talking about if the person has not driven cars on track and cannot translate it for a normal audience. And I like to be able to translate it because there needs to be a bridge in between all of the little intricacies a driver is talking about, and the normal person, and I like to be able to to be that bridge, and to do that. And it's just it really helps to be able to drive cars regularly. Julia Landauer 44:20 Oh, yeah. And I feel like it also must like help with your credibility and then also it makes you a more like I would consider you a more interesting kind of journalist to speak with because you're going to ask Well Yeah, cuz you're gonna ask like more in depth different questions. So especially for like Cup Series racers who are doing interviews all the time, all week every week, you know, to be able to diversify how they give their answers is fun for them. And so that is just like everyone's happy and are happier at least and makes for interesting stories. So Alanis King 44:54 that's what I go for not only in like talking about what's going on on track, but also just like talk Talking about your life in general. Every time I talk to a driver, I try to set a tone of like, Hey, buddy, let's be buddies. You know, like, let's talk casually and like you can trust me and like, let's have some fun and tell me about your life and break it down. And so like last week, as an example, I was interviewing Kyle Busch for that number story. And he sent me a text and he said, Hey, I'm at airport security. I need like, 10 minutes. And I said, that's fine. Take your time, whatever. So he calls me I'm like, Hey, how's the airport? Right? I just know, like, a lot of times when these drivers and when famous people in general are doing interviews, it's just like, Hi, my name is Alanis King, I work for this outlet. Here's my first question. And I'm just like, Hey, buddy, how's the airport? How's your life? What's going on? Because I want to set this tone of like, let's just be chill. And please don't give me the same answers, you've given everyone else because I really do want to dive in to what it means to be you and also to what it means to do the things you do. Julia Landauer 46:06 Yeah, and it also humanizes the interaction, right. And I think that a lot of times, subconsciously, there are barriers between either professionals or careers, or just, you know, like, when you have everyone has our labels. And so like, there's this divide. And so the more that you're able to show that you're a person, whether it's, you know, interviewing drivers or me on the team, like you know, whatever it is, for anyone, kind of having that more human approach to how you're engaging with someone helps make them feel like they're talking with a buddy, which I think is like where you're gonna get much better conversation and can confirm I felt that way with you as well. So it's worthwhile, Alanis King 46:42 likewise. And that's the thing, it's like, I can come into a conversation with you and know that like you have studied and like done really cool preparation to ask me questions that I'm passionate about. And that's how I want everyone to feel when I talk to them. It's like, look, I did a lot of research. I know the basics. Tell me the things you're passionate about. Let's talk about those things. And like you find when you do that, that you create these really lasting relationships, and it's really special to me, and I think it shows in the stories. Julia Landauer 47:16 Yeah, it totally does. And it's bringing it beyond like what you I feel like you should never for the most part never like ask questions that you can find on Wikipedia or like in another interview that's very basic, because like that's biographical information, and that's easy to find. So I'm honored that a professional journalist already did a good job preparing questions are so good. We're going to take a quick break and we will be back shortly with Alanis King. Julia Landauer 47:51 We're back on if I'm honest, with Alanis King, I am so sad that we are definitely running out of time. And so I want to end on the rapid fire if you're honest. Oh, yeah, high stakes high pressure yet ready? What has been the most or who has been the most fun driver to interview? Most fun? I'm asking you to pick favorites with your children. Yes. Alanis King 48:15 Oh, with my little children. Okay, so I had a lot of fun with Kamui Kobayashi, he was really, really fun. But I did this probably comes from like some teenage bias from when I was a kid and just like, like the biggest Cowboys fan in the world. But I have so much fun talking to Kyle Busch, and I rave about it every time I talk to him, because he not only prepares and like, makes me feel like I am an important part of his day. But he is just so casual and nice. And he also so I interviewed him for the first time, late last year. And it was for the story about the crash that changed everything for Kyle Busch. It was his 2015 wreck and the XFINITY series at daytona. And so it's the day before the Daytona 500. The day before the season opener in 2015. He crashes slams a wall so hard that he breaks a foot and a leg and he is out for 11 weeks, he misses so many races, comes back goes on a hot streak makes the playoffs wins the championship in credit, like one of the most incredible stories in modern sports, in my opinion. And so when I talked to him late last year for this story, I had never interviewed him before, not once and we do this interview, no one has ever taken more than 15 minutes to do this interview with me. So I told his PR person it'll take 12 to 15 minutes we'll be done. We're 25 minutes in and I'm like Kyle, I'm so sorry. I told your PR person it would take 15 minutes and he said it's fine to ask me however much you want. And I was like okay, so we ended up talking for 40 minutes and after we get done his PR were sent at some point later, it was Bill Janis at the time, he has since moved to RCR. Soon as a new PR person, but Bill sends me an email. And he says, I just wanted you to know, when you reached out about this story, Kyle asked me to compile a bunch of media and data from 2015. So that he could study it and refresh his memory on it, so that he could tell you everything like in extreme detail, he wanted you to have everything. And I was like, the fact that I've never talked him before. Like, he could have done all of this studying. And I could have been a terrible writer and Britain like a horrible story. And like, it wouldn't have been worth it. Yet. He did that. Anyway, he studied this, he talked to me for so long about it gave me all of this information. And at the end of the call, he was like, if you need anything else, like just asked me. And that is very rare, especially for like top level like Cup Series drivers, you go through their PR person as a journalist, like you're talking to their PR person, not them. And so he opened up this line of communication where if you need me, you can reach out. So the story published, I was just shocked when his PR person told me that I was like, that's incredible. No one's ever done that. So I sent him a text and I said, Hey, you don't have to respond to this. This text is for you. It's not for me. I just wanted to say thank you. Because I think that's incredible. No one's done that it made the story so much better. And I think your character really shines through in it. He sent me five lines back. No, story was so good. It was great to speak to you. I hope you have a great Christmas, like all of this stuff. And I was like, Who who does that? Right like that? I told him, You don't have to respond. Like anytime I send someone a message. Unless I'm like, asking them to do something, this message is for you. It's not for me, I'm not doing it to get recognition from you, you know, it's fine. Just leave it sends me this incredibly nice text back. And then I interview him. I interview him this time. And we're talking about this number story. And he was like, Well, I was thinking about it. And I had some ideas for your story if you want them. And I'm like, you had some ideas for my story. Like what? And he was like, I think it'd be really cool if you ask people who they associate with each number. And these were things I hadn't thought about. He was like, Who is the one? Two a person who was the two who was the three? He was like, I think that's really interesting. I also think you should talk to Kyle Larson. And I'm like, wow, like the amount of thoughtfulness that goes into that. And just like, like, no one really does that. And I understand that there are times at the racetrack when like, Kyle gets heated about something and like, people go up to him immediately afterward. And like, there are videos out there of like him getting mad at people at the track. Yes, I totally recognize that. But he's so thoughtful, and like, so nice. I have never had a bad interaction with him. And I just think that's really cool. Because no one really goes, Oh, I was thinking about your story. And if you want to, and like it's not even about him, it's about something else. And it's like I was thinking about your story. And this would be cool. And I'm like, I just think that's like a really special way to approach things and a really cool way to approach things. And I will forever sing the praises of him for doing that. And I think he is so fun to talk to and I look forward to talking to him all the time. Julia Landauer 53:32 Well, that's really great. It's cool to hear that that side of him because yeah, he has a reputation of being a hothead being kind of an asshole at the track. And so I think it's really cool. It was also really cool that you're like teenage hood, Hero favorite racer, because you saw him when kind of delivered in real life. So very cool. Okay. Rapid Fire number two if you're honest Alanis King 53:51 Oh my goodness. That was supposed to be rapid. I am so deeply I thought Julia Landauer 53:59 okay, that's okay. Number two, what's been your favorite vehicle to test drive? Alanis King 54:06 I drove a Ferrari F 430 scooter RIA with a manual swap. So the Ferrario 430 scuderia did not come with a manual it came with the Superfast two transmission which was based on the Formula One transmission so it was a sequential and they the shop, swapped it with a manual and just how it drove it was like driving a piece of machinery on a factory assembly line. And I mean that in the best way possible in that if you did not do exactly what you were supposed to do, this car did not respond. So if I'm putting in in first gear or second gear, third gear or whatever, I have to get it all the way in there or that car is like no, that wasn't good enough. Like try it again. Like it's so cool. It was and it was just so Oh, it felt like like a some kind of action sequence in an anime. It was just so Oh slicey and low via runner up not runner up equal is Porsche911s. I love all Porsche 911s I'm a 911 person, I drove a 911 GT3RS the other day and made me want to cry but I wouldn't get a GT3RS because it doesn't come in a manual, I would get a GT3 with a wing. Julia Landauer 55:20 Isn't it wild that so many of these, like high performance vehicles don't come in manuals, it's like, I have a manual on my daily driver, and it's just so sad. Alanis King 55:27 What is your daily driver? Julia Landauer 55:28 Right now it's a Volkswagen R. Alanis King 55:31 I love that, um, I, it is wild, but also I get it because no, like, you're never going to be better as a like, as a, as a buyer of like a GT3RS, you are never going to be better than that transmission in doing what that transmission needs to do. So if I take that car on the track, I'm not going to be better than that PDK at shifting that car, so Julia Landauer 55:57 I'm gonna challenge you here. So then how do you feel about like it maybe in a more traditional , I guess I haven't actually probably driven that many of those higher performance vehicles in an automatic. So I will put that out there. But like, think about driving on the street. Like, I feel like I don't have as much control over acceleration when I'm in an automatic, but maybe that's because it's like, you know, insert any generic street car as opposed to high performance. Alanis King 56:21 I anytime on the street, I absolutely want to drive a manual on the track. I also want to drive a manual. But I also understand that the automatic or whatever they have in the car is going to be better than me. But yeah, 100% on the street. I do like to be able to control my acceleration control when I shift and do all those things. But you know, if you put like the 911, Julia Landauer 56:45 if you thought about the highperformance Yeah, I hadn't thought about that. All. Yeah, if you Alanis King 56:48 put it in a mode where it is doing aggressive shifting, that thing's gonna rip, you know, it is amazing. It's gonna go and I, what a car Julia Landauer 56:59 what a car. Okay, I've got two more for you. What's a non motorsports bucket list items that you have? Alanis King 57:05 Oh, oh, my goodness, I have plenty of bucket list items. I'm trying to think of what off the top of my head, I would really like to go see the pyramids in Egypt. Julia Landauer 57:17 I love that. Very cool. And last thing, what's something that you're grateful for right now? Alanis King 57:23 Oh, something that I'm grateful. For right now. I am starting a new job and a couple of weeks. And I'm very, very excited about this job. I feel like it happened at the perfect time. Because I've been wanting to move more into video, my new job will be public by the time this goes out. It's with Cars and Bids. And they auction cars off modern enthusiast cars. And so what I'm going to be doing is driving the cars that are up for auction and putting those videos on YouTube. And that's really exciting for me, because I not only get to use my knowledge of cars, but I also get to drive such an array of cars that I wouldn't normally get to drive in my normal job because I get new cars for manufacturers, right? This allows me to drive older cars, weird cars, different cars, kind of everything and get a feel for all of these things. And I am so grateful that I get to that I'm also so grateful that they're gonna let me do whatever I want on the side. So they're gonna let me do my stuff and like, just mess around and do all these things that I already do. I get to keep doing that. And I get to do all these other things that I want to do and also have a YouTube channel and all of this. I'm really excited about that. Julia Landauer 58:36 But it's so cool. You're gonna be so busy. Well, thank you so much for joining me this was such a fun conversation. I hate that I have to end it because I feel like talking forever. But I will link these in the description where can people find you? Where do you want people to find you on line? Alanis King 58:52 Oh, where do I want people to find me? Yeah, maybe. I am on everything as Alanis N, as in Nicole, King. So there's an N in the middle because in like 2009 Some guy named Alan thought he was like really, really, like great. And so they made his handle Alan is king and I was like, you've got to be kidding me. He has not tweeted it's literally just a dormant account. But so everywhere I'm AlanisNKing. On YouTube, for some reason, like 10 years ago, I picked AlanisKing. So I'm AlanisKing on YouTube. That's pretty much where I'm at. I have a podcast with Donut Media. It's called the donut racing show. It's about Formula One. I wrote a book about Formula One. It's called racing with rich energy. I got lots of things just really anywhere. Julia Landauer 59:39 You are so wonderful to follow. And you educate me so much, even though I feel like I'm fairly well versed in the world of motorsport. So I love following you. So thank you so much, everyone. That is our show. Thank you for letting me be honest with you. Thank you awareness for being honest with us, and I look forward to seeing you next week. Alanis King 59:57 Yay.