Meet NASCAR’s first female pit crew member
Christmas Abbott is five feet, three inches tall and 115 pounds. She’s also about to become the first woman to work in a NASCAR pit crew. She’s not worried about the physical demands of lifting a tire that’s half her body weight – she owns a CrossFit gym in Raleigh.
Last week, the Lynchburg-born Abbott inked a deal to serve on a NASCAR pit crew in the Camping World Truck Series, where she’ll change tires for driver Jennifer Jo Cobb, according to Yahoo Sports.
That means she’ll be expected to whip around the No. 10 Ford with an air gun in hand, unbolt five lug nuts, rip a 60-pound tire off the car, bolt on a new one, then repeat it again on the other side all in about 12 seconds. She also will be in Clint Bowyer’s pit for Sunday’s Daytona 500, where she’ll shadow the Michael Waltrip Racing crew in anticipation of a potential future “over the wall” assignment.
Ted Bullard of Turner Motorsports found Abbot in a talent search he was inspired to hold by CrossFit after joining a gym and noticing several of the women could lift more than he could.
Faces of meth
Va. vanity plates
Topless PTSD fight
Way too tan
It took her years to excel at CrossFit and she knows it may take that long to climb the NASCAR ranks. Asked how she would feel if another woman became the first full-timer on a NASCAR pit crew, she says it would be “bad ass.”
“I absolutely don’t want to be put in a position because of this opportunity,” she says. In other words, she doesn’t want to be given a shot because she’s a she. She wants to earn it.
A noble thought, yet one that will likely drown in criticism. The pretty face with the sculpted arms is not likely to be the “quiet underdog” once people see her on TV. Bullard wants to make Abbott the first pit star, and so will TV producers. That will bring untold pressure.
Bullard says Abbott’s already in talks with Hollywood about a possible reality show. It won’t be about her life in the pits; it’ll be about her life. “There’s no blueprint for this,” Bullard says.
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