Originally written on The Sports Bank  |  Last updated 9/27/14

WATKINS GLEN, NY - JULY 05: Danica Patrick driver of the #7 Motorola Andretti Green Racing Dallara Honda stands in the pits during practice for the IRL IndyCar Series Camping World Grand Prix at The Glen at Watkins Glen International on July 5, 2008 in Watkins Glen, New York. (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Her name is Christmas Abbott – and ‘no’ that’s not a typographical error. It’s no secret that Danica Patrick occupies much of NASCAR’s publicity and headlines, perhaps a bit too much given the relation of publicity garnered to actual performance – in short, victories – but there’s another NASCAR participant who has captured the headlines as an even more improbable pioneer. Christmas Abbott, who had previously become a CrossFit video sensation, was signed by Michael Waltrip’s NASCAR racing team as a full-time member of its pit crew, thus becoming the first woman to labor in the NASCAR pits at their highest level. To be certain, this is no mere publicity stunt:  Abbott rightly earned the spot. She can toss around tires half her size, and she can bolt them on to the racer at breakneck speed which is particularly impressive for a rookie.  NASCAR officials at first thought that she was trying to become part of the Waltrip pit crew as part of a publicity stunt, but once they saw what she ...
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