Now that Danica Patrick has won the pole for the 2013 Daytona 500 this Sunday on Fox, the media can begin this season’s most common pre-race question: “Will Danica Patrick become the first woman to win the Daytona 500?” And then it will be asked at the next race, the race after that and so on, because until she wins a race, it will be the easiest question a NASCAR writer can write. Seriously, I could wake up, write it on a napkin, and sleep four more hours before I even had to be up for brunch at Hooters.
But over the past three months, a few people have been asking a much different and somewhat more intriguing question: “Can a woman hang with a NASCAR pit crew?” For as long as stock car racing’s grandest stage has existed, everything from the steering wheel to the impact wrench has belonged (mostly) to men, and as Patrick looks to change that on Sunday, another woman wants to change pit crews forever as well.
Christmas Abbott is already quite popular in the CrossFit world, as she opened her own gym in 2007 and became a head trainer. But last November, ABC profiled Abbott and her decision to audition for a pit crew spot. Ultimately, people think her good looks probably got her the gig with Turner Motorsports – she made her debut on Dec. 2 – but that wouldn’t mean crap if she wasn’t strong enough. And rest assured, she could kick my ass, your ass and probably both of our dad’s asses.
Patrick will be the star of the pre-race hoopla leading up to the 500, but Abbott should steal some attention away when she serves in the pit with Jennifer Jo Cobb’s team Friday night for the Camping World Truck’s NextEra Energy Resources 250 race. You can watch that race at 7:30 PM ET on the Speed Network (and I will remind everyone), but in the meantime I suggest reading this excellent piece about Abbott by Yahoo!’s Eric Adelson.
And then after that you can develop your own crush with this little gallery.