Meet NASCAR's first female pit crew member fighting against all odds

Last Updated: Tue, Nov 20, 2012 09:00 hrs

The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) has seen a few women drivers at the elite level, but for the first time has seen one who has muscled her way into the extremely physically demanding positions getting 'down and dirty in the pit'.

Christmas Abbott, 30, is the first female pit crew member in NASCAR, where in less than 12 seconds, she and her team refuel the car and change the tires.

Abbott is responsible for the front tire position, in which she removes five lug nuts, sometimes as the car is still moving, muscle off the tire and put it aside, then get a new one on and replace the lug nuts, all within seconds, ABC News reports.

Then she races around to the other side of the car and do it all over again, the report said.

In her recorded practices that are studied each night, Abbott's times are within milliseconds of the big leagues.

Her job is crucial in a multi-billion dollar business. If there is just a few extra seconds at a pit stop, the driver loses.

According to the report, Abbott was discovered in January at an audition and recruited just like the former football and professional hockey players she works beside.

Her competitive nature drew her to the high stakes of racing.

"Now I can see that my body is developing into this very precise machine where whatever I want to do, or whatever I believe I can do, ultimately I will be able to do," she said.

At first, Abbott's pit crew coach, Shaun Peet, wasn't so sure about her.

"To be honest with you, I thought it was a publicity stunt, you know what I mean, and I wanted no part of it," Peet said.

"And I think, I was convinced, when I saw her. She ran a 6.8 [second] right side the other day, which for as long as she's being doing it is exceptional," he added. (ANI)

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