She is 5-foot-3, weighs 115 pounds and is about to make big news this weekend at the Daytona 500. No, it isn’t Danica Patrick, a name now synonymous with women and auto racing, but a 31-year old tattooed dynamo from Charlotte via Lynchburg, Virginia.
Professional CrossFit competitor Christmas Abbott has been hired by Michael Waltrip Racing as a full-time pit crewmember for its NASCAR Sprint Cup operation that will have her traveling to all Sprint Cup events in a pit support role and it all begins with The Great American Race.
“This is another first for Michael Waltrip Racing,” said MWR founder and co-owner Michael Waltrip. “She is an incredible elite athlete and she has worked with our crews by bringing some cross-fit elements to their workouts. She is a competitor and when she decided to start working towards an over the wall position, we said we are the perfect place to make it happen.
“As Danica has seen, it takes a lot of work and dedication to get to the top level of her trade. With her Daytona 500 pole, it seems so much of that work has been worth it. I believe the same can hold true for Christmas. We expect her to excel or we wouldn’t commit the position to her.”
MWR’s pit coaches have seen enough development of the 31-year old Abbott to name her to the MWR travel squad. If she advances to working over the wall she could wind up being responsible for a tire weighing more than half her weight.
“This is just the first step for me,” said Abbott who competed in several CrossFit competitions since 2006 and can overhead squat 200 lbs. “I’ve been training for several months. This is the most challenging thing I have ever done. I’m here to do whatever my coaches ask of me, and I don’t want any handouts. I’m ready to work three races a weekend if that’s what it takes to get me where I want to be. I’m in this for the long haul.”
With more than 8,000 Facebook followers, Abbott’s mother named her Christmas because she was born in late December. She fell in love with CrossFit, a workout that combines pull-ups, squats, sit-ups, lifting heavy balls – and a host of other sweat-inducing exercises – all in a short amounts. One of the tattoos she sports is a gun tattoo on her hip.
MWR also announced their Insider Program that offers all race fans sponsor discounts, specials on merchandise, exclusive pictures and video content plus fan giveaways throughout the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup season. Fans can access the MWR Insider Program through the CardStar application available on most smartphones. MWR will work on behalf of the fans to expand the offerings beyond just its current sponsor line-up, aggregating industry-wide deals and discounts.
“The NASCAR fan is rightfully known as loyal, so creating this program is MWR’s way of giving back for all of their support,” said Waltrip. “CardStar is an app easily downloaded on your smartphone and already has nearly 3.2 million participants. When you select Michael Waltrip Racing, you will see the deals and discounts we are able to offer today. As more and more sponsors see the value in this program, the offerings will continue to grow. We think this will help MWR’s sponsors and all companies who participate earn an even closer connection with their customers. Plus the fans will get some cool stuff and save some money.”
CardStar's free mobile loyalty application is available on all major mobile platforms, including iPhone and Android. To learn more about the MWR Insider Card and CardStar, please visit: http://plus.cardstar.com/mwr/partner/