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Christmas Abbott: 4 Things To Know About First Female Nascar Pit Crew Member [PHOTOS]

By Melissa Siegel, Posted: 02/20/13 10:30AM EST

Christmas Abbott made headlines late last year as Nascar's first-ever female pit crew member. Now, Abbott is in the news again on the eve of the Daytona 500.

As Yahoo Sports notes, Abbott recently signed a deal to serve as a pit member during the Camping World Truck Series. She will also serve as a shadow member of Clint Bowyer's crew during Sunday's big race, with the hope of earning a future assignment.

Here are five things to know about Christmas Abbott.

1. Abbott is an avid cross-fitter.

According to the CrossFit website, the fitness program involves performing various movements at high intensity. As ABC News notes, these competitions often include crazy feats of strength. In one event, Abbott carried a 125-pound person with one arm and a 70-pound weight in the other. As the Yahoo story notes, this has helped her prepare for the Nascar pit, where she often has to lift tires that weigh between 55 and 70 pounds.

"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," Abbott told ABC.

Abbott actually owns a CrossFit facility in North Carolina, as theblaze.com notes.

2. Even Abbott's pit crew coach doubted her at first.

As the ABC story notes, Shaun Peet originally doubted that Abbott could survive in pit row. According to the Yahoo story, Christmas Abbott routinely has to lift tires half her size and bolt them to the car in 12 seconds or less.

"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."

 3. Abbott doesn't want to be the Danica Patrick of pit row

Patrick made history of her own this week as the first woman to qualify for the pole position in a Nascar race. Still, she has yet to have much success on the track so far, leading Christmas Abbott to tell That's Racin that she has no desire to be like Patrick.

"I'm going to say no, because I want to be the best and she hasn't proven to be the best yet," Abbot said in October. "I don't want anything given to me because I'm female. I go in there and I have to work twice as hard just because I am female and because I look a certain way. I want this because it's an opportunity that intrigues me."

4. Abbott loves trying new things

Abott told the CrossFit Journal that she spent a summer in Iraq while in college. She thinks that her fitness experiences have further encouraged her to take risks in her life.

"I was never shying away from trying new things," she said. "With that, CrossFit's really helped me develop that inner being and self-worth, ultimately, that allows me to try new things," Abbott explains. "And not just try it, but ... if it scares me, then I absolutely have to try it."

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