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First female tire changer on Sprint Cup team leaves without changing a tire

By Jim Utter
jutter@charlotteobserver.com | ThatsRacin.com

Christmas Abbott, who in February became the only woman employed in NASCAR as a full-time pit crew member, has left her Michael Waltrip Racing team without ever changing a tire in a race.

Abbott's departure was confirmed on Tuesday night by a MWR spokesman. The team declined to release any other details regarding her departure.

In February, Abbott, an elite-level fitness athlete whose journey to become a full-time pit crew member has been well-chronicled, was named to MWR's Sprint Cup organization's traveling pit support team.

"I'm here to do whatever my coaches ask of me, and I don't want any handouts," Abbott said at the time of her hire. "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 it for the long haul."

Abbott, however, never made it into a race with the MWR organization and in recent months wasn't seen at the track on race day.

The most recent race Abbott appeared to work in a race was for a noncompetitive Truck series team during February Speedweeks at Daytona International Speedway.

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