Abbott sets out to break barriers

At 31, the Master CrossFit teacher and gym owner is hoping to make the cut as a tire changer in the Sprint Cup Series.

Can Christmas Abbott break through the glass pit wall?

At 31, the CrossFit master teacher and gym owner is hoping to make the cut as a tire changer in the Sprint Cup Series.

HBO’s "Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel" will chronicle Abbott’s journey into NASCAR, which started with an invitation in June from Michael Waltrip Racing’s pit crew coach, Shaun Peet.

Jon Frankel of "Real Sports" offers an honest look at the Virginia native’s life and the catalysts that led Abbott to her latest challenge. The program first aired at 10 p.m. ET on Tuesday, April 16.

Abbott tells Frankel she doesn’t know if she’s “uncomfortable” being a woman in predominantly male sport. She simply “wants to do her job.”

For now, that job includes training with MWR, shadowing the No. 55 team. Abbott is shown on HBO doing just that in Phoenix, changing tires for Jennifer Jo Cobb’s Camping World Truck Series team — a position she’s held since the start of the season.

Abbott says the air gun, with its distinctive whirring noise, held an immediate allure from the moment she held it. “It was something I wanted to play with. I want that toy,” she tells Frankel.

Abbott has until November to prove to MWR that she has what it takes to compete in NASCAR’s top league.

Stay tuned.

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