Race Weekend Central

NASCAR Mailbox: Security Measures, Christmas, And Tattling

It’s not hard to rile up NASCAR fans. Just drop the words, “Brian France”, “Chase”, “Jimmie Johnson”, or any other buzzword and they’re off to the races (so to speak).

However, I found out over that weekend that this is simply child’s play in comparison to the potential for controversy when it comes to the wings of the political parties. I had somehow underestimated the impact that, “NRA” sponsoring the race would have on how quickly everyone on both sides of the aisle would completely lose their minds. Liberals were losing their minds because, oh my gosh, why would a company want to appeal to their base?

Oh and apparently the NRA kills people…

Secondly, conservatives were—and I’m not kidding here—keeping count of how many times FOX actually said, “NRA 500”. Apparently it wasn’t enough, because all of a sudden I was seeing tweets about how “liberal terrorism” is infiltrating NASCAR (no, really) and that the NRA should get their money back. Somehow, they missed the fact that sponsors actually pay for the amount of mentions they get per hour, but why let the facts get in the way of a good conspiracy? I hope they have the tinfoil hats in my size.

Somehow, the unrealistically high expectations NASCAR fans have seemed completely rational in comparison and honestly I started to miss them. Where were my beloved fans who cried wolf for every sub-standard caution or those who went on a “back in the day” rant when fuel mileage came into play? I need you back!

Oh, wait, they’re racing in Kansas this weekend. Yeah … back to normal. I love you all!

Now onto your questions:

“I’m going to the race at Kansas this weekend, and I saw that they were going to be having tighter security than normal. I don’t know what to expect. Do I need to do something differently?” Dontae

Yep! Pack some extra patience. While lines are only expected to be “slightly” longer, I can’t help but tensions aren’t slightly higher than before what with the suicide in Texas and the act of terrorism that took place during the Boston Marathon.

You don’t have to worry about what you would normally bring, though, because rules for the track haven’t changed. While I haven’t been a spectator there in years, I know that they are rather lax in what they allow in the track provided it meets specific height requirements. While you need to check their website for that, like I said, nothing in what they allow has changed.

Unfortunately, I can’t really warn you about what this “change” actually means since they aren’t releasing it for security reasons. If I were you, I would just expect security to be a little more thorough in their searches and maybe a little less friendly. Don’t worry about it and have fun!

“Who is Christmas Abbott? I saw somewhere that she’s a female pit crew member but for whom and why had I never heard of her before? Brad

Christmas Abbott is a CrossFit athlete, and a competitor in the 2013 Reebok CrossFit Games. She recently landed a full-time pit crew job with Michael Waltrip Racing, though she got her start working with Jennifer Jo Cobb in the Camping world Truck Series. She’s 31, can change two tires in 12 seconds, and she’s breaking barriers just as Danica Patrick and Johanna Long are doing behind the wheel.

My guess is that she’ll generate the same kind of controversy that Danica Patrick has. “She’s here for her looks”, etc. There might be some truth to it since any team would generate publicity for having a female crew member, though I don’t think a team like MWR would be willing to have a slow pit crew for the sake of publicity. Even sponsor friendly Michael Waltrip wouldn’t stoop that low.

Besides, how many competitors aside from Carl Edwards or Mark Martin can knock out a set of pull ups, series of box jumps, and then throw tires around?

Christmas Abbott is a CrossFit competitor who wishes to become a regular over-the-wall pit crew member in NASCAR.

I’m sure we’ll hear more about her if or once she spends more time on the team, but it rather aggravates me that we’ll know her on a first name basis while we won’t know a John from a James on the rest of the teams on pit road. Why should women get special treatment just because they are women? That’s no better than discrimination.

However, she’s here and, well, you asked!

“Do teams really snitch?! Did Hendrick really snitch on Penske? I knew those guys were a bunch of thugs!” — Reba

HAHA!! If this were Twitter, I’d be LOL’ing all over you right now. Seriously, you don’t think that’s a regular occurrence in the garage area at every racetrack all over the entire freaking country? If you don’t have an advantage, you’re going to do everything you can to make darn sure your competition doesn’t!

See Chad. See Chad cheat. See Chad narc out Penske. See Jimmie dominate! Maybe, maybe not, either way Paul Wolfe and Todd Gordon might not be racking up any rewards points the next month and a half.

Unfortunately, I’ve seen a lot of reactions like yours recently. I don’t really like the idea of a bunch of crew members tattling to NASCAR over another team trying to find an advantage either, but I certainly understand the idea of why they do it. Seriously, if you see a coworker somehow cheating at work and he gets the promotion, aren’t you going to say something?

P.S. If you say you wouldn’t, you’re lying. You’d tell somebody.

Add in millions of dollars to hand out in purse money and sponsors and the stakes are much, much higher. I’m sure Penske has done it before too. Heck, Keselowski was the one complaining about how everyone else was cheating last year.

Get a grip. This stuff happens all the time.

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