Christmas Abbott, who in February became the first woman hired by a Sprint Cup Series team as a full-time pit crew member, posted the following statement on her Facebook page on Wednesday.
The Observer reported Tuesday night Abbott had left the Michael Waltrip Racing organization and had yet to work during a race this season.
"To all my fans ... Yes, I did leave MWR to attend to some personal items. While working through these items I kept the intent of returning to racing either with MWR or another team I could start the season with as a tire changer.
"I am thankful for the time I had with MWR on the pit crew and the great development I had. I will say with conviction that this endeavor was never a publicity stunt for myself or MWR. I am a professional athlete that found pit crewing via the sport of CrossFit. I pursued this because of the challenge it brought and my intrigue to the sport collectively.
"Thank you all who have supported this and I continue to advocate women in the sport of NASCAR specifically as a tire changer. Love it or hate it but I will continue to live my life disregarding any limits others put on me and continue to push myself to the highest of my own potential."