Monday, April 12, 2010

Women in NASCAR: One On One with Krissie Newman

Krissie Newman (right) and her daughters, along with Sherry Pollex, girlfriend of Martin Truex, Jr.
Credit: Beth Bence Reinke for Skirts and Scuffs

Krissie Boyle was born in Trenton, New Jersey. She graduated from Shippensburg University in PA with a BS in Criminal Justice Pre-Law. With her degree in hand, Krissie decided to move to Charlotte, N.C. where her grandparents lived, allowing her to be closer to them. It was her plan to work in the court system there and then begin law school. She worked for the Mecklenburg County Criminal Courts as a Courtroom clerk as well as a paralegal for a criminal attorney.

Krissie and Ryan’s relationship was set in motion with the help of Krissie’s grandma and some friends - all who had suggested that she take some time and show the new guy around town. She wrote her name and number on a church handout, forgetting about it. Less than a month later Ryan called her.

Krissie stated, “I had absolutely no clue who he was. NASCAR racing, to me, was a bunch of people who drove around in circles for hours at a time.”

Their first conversation lasted approximately 2 hours, by phone. It was followed by a first date that was spent enjoying dinner, a movie and bowling. Ryan and Krissie’s courtship lasted for about 3 yrs. The rest, as they say, is history! On January 3, 2004, Krissie Boyle became Mrs. Ryan Newman. They spent their honeymoon in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

With absolutely no experience with stock cars, prior to meeting Ryan, she is now elbow deep. Krissie made the decision to put law behind her and focus on Ryan’s racing career. With a contract in hand, signed by Ryan, she became responsible for his scheduling, fan mail, and other aspects of his career.

Krissie and Ryan are very active in the field of Animal Rescue and Shelters. The Ryan Newman Foundation focuses on the population and control of all animals with a specific interest in dogs. In 2005, Krissie partnered with Project Halo, during the Hurricane Katrina Relief effort in the gulf coast. Together they assisted with the adoption and care of animals, abandoned and injured during the tragedy. Working hard to arrange for new homes in North Carolina as well as other locations.

Together they have become true champions, not only in NASCAR, but of animal rights. They make it their mission to educate people to not only spay/neuter their animals, but to adopt as well. Taking it to heart and sharing their home with their own beloved dogs: Harley, Mopar, Digger, Socks and Fred. All of whom are mutts.

Following, you will find a Q&A session with Krissie Newman. Krissie was kind enough to share some of her life with us. I hope you find her to be as much of an inspiration as I have.

LB(Lindi Bess)- When you were growing up, what were your passions/aspirations for the future?
KN(Krissie Newman)-“I wanted to be a United States Attorney. I used to think I wanted to be a doctor, and then couldn’t get through my organic chemistry class. I took a law class as an elective in college and really enjoyed the field.”

LB-What was your first real experience with motorsports?
KN-“It was interesting to see how much goes on behind the scenes. My first race was Charlotte’s fall race in 2001. I found myself just people watching and in awe of everything happening around me.”

LB-What is your involvement in things associated with your husband’s career? Charities?
KN-“I currently run the Ryan Newman Foundation as the Executive Director. We work toward teaching animal education, encouraging people to adopt, spay and neuter. We also promote conservation. I also run Ryan Newman Motorsports, which handles all of the racing side of the business for Ryan.”

LB-What has been your scariest moment as the wife of a racer? Did it make you stronger or is each week just as scary?
KN-“It is never fun watching someone you love get into an accident. Those moments are scary. They do not make me stronger, they make me realize how many blessings we have in our life and that we should not take little things for granted because you never know if those blessing will ever be taken away. It makes you grateful he made through in one piece, although it never stops me from worrying. He has had some pretty nasty wrecks.”

LB-Is motorsports the end or is it just the beginning?
KN-“ A little of both. It is more the middle. Ryan has always been racing, so in some form he will always be working in the racing environment and hopes to continue to have a long successful career in the sport. Retirement will happen some day. But motorsports is our current, beginning and end.”

LB- What do you do to relax? Girlfriend time? Your happy place?
KN- “I take trips with friends throughout the year, to get away and unwind. Working with the animals is also very stress relieving. I love the work we do with the foundation.”

LB-If you could change one aspect of your life today, what would it be?
KN-“I wouldn’t change anything.”

LB-A normal day in my life goes something like this ...
KN-“Wake up, work out, shower, Dunkin Donuts coffee run, into the office, lunch, occasional meetings, office, home, dinner, time with Ryan and dogs, bed."

LB-A normal raceday in our lives goes something like this ...
"Depends on the weekend. Some races it is wake up, work out, breakfast, watch practice, some sponsor meetings, time with crew chief and his wife, hang out with other friends at the track, dinner, bed. Every weekend is something completely different."

LB-Can you share a little story or something that the fans don’t know about Ryan?
KN-“He has become quite the farmer. He loves to be out on his tractor on our farm, cutting grass or taking care of our animals.”

I would like to thank Krissie for taking the time to do this interview. I would also like to congratulate Ryan for his victory at Phoenix this past weekend.

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Pit Road Pets: NASCAR Stars and Their Pets - 1st Edition
Pit Road Pets invites you into the world of your favorite NASCAR stars for a special look at their private lives with their families and pets. From Tony Stewart and his tiny Chihuahua, Kayle, to Dale Earnhardt, Jr. and his Boxer, Killer, the stars of NASCAR are beautifully photographed with their creatures, great and small. In their own words, drivers, crew chiefs and racing personalities share the stories of how their animals enrich their lives.
Pit Road Pets: NASCAR Stars and Their Pets, the Second Lap - 2nd Edition
The Second Lap takes you even further into the heart of NASCAR by capturing fans at Charlotte, Bristol, and Michigan with their beloved animals. Drivers, TV personalities, people that work behind the scenes and now the fans are all beautifully photographed with their creatures great and small. From Dale Earnhardt, Jr. and Richard Petty's buffalo to Rick Hendrick's parrot, George, we hope you enjoy The Second Lap.
Both books are available at http://www.ryannewman.org/.

Skirts and Scuffs enjoys bringing you these one-on-one interviews and would love to hear from you regarding those you would like to read more about. Please feel free to comment about the article and we hope you come back again.

You can follow Ryan and Krissie on Twitter.

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