‘Crash Gladys’ relishes annual trip back home for Indy 500
By Michelle Williams
In Zionsville she’s known as Christy Clutter, but her hometown is one of the few places where people know her real name.
To the rest of the country she’s Crash Gladys, Crasher or Crash for short. Crash Gladys is Clutter’s on-air radio personality. She and her husband can be heard on the weekly Fox Sports Radio show SpeedFreaks and daily in the Phoenix market on The Freaks with Kenny and Crash.
Clutter, 42, describes herself as a spitfire who takes her sports opinions to the extreme and likes to incite heated debates for entertainment value. Her forte is motor sports, and it all started with a lifelong love for the Indianapolis 500 that she shares with her family.
A 1990 graduate of Zionsville Community High School, Clutter’s father worked as the assistant medical director for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway until he suddenly died in an automobile accident when she was only four years old. Her mother, Linda Wolff, kept the family tradition and her kids’ connection to their father alive through the Indy 500.
“Racing got in my blood real early because of my dad’s involvement,” Clutter said.
Racing to the top
Clutter credits her education at ZCHS with preparing her for a career in entertainment. She was involved in a variety of activities in high school, including the Royalaires, drama, dancing and musicals. After graduating from Indiana University in 1994, she landed a job with Dick Simon Racing – later renamed Team Scandia. In 1997, she was hired onto PacWest Racing and held positions relating to marketing, hospitality and sponsorship development.
In 1999 Clutter moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in acting, but her interests and skills collided when her agent approached her about a position with a new motor sports radio show. She auditioned with a man named Kenny Wolfard, who would hire her and eventually become her husband. She and Wolfard – better known on-air as Kenny Sargent – began working together on the show SpeedFreaks in 2001, and two years ago, they moved to Phoenix to start up their daily all-sports show.
Although Crash Gladys is well-known among racing personalities, she does not consider herself a media celebrity.
“Everyone has unique opportunities and they just need to reach out and grab them,” Clutter said. “All I am is someone who gets to talk on the radio every once in a while and get paid for it.”
Clutter is looking forward to coming home in late May to work the Indy 500 – still her absolute favorite event.
“Indy cars are rocket ships,” she said. “You have to be so precise with your placement on the track. It’s a whole different mentality that intrigues me.”
Andrew Carroll, Clutter’s race photographer and fellow ZCHS graduate, said his friend always returns to her roots for the Indianapolis 500.
“May is special to Christy and always will be,” Carroll said. “Since she has moved to LA and Pheonix, she hasn’t missed the Indy 500 and a get-together with friends and family during the month. I can’t remember a time we haven’t gotten together for laughs and great times.”
She’ll be back in Zionsville again later in the summer for her 25th high school reunion.
“My friends from middle and high school are still my friends now,” Clutter said. “A lot of people can’t say that, and I feel fortunate.”
When visiting, she simply prefers hanging out at her friends’ houses for pool parties or basement parties.
“But if I’m home for at least a week, I’m likely to end up at The Friendly at least one night,” she said. “You always run into someone you know at The Friendly.”
Zionsville will always hold a special place in Clutter’s heart, as it’s one of the few places where people still call her Christy instead of Crash – and she hopes to keep it that way.
MEET CRASH GLADYS
Favorite pastime: Well, this has changed a bit now that I’m a mom. It used to be gardening. But now I’d say any alone time I can get with my husband and daughter is my favorite pastime, since that time is so rare.
Favorite color: Red! Indiana Hoosiers red!
Favorite vacation: The only vacation spot we can go to and not have to really worry about anything and not have an agenda of what to do each day is our condo on South Padre Island, Texas.
Car she’s driving: Lexus RX 330
Most DVR’d TV show: That’s a toss-up between Grey’s Anatomy, Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel and House of Lies.
1. We must become the change we wish to see in the world – Gandhi
2. If everything seems under control, you’re not going fast enough – Mario Andretti
Early morning riser or night owl? Absolutely a night owl!