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581 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
July 24, 2009
Tampa, Florida, USA
for immediate release

AMA Dragbike / MiRock Superbike Series

recent event: Fast By Gast / WPGC Bikefest
when: July 18-19, 2009
where: Maryland International Raceway, Budd’s Creek, MD, USA

Karey “Firestarter” McGee:
From Hospital to The Final Round

No one at the Fast By Gast / WPGC Bikefest—not the winners or record setters or many thousands of spectators—was as lucky or happy as *** Performance Real Street B runner-up Karey “Firestarter” McGee. A 35 year-old equestrian trainer from Florida, McGee shockingly suffered a stroke less than two weeks before the race weekend and spent five days at the hospital. “Sunday’s shakedown pass was about exactly the same time as my stroke two weeks before,” said McGee, who persevered through the weekend’s heat, ran all day everyday, matched her pre-stroke best ET on her Kawasaki ZX14, and went to Sunday’s final round.

McGee was reheating a 4th of July hamburger for lunch on Sunday the 5th when she experienced the last thing a vibrant, healthy, young woman expects—a stroke. She spent five hospitalized days of painful tests in a haze of fear. “The stroke was super scary. I was scared I wasn’t gonna be able to race again.”

But a week and a day after her dismissal, McGee unloaded her big, nitrous oxide-huffing ZX14 at Maryland International Raceway in Budd’s Creek. “When I got back on the bike Friday, I had to look over at my left hand on my first pass to tell it what to do because I couldn’t do it. It took me half the track to shift the bike. To be honest, I kinda cried myself to sleep Friday night. I was real worried, because racing is everything I live for. So to line up and not be able to just do it naturally, and to have to think that hard to do it, was hard.

“The second pass I was at least able to shift down the track, so I said ‘OK, that’s better.’ But I was still struggling with the front half of the track. All this sync you kinda learn off your muscle memory, and I guess when your brain goes through that kind of trauma, you need to reconnect the wires.”

Those wires weren’t connecting fast enough for a competitor like McGee, and she failed to make the main Real Street field. Her best qualifying run of 8.517 at 170.84 mph was well short of her pre-stroke best of 8.33, which would have been quick enough to make the cut. Instead she qualified fifth in the B field.

In round 1 of eliminations, McGee beat April Real Street B winner Stephon Reynolds, then took out Joey Gladstone, winner of two AMA Dragbike classes last time out in Martin, Michigan. In that round against Gladstone, McGee ran an 8.331, matching her pre-stroke best elapsed time. Then came an 8.356 in an earned bye to the final. But a glitch in her recovery showed itself. “The clutch was kinda slipping the last couple passes and we contemplated changing it,” said McGee. “When I lined up for the final, I felt the bike creeping. My mind told my hand to pull the grip back, and I did the opposite and let go of the clutch and jumped through the lights.” Veteran racer Mike Mace won in the other lane. “But I’m not gonna sweat that,” said McGee. “I got to ride this weekend. It could‘ve taken months, but I did it in two weeks and I’m happy about that.

“I think the wires reconnected by today. I don’t have 100% of feeling in my left hand, but my mind was able to go back and let the two hands sync together. And in two weeks to be able to come this far, I’m pretty happy.

“I’d personally like to thank Anthony Navarro and Tim Ulman of Playthings Racing for transporting my bike around, John Fernandez of Acme Racing for all the hard work on the bike, and John “Shybear” Davis for his help this weekend. I’ve been so excited to have a chance to prove myself as a rider this year, and I was so scared my stroke was gonna ruin that opportunity. You realize a lot of things don’t matter when you go through something like that. It changes your life. I had a lot of people this weekend who were very supportive and said ‘You know you’re not here to race, you’re here to rebuild yourself.’”

The rebuilding for this fiery competitor will continue at the AMA Dragbike Pingel Thundernationals, August 1-2, 2009, at O’Reilly Raceway Park in Clermont, Indiana.

Karey thanked XXX Racing Fuel Fuel The Revolution , Manglaze nail Ink ManGlaze Matte Nail Polish , Acme Racing/John Fernandez, Help Me Ride powersports financing Help Me Ride , Shinko tire Shinko Tires - Performance You Can Trust , Motul Motul , Vanson Leathers Vanson Leathers - Textile and Leather Jackets, Racing suits & riding apparel for men and women: Vanson Leathers America's leading producer of motorcycle clothing. , Muzzy’s Muzzys Performance Motorcycle Exhaust Systems & Parts , WPS , Spencer Cycle , MSD Powersports MSD Powersports - High Performance Ignitions and Accessories for Powersports , and Adams Performance Adams Performance - Home

for more information about Karey McGee go to Official Home page of Girl Gone Racings "Firestarter"

on Facebook: Karey Mcgee | Facebook

contact: Karey McGee [email protected]

for media inquiries: Tim Hailey [email protected]

this team report was prepared by Tim Hailey, Tim Hailey's EatMyInk
Read expanded motorcycle drag racing race coverage in Straightliner magazine. Subscribe by calling (888) 374-3371 from 8:30 to 5:30 pm EST.

The photos in this report are for editorial use only. For hi-res images or commercial use, contact Tim Hailey.


1,235 Posts
Yea Yea she beat me :sniff: but next time I'm going to:bicycle:her:hysterical: , but like I said be for I :applause: :applause: you for getting back out there :beer:

574 Posts
It was good to see ya out there Karey... glad to see you arent' going to let this hold you back and continue your passion.

See you at the next one :buttrock:

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