Dr. Carolyn Gochee racing to raise awareness, money for Sherry Bird | CraigDailyPress.com

Dr. Carolyn Gochee racing to raise awareness, money for Sherry Bird

Ben Bulkeley
Dr. Carolyn Gochee, of Craig, has decided to begin racing again at Hayden Speedway to raise money and awareness for Craig resident Sherry Bird. Bird was diagnosed with breast cancer, and Gochee hopes to raise money from winning the race to help Bird offset medical costs.
Hans Hallgren

To help

To purchase a sponsorship or T-shirt in support of Gochee's "race for the cure," call her at 620-0068, or drop off checks or cash to Dr. Gochee's office, 595 Russell St., or The Copy Shop, 99 E. Fourth St. Make checks payable to Dr. Carolyn Gochee. Half of all proceeds go to support Craig resident Sherry Bird.

When Dr. Carolyn Gochee started racing in 2005, it was to promote girl power.

After her increasing workload and additional education took the Hayden Speedway out of her weekends, she took a four-year hiatus from the dirt track.

On Saturday, the chiropractor is back.

And the car is still pink.

Gochee’s return begins Saturday, when she competes in the Sport Stock class to again promote girl power, but in a different sense.

Half of her proceeds will be given to Sherry Bird, a Craig woman who is battling breast cancer.

“The Birds are just a wonderful family,” Gochee said. “I heard from my church that Sherry had been stricken with breast cancer, and that was the only thing I needed to hear to race again.

“I thought, ‘What better inspiration than Sherry?'”

Racing is something Gochee has been a part of for a while.

She started off on go-karts, then moved to four-wheelers and eventually, to the Pink Fury.

The car – an early 1970s Volkswagen Bug that has been stripped down, fit to spec and painted pink – is about attracting a different kind of attention, Gochee said.

“It’s all about having fun while raising awareness,” she said. “And it’s still about girl power.”

The car wears No. 3, which is not without special meaning or significance.

The three components of subluxation – emotional, chemical and structural – are a major part of Gochee’s practice.

“Sherry also has three daughters,” Gochee said. “And that’s just as significant.”

But it wasn’t just the thrills Gochee missed in her time away from the track.

“The fans are what make it so great,” she said. “I missed the fans the most.”

The 1.9 liter, 100-horsepower engine may not look like the fast-revving, high-octane barn-burning power plant one may expect to find under the hood (or in the Bug’s case, the trunk) of a race car, but Scott McKinney said looks can be deceiving.

McKinney, a self-proclaimed “Bug nut” and Gochee’s fiance and mechanic, said the little Pepto-colored car has zip.

“Don’t be fooled – she moves,” he said.

After a four-year hiatus, McKinney is ready to see the Pink Fury back on the track, too.

“We’re anxious to see how the motor will do,” he said. “It takes about a month’s worth of work – hard nights and weekends, to get the car ready.”

Having McKinney work on the car helps cut down costs, meaning more winnings would go to Bird, Gochee said.

Each lap around the track is more about raising awareness than money, Gochee said.

“We want to have fun and raise moral,” she said. “I’ll be at the track from here on out.”

Gochee said she has seen girl power at work since she last raced at the Hayden Speedway.

When she left, there was one other woman in her class.

This Saturday, there will be four.

“It’s good to see more girls at the track,” she said.

To help raise money and cover the costs of fuel, safety equipment, membership fees and other expenses, Gochee is offering different levels of sponsorships.

For $25, the name of a cancer survivor or person who died from cancer can be written in Sharpie on the car (Bird’s name is written twice).

For $50, a company name can be printed on the car, and $150 buys a fender. Gochee has just one question:

Are you tough enough to wear pink?

“I want to have a whole section of the stands wearing pink in support of Sherry,” she said. “We’re selling T-shirts and caps.”

Although she is racing for a cause, it does little to dampen Gochee’s competitiveness.

“Of course,” she said, “I want to win them all for Sherry.”

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