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Speed is all in the family
Sullivan clan making motorcycle racing history
Corning resident Katie Sullivan has already made a name for herself in the world of motorcycle racing, but is happily sharing the racing spotlight with a racer with whom she also shares her name.
Katie is competing side-by-side with her father, Charlie Sullivan, at the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) Gatornationals in Gainesville, Fla. this weekend in the Pro-Stock Motorcycle class. It marks the first time in the class that a team, in this case the Sullivan Family Race Team, is competing with both a father and daughter riding.
Charlie, 51, has been racing since he was a teen, competing on several different drag bikes as well as piloting an alcohol-fueled funny car. Raising three children, he spent 15 years at local tracks running jr. dragsters, and said proudly, "I wouldn't trade the time we spent together as a family at the race track for anything."
Charlie put his racing aside when Katie set her heart on racing drag bikes. They raced together for the first year until Katie moved to a faster bike and a higher competition level, and Charlie took on the role as her crew chief.
Katie, a full-time business student and owner of Tough Girl Designs, added, "To watch my dad out there competing with me again is beyond incredible. There isn't a person in the world I think deserves it more than he does."
The Sullivans also talked about the tremendous support they have received from many people. "The support from our family, friends, and fans has been really amazing. We also are continuing partnerships with MotoWear International, JP's Paint & Body Works, and Girls For A Change. We owe such a huge thank you to all the people standing behind us."
Charlie's plans are to just run the one race in Gainesville, fulfilling a dream that's been years in the making, and neither Charlie not Katie could be more excited.
"I can't even explain how much my father has done for me," said Katie, "I have worked so hard to get where I am today, but none of this would be possible without my dad and my whole family."
It's been said that "the family that plays together, stays together," but whether they're side-by-side on the track or not, the Sullivan family is staying close.
CONTACT Craig Purcell at 824-1036 or firstname.lastname@example.org