The Kyle Petty Charity Ride Across America raised $1.3 million during its recent 24th Anniversary Ride. Funds raised directly benefit Victory Junction, a camp dedicated to providing life-changing camping experiences for children with chronic or life-threatening illnesses. The Ride’s donation supports maintenance programs, building projects and camperships.
For the first time since 2011, former NASCAR driver and NBC Sports racing analyst Kyle Petty brought his annual motorcycle ride back to the East Coast. On May 5, Petty embarked on 1,200-mile route, leading 225 participants from Portland, Maine, to Greensboro, North Carolina. Traveling through nine states in seven days, the Ride included many bucket list stops and sights on its themed “Americana Tour.”
Featured activities included victory laps at New Hampshire Motor Speedway and Pocono Raceway, the hallowed grounds of Woodstock, tours of the Martin Guitar Factory, Mario Andretti’s estate, Harley-Davidson Vehicle Operations plant and Petty Museum, a visit to the Manheim Pennsylvania auto auction and a ride through Shenandoah National Park. But perhaps the most exciting part of the 2018 Ride was the finale celebration at Victory Junction.
“From lapping the track at New Hampshire to our homecoming at Victory Junction, this year’s Ride was a little bittersweet,” said Petty. “It was more emotional for me this year than past Rides because we ended at Camp. I’ve said it a million times—when I see a camper, I see Adam in their smile and I know he’s still here with us. And there were campers everywhere as we pulled into Camp.”
Victory Junction has served as the Ride’s primary beneficiary since its establishment by Petty and his family in 2004 in honor of his late son, Adam. Since 1995, more than 8,400 riders have logged more than 12 million cumulative motorcycle miles and raised $19.3 million for Victory Junction and other children’s charities.
Funds were gathered from fans along the route, as part of the Ride’s “Small Change. Big Impact.” program, as well as donations made by generous sponsors, organizations and the riders themselves.
“The generosity of our sponsors is a huge reason why we’re able to do the things that we do, and this year we were fortunate enough to visit our friends at Manheim Pennsylvania and Harley-Davidson,” said Petty. “In addition to making contributions to our cause, these companies work so hard to provide our riders with memorable visits that include great food, fellowship, activities and more.”
The 2018 Ride was made possible by presenting sponsor Manheim, as well as Coca-Cola, Harley-Davidson Motor Company, Dodge Law, Racing Electronics, WinCraft Racing, FLUIDYNE Racing Products, Petty Family Foundation, Headbands of Hope, Piedmont Moving Systems, WileyX and Goody’s.
“The Kyle Petty Charity Ride has a special place in our hearts at Manheim and Cox Automotive,” said Janet Barnard, Cox Automotive Chief People Officer. “I’m so proud of our team’s passion to get involved and raise money for this truly inspirational cause, especially our team members at Manheim Pennsylvania who rallied together to raise $84,437 for the Ride.”
This year’s Ride also featured several celebrity riders, including NASCAR Hall of Famer and seven-time champion Richard Petty; NASCAR legends Harry Gant, Hershel McGriff and Donnie Allison; current NASCAR driver David Ragan; former NASCAR driver and ESPN racing analyst Ricky Craven; former NFL great and Heisman Trophy winner (1982) Herschel Walker; Heisman Trophy winner (1980) and Super Bowl champion (XXII) George Rogers; and NBC Sports NASCAR personalities Krista Voda, Rutledge Wood and Rick Allen.
To look back at Petty and the riders’ journey, check out their posts on social media:
For more information about the 24th Anniversary Kyle Petty Charity Ride Across America or to donate, please visit kylepettycharityride.com.