Twenty one years ago, NASCAR driver Kyle Petty combined his passion for helping others with his love of motorcycles to create the Kyle Petty Charity Ride Across America. One of the most successful and popular charity events in the country, the annual motorcycle trek engages celebrities, Ride sponsors, motorcycle enthusiasts, fans and local communities to raise funds and awareness for Victory Junction. Since 1995, more than 7,500 riders have logged 11.1 million cumulative motorcycle miles and raised $16 million for Victory Junction and other children’s charities.
The inspiration for the Ride came in 1994, when Petty and three friends rode their motorcycles from North Carolina to a NASCAR race at Phoenix International Raceway. Friends joined the ride along the way, and by the time the group reached Phoenix, it had grown to 30 riders. The turnout inspired Petty, and he decided to nurture the event into something bigger; The Kyle Petty Charity Ride Across America was born.
Since its inception by the Petty family in 2004 in honor of Kyle’s late son Adam, Victory Junction has served as the Ride’s primary beneficiary. Located on 84 acres in Randleman, N.C., Victory Junction exists to enrich the lives of children with chronic or life-threatening illnesses by creating camping experiences that are memorable, fun, empowering, physically safe and medically sound.
This year, Kyle Petty will lead approximately 200 riders on a route drafted by the Ride’s co-founder and 20-year participant, the late Don Tilley. The Ride will travel from Santa Cruz, Calif. to Branson, Mo., May 2-8. As a result of the Ride, more than 7,815 children have attended Victory Junction at no cost to their families.
Fans and spectators along the Charity Ride route may contribute to the Charity Ride’s “Small Change. Big Impact.” program, which accepts donations at local stops.
To follow Petty and the riders live, follow us on Facebook (Kyle Petty Charity Ride, Kyle Petty), Twitter (@KPCharityRide, @kylepetty) and Instagram (@KPCharityRide, @KylePetty). #KPCharityRide