Kyle Petty, former NASCAR driver, leads the way during his Charity Ride Across America. The journey began in Kent on May and finished nine days later in Florida. COURTESY, Kevin Kane Photography

Kyle Petty, former NASCAR driver, leads the way during his Charity Ride Across America. The journey began in Kent on May and finished nine days later in Florida. COURTESY, Kevin Kane Photography

Kyle Petty Charity Ride Across America raises $1.7 million for Victory Junction

250 participants complete Ride’s longest route ever, nearly 3,700 miles – from Kent to Key Largo – to raise funds to provide a life-changing camp experience for children with chronic medical illnesses

  • Wednesday, June 19, 2019 11:08am
  • News

The Kyle Petty Charity Ride Across America, which originated in Kent early last month, raised more than $1.7 million after completing a true corner-to-corner route to celebrate its 25th anniversary.

Funds raised directly benefit Victory Junction – a camp in Randleman, N.C., servicing children with chronic medical illnesses. The Ride’s donation supports maintenance programs, building projects and summer camperships.

In addition to the more than $1.7 million raised by the Ride, a $2 million donation was presented to the Kyle Petty Charity Ride Trust by the Andreas family in honor of a beloved Charity Rider, the late David Andreas. The Trust was established by the Ride in 2015 to fund Victory Junction in perpetuity.

To commemorate this milestone anniversary, former NASCAR driver and NBC Sports racing analyst Kyle Petty led 250 participants on the Ride’s longest route ever. On May 3, Petty embarked from Kent on a nearly 3,700-mile route, traveling through 11 states in nine days before ending in Key Largo, Fla., on May 11.

The cities and towns along this year’s route welcomed the Ride with open arms, including more than 15 mayoral appearances who presented proclamations and/or keys to the city. Also, the Ride received a tribal blessing from leaders of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation during its visit to Pendleton, Ore. Other highlights include Governor of Mississippi Phil Bryant attending a pit stop in Magee, Miss., and the entire student body of Lee Elementary School greeting the Ride in Lee, Fla.

“This year’s Ride was amazing. We had beautiful views, crowds at every stop, police escorts the entire trip, a little rain, fun visits with Victory Junction campers, great food and lots of laughs with friends for nine straight days,” Petty said. “When you get 250 people together that care about kids, want to help others and love to ride motorcycles, it’s going to be fun! Riding corner to corner across America just made it more special.”

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, 8,650 riders have logged more than 12.4 million cumulative motorcycle miles and raised $18.5 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.

“Our partners are the reason we’re able to do what we do. Manheim Seattle and Manheim Tampa were special stops for us this year. Their fundraising efforts were over the top. Plus, our seven gas stops at Love’s Travel Stops and four meal stops at Harley-Davidson dealerships kept us fueled and fed,” Petty said. “Coca-Cola, WinCraft and Piedmont Moving Systems have been with us for all 25 years. I can’t say thank you enough for always being there for the Ride and for Victory Junction.”

The 2019 Ride was made possible by presenting sponsor Manheim, as well as Coca-Cola, Harley-Davidson Motor Company, Dodge, Dodge Law, Love’s Travel Stops, Racing Electronics, WinCraft, FLUIDYNE Racing Products, Petty Family Foundation, Headbands of Hope, Piedmont Moving Systems, WileyX, Manafort Brothers Inc., Stock Car Steel & Aluminum, Inc., Blue Emu and Goody’s.

“The Kyle Petty Charity Ride has held a special place in our hearts at Manheim over the years,” said Grace Huang, president of Manheim. “I’m so proud of our team members at Manheim Seattle and Manheim Tampa who rallied together this year to raise over $75,000 to help send kids to Victory Junction.”

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 Formula 1, Champ Car and NASCAR driver Max Papis; 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: Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

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The Kyle Petty Charity Ride Across America covered 11 states in nine days. COURTESY, Kevin Kane Photography

The Kyle Petty Charity Ride Across America covered 11 states in nine days. COURTESY, Kevin Kane Photography

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