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West Valley City Journal

NASCAR driver comes to Salt Lake with fundraiser ride

Mar 31, 2023 01:55PM ● By Greg James

Kyle Petty has turned his love for motorcycles into and opportunity to raise money for children to attend summer camps. (photo Photo courtesy of Kevin Kane photographyPhotography)

Former NASCAR driver and racing analyst Kyle Petty will travel through the Beehive state State as part of one of the most popular charity motorcycle rides in the United States. The 27th anniversary of the Kyle Petty Charity Ride Across America will kick off in Salt Lake City on April 29th and return on May 5th. 

Petty will lead over 125 riders on a seven-day trek covering 1,500 miles. The ride is an effort to raise money and awareness for Victory Junction, a camp dedicated to providing life-changing camping experiences for young children with chronic medical conditions. 

“Nevada and Utah are two of my favorite states to ride motorcycles in,” Petty said. “The desert, red rocks and mountain terrain paint vivid and breathtaking scenes. Our riders are in for a picturesque treat.”

The motorcycle ride will begin in Salt Lake on Saturday, April 29th, and head to Ely, Nevada. From Ely, they will travel to Tonopah and then to Las Vegas, Cedar City, Moab, and back to Salt Lake. 

The trip's highlights include visiting Bonneville Salt Flats, lapping the track at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, scenic highways through Capitol Reef National Park and Legends Motorcycle Museum. 

“I consider myself extremely blessed to be able to ride this incredible route while also raising money to send kids to Victory Junction. the The ride allows me to combine my passions for helping others and motorcycles,” Petty said.

Victory Junction is located in the hills near Greensboro, North Carolina. The facility is operated year round and at no cost to the families. They offer summer camps, day camps and family camps. 

Celebrities scheduled to participate in this year’s ride include NASCAR hall of famer Richard Petty, racing legends Ken Schrader and Kenny Wallace, former Formula 1 driver Max Papis and NFL great Herschel Walker. 

“Any chance I get to spend a week out westWest, I’m taking it,” Kyle’s father Richard Petty said in a press release. “Add riding motorcycles to that and helping the kids at Victory Junction is like putting a cherry on top. That is why I always look forward to Kyle’s ride every year.”

Since the ride began in 1995 more than 8,000 riders have participated and have raised more than $20 million for the childrens charity. 

Every year the fundraiser is held in a different location. The ride began when Petty and three friends rode their bikes from North Carolina to a NASCAR race in Phoenix. Friends joined them as they traveled across the country and when they arrived more than 30 riders had participated. He decided this could turn into something more. 

The charity Petty founded was made to honor his late son Adam. He was killed in a car racing accident in preparation for an event in New Hampshire. He was 19 years old. He was the fourth generation Petty family member to race in NASCAR.

The ride and events will be documented on social media, the foundation's Facebook page, and Instagram.