"We started this ride as a small group of friends just riding from track to track," said Kyle Petty, who currently serves as a NASCAR television analyst for SPEED, Showtime and TNT. "It's amazing to see how this event has grown – seven days of beautiful riding with more than 175 riders helping to send hundreds of kids to Victory Junction."
In 2012, for the first time riders will pass among the sprawling redwood forests of California and travel both "The Loneliest Road in America" (U.S. Highway 50) and "The Million Dollar Highway" (U.S. Route 550). In addition to 25 planned fuel stops, the 2012 Charity Ride route will make overnight visits in Redding, Cal.; Reno, Nev.; Richfield, Utah; Grand Junction, Co.; Albuquerque, N.M.; and Lubbock, Texas.
Albuquerque Stop Details
The motorcyclists are expected to arrive between 6:00-6:30pm on Wednesday, May 2nd at the Marriott Uptown Hotel at Louisiana and I-40. The public is invited to stop by for a meet-and-greet event with autographs from Kyle Petty and other celebrity riders.
Former NFL great and Heisman Trophy winner Herschel Walker, Texas Motor Speedway President and General Manager Eddie Gossage, NASCAR legend Harry Gant and former NBA star and NASCAR team owner Brad Daugherty also plan to participate for all (or part) of this year's ride.
"The Kyle Petty Charity Ride makes a real difference in children's lives," said Walker, who's participating in his seventh event in 2012. "It's not only the kids we visit with along the route, it's the donations that help sponsor thousands of trips to Victory Junction that make this ride so special."
Past notable riders include Robin Pemberton, Vice President of Competition, NASCAR; 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Champion Tony Stewart; NASCAR drivers Michael Waltrip, Geoff Bodine, Steve Park, and Kenny Schrader; supermodel Niki Taylor; PGA golfer Davis Love III; Orange County Chopper co-founder Paul Teutul, Sr., among others. Since 1995, more than 7,000 riders have logged 10.1 million cumulative miles alongside Petty and donated more than $14.5 million to primary beneficiary Victory Junction and other charities that support chronically ill children.
A year-round camp, Victory Junction was founded by the Petty family to enrich the lives of children with chronic or life-threatening illnesses by creating experiences that are memorable, empowering, and physically safe and medically sound. The Randleman, N.C., camp was founded by the Pettys to honor their late son Adam; since opening its doors in 2004, Victory Junction has been the Charity Ride's primary beneficiary.
In the last eight years, more than 7,350 children with health issues that would typically prevent them from attending camp have attended Victory Junction at no charge thanks to the Kyle Petty Charity Ride. Construction of a second facility is currently under way in Kansas City, Kan.
Fans and spectators along the Charity Ride route can contribute through the "Small Change. Big Impact." program, which accepts donations at the Ride's pit stop locations. The public can also make a $10 donation by texting RIDE to 27722. Reply to the confirmation text with the word YES to confirm the donation, and $10 will appear on the user's wireless bill or will be deducted from a prepaid balance. Online donations are also accepted at http://www.kylepettycharityride.com/donate.php.
The 2012 Kyle Petty Charity Ride Across America is made possible by sponsors Coca-Cola, Pilot Flying J, Racing Electronics, WinCraft Racing and FLUIDYNERacing Products, Freightliner, Krispy Kreme and FGX International.
To follow Petty and the riders live, fans should visit www.facebook.com/KPCharityRide or follow Kyle and the ride on Twitter: @kylepetty and @kpcharityride. For detailed information on Ride pit stops, or for more information on Victory Junction and the Kyle Petty Charity Ride Across America, visit www.kylepettcharityride.com.
About The Kyle Petty Charity Ride
Led by NASCAR driver and racing analyst Kyle Petty, the Kyle Petty Charity Ride Across America raises awareness of and funds for Victory Junction and othercharities supporting chronically ill children. The Charity Ride is one of the most successful and popular charity events in the country. Now in its 18th year, the Charity Ride has donated more than $14.5 million to Victory Junction and other children's charities, with 7,000 participants logging more than 10.1 million cumulative motorcycle miles. For more information about the CharityRide, please visit www.kylepettycharityride.com.
About Victory Junction
Victory Junction is a year-round camping environment for children ages six to 16 with chronic medical conditions or serious illnesses. Founded by the Petty family in honor of their son Adam, the camp is located in Randleman, N.C., with a second location opening soon in Kansas City, Kan. Victory Junction offers programs for a range of disease groups and maintains strong relationships with more than 30 partner hospitals. Victory Junction's mission is to provide life-changing camping experiences that are exciting, fun and empowering, in a safe and medically sound environment. As a not-for-profit organization, the camp operates solely through the support of generous individuals, groups and corporations to provide this experience at no charge to children and their families. For more information or to donate, visit http://www.victoryjunction.org/.