Monday, October 5, 2009

Take a Ride to Victory With Kyle Petty

If you're on the highways of North Carolina this weekend, keep your eyes peeled. You might just see Kyle Petty and a few hundred of his best bikin' buddies taking to the road for a good cause.

This Saturday, Petty and friends will fire it up and head out for the Seventh Annual Ride to Victory. The en masse ride will benefit Victory Junction, a year-round facility founded by Petty's family which serves children with chronic medical conditions or serious illnesses.

"This ride is so important because all monies raised go directly to Victory Junction," Petty explained. "The camp is always fund raising and the motorcycle community has always played a large role in our efforts. From this ride alone we'll be able to send 10 or 15 kids to camp. I can't think of a better reason to ride..."

In addition to raising funds for Victory Junction, this year's event will pay tribute Petty's long-time friend Click Baldwin. A member of the KPCR Board of Directors and owner of Carolina Harley Davidson in Gastonia, NC, Baldwin passed away following a motorcycle accident last year.

"He was a part of the Charity Ride from the very beginning," Petty said. "And he and I rode across the country together many times. He was one of the best friends I ever had."

Rally points on Saturday include Tilley Harley-Davidson in Statesville, Iron Horse Motorcycles in Monroe, Harley-Davidson of Charlotte and Carolina Harley-Davidson in Gastonia. The full group will depart from Carolina Harley-Davidson at 10:30 a.m.. And Petty said he's especially excited that the group will be making a special stop at the new NASCAR Hall of Fame.

"The Charity Ride in the past has stopped at numerous tracks BEFORE they were opened so this just continues that record," he explained.

After paying homage to The Hall, the group will continue to Kannapolis , N.C. and participate in a “classic” Charity Ride pit stop at Pilot Travel Center before arriving at Victory Junction.

Race fans and bike enthusiasts alike are welcome to join this year's Ride to Victory gang. In addition to Kyle Petty, NASCAR personalities confirmed for this year's ride include Harry “The Bandit” Gant who has 18 career Cup wins; Waddell Wilson, crew chief and engine builder to former NASCAR greats such as Junior Johnson, and Darrell Waltrip; and Donnie Allison, part of the original “Alabama Gang”.

For more information about the Ride to Victory, or to pre-register, visit or call (704) 714-4545. And for the story of how Victory Junction became a reality, check out this touching segment which ABC aired before Sunday's Cup race.

Photo: A pic from last year's Ride to Victory, courtesy of the folks at Kyle Petty Charity Ride

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