Petty’s Legacy-Kyle



Kyle Petty doesn’t have a Sprint Cup ride so far this season, and he certainly won’t be a part of the Petty- Gillette merger plans for 2009!  Nevertheless, the legacy that Kyle Petty leaves behind is just as monumental as the one that his father, “King Richard” Petty leaves!


Kyle Petty’s legacy is born out of tragedy, not triumph!  His son, Adam, died May 12, 2000 (Mother’s Day weekend) from injuries sustained in a crash during practice at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.  Kyle Petty refers to his son’s death as “Adam’s accident”.  Adam was just two months short of his 20th birthday, and was a very young and energetic teenager.  As a driver, Adam was to take the Petty banner into the 21st century under the tutorship of Kyle and his grandfather, “King Richard”.


From that devastaing loss of his son came The Victory Junction Gang Camp, which Kyle and his wife Pattie established in Adam’s memory!  Through this camp, which serves children  ages 6-16, Kyle and Pattie have welcomed thousands of children into their extended family.  In actuality, the core of this idea came from Adam prior to his untimely death.  According to Pattie, it was Adam who had discussed the idea of helping out terminally ill children.  This idea from a teenager, obviously a well grounded young man!


For reasons too many to list, Victory junction, as a concept, has resonated throughout the NASCAR community and now throughout the corporations sponsoring the NASCAR teams!  The focused commitment of  Kyle and Pattie Petty is a powerful magnet, one that attracts support from NASCAR’s top stars.  Tony Stewart stages a race at his race track, the famed Eldora Speedway, in support of Victory Junction.  That race, Prelude to the Dream, is the who’s who of racing.  Stewart invites the stars of NASCAR, NHRA, and dirt track legends to race each other with all the proceeds going to TheVictory Junction Gang Camp.  This year Stewart donated ONE MILLION DOLLARS  to Victory Junction!  The Jimmie Johnson Foundation donated $600,00.00 for a bowling alley at the camp.  Mike Helton, NASCAR president, auctioned off his prized Harley for Victory Junction.


Kyle had announced that another Victory Junction Camp will be built in Kansas City to compliment the facility built in Randelman, N.C.  Even though the economy is slowing, Kyle is still committed to building that facility.  He further boosts that he committed to establishing facilities throughout the USA! 


For Kyle, his tenure at Petty Enterprises ended with close of the 2008 season and the merger of Boston Ventures with Petty Enterprises.  He will, however, be remembered for what he has accompolished off the track more than his racing prowess.  While his father excelled in the racing game and IS NASCAR, Kyle has excelled as a human being and humanitarian!!  The vision of his son, Adam, and the drive and desire to make Adam’s dream a reality, is very impressive. 



When this reporter reflects on the Petty family and and their contributions to NASCAR  the two men stand out head and shoulders above all their peers for very different reasons.  For Richard Petty, there are no comparisons in his accompolishments of winning races.  He accumulated 200 wins over his storied career.  His closest competitor is “The Siver Fox” David Pearson at 105 victories.


On a different stage, Kyle Petty has become a huge fund raiser for many charities, and the founder of The Victory Junction Gang Camp.  He and his wife have brought to fruition Adam’s dream and it has flourished bigger than anyone could have dreamed.  The Victory Junction Gang camp invites these children to attend camp for one week at no charge.  These children are around other children who also suffer from some of the same afflictions and enjoy one week of fun and laughter.  They are able to, at least temporarily, forget about the seriousness of problems and just have fun!!


Kyle Petty’s fetes may just out  live anything that his father did on the race track!  As you can tell, this reporter is a huge fan of, and contributor to, The Victory Junction Gang Camp.  After having two grandaughters that lived only a few hours, I have made a commitment to donate each year to this wonderful organization so that children will have a chance to be children.  If you need more information on The Victory Junction Gang Camp go to the link, .


For those of you who are trying to tie the picture to the post, once again I will help you.  That picture was taken by yours truly at The California Speedway.  It is Adam Petty’s Busch Series car being pushed out on the pit road.



And Then There Was One!









7.  Jay Freye offered VP/Gen Mgr with Stewart-Haas Racing

8.  Richmond Entry List:    




It is one to go and the race teams that are on the bubble are REALLY feeling the presure to solidify their positions in the Chase.  One of the teams that is serving notice is the #48 Lowes team.  Jimmie Johnson and team thoroughly dominated the entire race at The Auto Club Speedway of Southern California, previously known as The California Speedway.  It appears that after Indy, they are hitting on all eight cylinders.  Johnson has been in the top five in almost every race since then, with the exception of one race that is.  Also the #99 Office Depot team is finding their stride once again like they did in the beginning of the season.  The runaway that the ol Las Vegas Wasel, commonly referred to as TLVW,  had going in the middle of the season has turned into a possible three horse race.  Although TLVW has had an unbelievable year in all three divisions of NASCAR, he has some serious competition just in time for the Chase.  For a while it looked like a foregone conclusion that TLVW would run away and hide with the championship, but both the #48 and #99 teams have come to life!!  That should make for some great racing, and good TV ratings I might add, for the Chase!  This reporter hopes that the championship is decided on the last lap at Homestead as it was with the very first season of the Chase.  That makes for great journalism and fantastic TV viewing!!!


There are a couple of sleeping giants that need to really have a great race at Richmond this Saturday night to secure their  place in the Chase.  Positons 6-14 in the NASCAR standings are still extremely tight and their finish at Richmond will either put them in or eliminate them from the Chase.  David Ragan, Clint Bowyer, Kasey Kahne, and Kevin Harvick come to mind as teams that have to race the wheels off of their respective hot rods to get in the BIG SHOW!!!  Can we say PRESSURE?  The Rock and Roll 4oo @ Richmond International Raceway this Saturday night ought to be one whale of a show with may storylines unfolding. 


Richmond is short track on steroids!  It has all excitement of a short track race with high speed dessert!!  There is bumping and banging along side with side-by-side racing.    There is a special area there for the drivers to leave their  feelings and their anger before they get into the pitts!!!  But make no mistake, there will be drivers with their feelings hurt and their tempers a flaring when they leave the track Saturday night!!!That is exactly why it is a true fan delight and there won’t be an empty seat at the Henrico County Fairgrounds!!!   


A most news worthy items came of NASCAR out this week.  NASCAR is going to finally change their drug testing policy!!  It is about time that they came to the 21st century!  Especially inlght of Tyler Walker’s confession of SHOOTING UP HEROIN  before a few races in the truck series last year!!!  NASCAR CAN NOT HAVE THAT BEHAVIOR IN A SPORT  WHERE A MISTAKE CAN KILL YOU AS WELL AS THOSE AROUND YOU!!!!! 


Some of you folks are possibly trying to corelate the picture I have chosen to NASCAR and the race at California Sunday.  Well, the picture is of Times Square in NYC and the banquet at the end of the season is at The Waldorf-Astoria in NYC.  Only the top twelve will see these sights, since they are the only invitees to the banquet.  So you see, it is evey Cup driver’s desire to see the sights of NYC in December!!!


Unfortunately I will be “in the unfriendly skies” flying to Seattle Saturday evening, so I will miss the race live.  Thank God for DVR’s!!!!!!