Victory Junction Gang: Adam Petty’s Dream

Victory Junction enriches the lives of children with chronic medical conditions or serious illnesses by providing life-changing camping experiences that are exciting, fun, and empowering, in a safe and medically-sound environment.

Imagine a place where children with ongoing medical problems can learn, grow, have fun and enjoy a fantastic camping experience. Can you picture it? Adam Petty did. In 1999 Adam and his family participated in a charity motorcycle ride to benefit Camp Boggy Creek, a camp for seriously-ill children in Florida. From that day on, Adam dreamed of building a camp like Boggy Creek in North Carolina for children who cannot attend normal summer camps due to their unique medical needs.

Adam passed away in 2000, but his parents, Kyle and Pattie Petty, took action to make Adam’s dream come true. As they worked at this, Kyle and Pattie became involved with the Association of the Hole in the Wall Camps founded by actor Paul Newman. With guidance from Newman’s program and help from the Pettys’ friends in NASCAR, Kyle and Pattie were able to raise the funds necessary to make Adam’s dream a reality.

Victory Junction opened in June 2004 and this year will be celebrating its fifth year anniversary. Working as a year round camp, Victory Junction serves children, ages 6-16, with a number of different health issues. During the summer, Victory Junction offers weeklong, disease-specific sessions with up to 128 kids per session. During the fall, winter and spring, family weekends are offered and serve up to 32 families per weekend. And, all this is possible thanks to the generosity of corporations, individuals, and organizations, no child or family has had to incur the cost of attending Victory Junction.

Located in Randleman, NC, Victory Junction is built upon 84 beautiful acres donated by Richard and Lynda Petty. Themed around NASCAR racing, the camp echoes the sights, sounds, and feel of a real racetrack! Victory Junction has 42 buildings and program areas, such as Adam’s Race Shop, Goody’s Body Shop (medical center), the Hendrick Motorsports Fuel Stop (dining hall), the Silver Theater, the Kyle Petty Charity Ride Across America Water Park, the Michael Waltrip Operation Marathon Sportscenter, Kurt Busch Superdome, Jimmie Johnson Victory Lanes (bowling alley) and Jessie’s Horse Power Garage (stables and riding arena), there is no shortage of fun and empowering activities!

To date, Victory Junction has changed the lives of more than 10,000 children with chronic medical conditions and serious illnesses and their families.  (Victory Junction Gang Camp)

The Victory Junction Gang is a charity that I hold near and dear.  It is one of the two charities that I fully support and donate to each year, the other is St. Jude’s in Memphis.

Kyle Petty maybe the son of Richard Petty, and had to live in the show of greatness for all of his life.  But what he really may be remembered for will nothing to do with NASCAR!  I believe the legacy that both Kyle Petty and his wife Pattie will be remembered for will be for The Victory Junction Gang Camp and what they have been able to do for the chronically ill children!

It is quite impressive that Kyle and Pattie Petty were able to take an idea that their 18 year old son, Adam, had and make it become a reality!


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.



The Winds of Fate

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8.   KYLE PETTY OUT OF #45? (Winston-Salem Journal)



“The three horse race” just distanced themselves a little further from the pack Sunday.  It appears the Jimmie Johnson, Carl Edwards, and Greg Bifle teams are turning up the heat on the rest of the “Chasers”!!  Sunday they all, in their own way, showed dominance during the Kansas race.  It was an extremely exciting final three laps!!  With Johnson leading the race, Edwards made up about ten car lengths down the back stretch of the last lap.  Going into turn three Edwards drove it so deep and blew by Johnson by approximately 3 car lengths, but couldn’t keep his Ford off the outside retaining wall.  Edwards just hit it hard enough to slow his momentum and Johnson went back by him as they exited turn 4 heading to the finish line!!!  What a finish to the race!!!!


Several driver changes were announced or hinted.  A. J. Almendinger has been released from the #84 Red Bull Racing Toyota.  The team announced that Mike Skinner and Scott Speed will share ther ride for the rest of 2008.  Next year Scott Speed, the former Formula 1 and possibly new ARCA champ, will be the new pilot of that ride.  Paul Menard will take his Daddy’s money, Menard’s Home Improvement Stores, and leave DEI for Yates Racing.  Speaking of DEI, the Army sponsorship is leaving and moving over to the #39 Stewart-Haas Racing Ryan Newman Chevy.  That leaves DEI in a quandry over sponsorship money!!!  The #8 and #15  have no sponsorhip money, likewise the #01 has only a 12 race deal.  There is likely a change of driver for the #45 Petty Dodge.  It appears that there is a power stuggle going on in that organization!  VP of Operations, Robby Loomis, is intimating that Kyle Petty has driven his last race in the #45 Petty Dodge.  However, Kyle doesn’t seem to be going along with that decision!!  Lastly, there is a rumor flowing through the garage that Michael Waltrip Racing may be interested in adding Marcos Ambrose and his sponsor Little Debbie’s to his stable.


In conclusion, this reporter would be remiss if I failed to acknowledge the passing of Paul Newman.  Not only was Paul Newman an extrordinary actor, father, husband, entrepenuer, and philanthropist; he was an excellent race car driver in his own right and CART/IRL car owner.  To this reporter, there were several characters he portrayed that were memorable!  Newman played the title character in “Cool Hand Luke” and the phrase that resonates in my mind is “what we have here is a failure to communicate“!!!!!  His role in “The Hustler” and reprised again in “The Color of Money” were classic!!  Lastly his two pictures with Robert Redford, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and The Sting, were classic Paul Newman!!!!Newman started the company, Newman’s Own, giving all the profits to charity!!! 


He was intrumental in starting “The Hole In The Wall Gang”, a non-profit camp for terminally ill children.  He gave to charity tens of millions of dollars in his latter years!  The Hole In Wall Gang idea was influential to Kyle and Patti Petty in forming THE VICTORY JUNCTION GANG CAMP.

Go rest high on that mountain, Paul Newman, your work here on earth in done!!