PORTLAND, OREGON…Approximately two hundred motorcyclists, twenty-five support vehicles and multiple ride sponsors roared out of the Freightliner Trucks’ corporate headquarters here on Saturday, July 23, kicking off the 11th annual Kyle Petty Charity Ride Across America. The caravan made a pit stop for a special breakfast hosted by Freightliner Trucks, a sponsor of Petty Racing.
The main beneficiary of the Charity Ride is the Victory Junction Gang Camp in Randleman, N.C. Victory Junction Gang is a non-profit camp created to enrich the lives of children with chronic or life-threatening illnesses by creating camping experiences that are memorable, exciting, fun, empowering, physically safe and medically sound.
The breakfast was attended by the motorcyclists, charity ride sponsors, Petty Racing personnel, Freightliner Trucks senior management and local media. Attendees enjoyed a catered breakfast, walk-around tours of Freightliner vehicles and a speech from Bruce Smalley, General Manager, Sales and Marketing, Freightliner Trucks, in addition to a video message from Kyle and Richard Petty.
“Freightliner Trucks has been a supporter of Petty Racing for five years now,” Smalley stated. “We are proud of our connection to the Petty team and will continue to supply them, and other NASCAR racing teams, with quality vehicles to get their equipment from track to track in comfort and style.”
The breakfast kicked off day one of the nine-day cross-country trek. The riders, including NASCAR celebrities, ride sponsors and motorcycle enthusiasts will cruise through the Badlands of South Dakota and the old wild west of Wyoming as they travel towards their final destination, the Victory Junction Gang Camp in Randleman, N.C.
Kyle and Richard Petty joined the cross-country caravan on Sunday night in Idaho Falls, Idaho, after competing in the Pennsylvania 500 NASCAR race on Saturday.
Over the past eleven years, the Charity Ride has logged over 38,000 miles, included over 5,000 riders and raised over seven-million dollars for various children’s hospitals and charities.
Victory Junction Gang Camp was started by Kyle and Patty Petty in honor of their son Adam, who died in a racing accident. The camp was developed to help enrich the lives of children ages 7-15 with chronic or life-threatening diseases.
“It was always Adam’s dream to build a camp like Victory Junction,” stated Kyle Petty. “We were motivated to do something for our neighbors in North Carolina, so now Victory Junction is a place where children in the region can forget about their problems for a week and just be a kid at camp: reading, singing, laughing and making friends, all the while being fully supported by a full medical staff and a state-of-the-art medical facility.”
Smalley said, “As a company that maintains facilities and employs thousands in the Carolinas, Freightliner feels a close tie to the people living in those southern communities who benefit from all of the good deeds and good feelings the Victory Junction Gang Camp brings to the area.”
Fans and supporters can log on to www.cfakylepettycharityride.com and track the location of Kyle Petty throughout the ride by donating $2 each visit or $15 for the entire route.
“The Charity Ride has become an incredibly popular event and a major fundraiser for Victory Junction,” Petty said. “We continue to be amazed and grateful at the generosity of our participants and our sponsors, as well as to the fans that come out and cheer us on as we travel across the country.”
Fuel and overnight ride stops will be marked by events and activities for fans, supporters and riders. A schedule of the ride stops is attached below.
The Victory Junction Gang campers have decorated individual flags with their visions of hope and caring. The riders will each be given a piece of the flag to carry with them on their bikes across the country to remind them of the true inspiration of the ride - the kids at the camp. Once the riders return to Randleman, N.C., the individual pieces will be sewn together to create one big American Flag that will fly high at Victory Junction.
Smalley added, “Freightliner Trucks is honored to be affiliated with such a charitable and wonderful cause.”
Freightliner Trucks is a division of the Freightliner Group, headquartered in Portland, Oregon, and is the leading heavy-duty truck manufacturer in North America. The Freightliner Group produces and markets Class 3-8 vehicles and is a company of DaimlerChrysler, the world's largest commercial vehicle manufacturer.