New road course highlights charity ride

Day 7 of Kyle Petty's "Charity Ride Across America" included a stop at Barber Motorsports Park, the newest road course on the IndyCar Series schedule. It was the first time I'd seen it, and it is a beautiful facility with well landscaped turns. The course is one of the best with up-and-down turns and beautiful scenery.

As a native Tennessean, it was difficult to make the stop in Tuscaloosa, Ala., Friday afternoon. The town is home to the Alabama Crimson Tide, and while we were there a local radio station handed out koozies with the classic houndstooth pattern made famous by Alabama coach Paul "Bear" Bryant. I respectfully declined.

I had some ribs for lunch, and I must say I will put Texas ribs up against Alabama ribs any day of the week. If you want leathery, chewy, hard ribs, you eat Alabama ribs. There's no comparison to Texas ribs, and that's a fact.

Our trip is winding down as we reach Randleman, N.C. It's always fun to get to Victory Junction Gang Camp and see the kids having a good time. It's always a neat moment with the kids clapping and singing songs when we get there. It's just a moving experience to get to see the role you've played in helping.

But just like every year, the ride has to end. I told Pattie Petty recently that this has been the best ride ever. All I know is let's do it again. I'm ready for next year.