CHARLOTTE, N.C., Feb. 27, 2018 - Former NASCAR driver and NBC Sports racing analyst Kyle Petty is once again revving up his Kyle Petty Charity Ride Across America for the 24th year in a row. As one of the most successful and popular charity rides in the country, the Ride will travel down the East Coast this spring for the first time since 2011.
Starting in Portland, Maine, on May 5 and ending in Greensboro, North Carolina, on May 11, Petty will lead 225 participants, including a record of more than 25 new riders, through nine states in seven days. Presented for the sixth consecutive year by Manheim®, North America's leading provider of used vehicle services, the Ride will travel 1,200 miles to raise funds and awareness for Victory Junction - a camp dedicated to providing life-changing camping experiences for children with chronic or life-threatening illnesses.
Dubbed by Petty as "The Americana Tour," this year's route features many bucket list stops, sights and activities for participants - including victory laps at New Hampshire Motor Speedway and Pocono Raceway, the hallowed grounds of Woodstock, tours of the Martin Guitar Factory, Harley-Davidson Factory and Petty Museum, a visit to Manheim Pennsylvania-the world's largest auto auction, and so much more. But perhaps the most exciting part of the 2018 Ride will be its homecoming and finale celebration at Victory Junction.
"It's been more than seven years since we've been to the East Coast. We heard the requests of both our riders and fans, and we're excited to deliver a special route full of incredible surprises and experiences, like riding through Shenandoah National Park - which will be the 13th national park visited on the Ride," said Petty. "We'll also be ending the Ride at Camp this year, which always brings everything full circle. Year after year, all the miles we travel are for the kids at Victory Junction. They're the reason we ride."
Spectators along the 2018 route are encouraged to attend one of the Ride's seven overnight stops or daily fuel stops to greet Petty and the riders, purchase memorabilia and make donations.
24th Anniversary Kyle Petty Charity Ride Across America Schedule:
• Day 1, Saturday, May 5 - Portland, Maine to Albany, New York
• Day 2, Sunday, May 6 - Albany, New York to Mount Pocono, Pennsylvania
• Day 3, Monday, May 7 - Mount Pocono, Pennsylvania to Lancaster, Pennsylvania
• Day 4, Tuesday, May 8 - "Off Day" in Lancaster, Pennsylvania
• Day 5, Wednesday, May 9 - Lancaster, Pennsylvania to Winchester, Virginia
• Day 6, Thursday, May 10 - Winchester, Virginia to Hot Springs, Virginia
• Day 7, Friday, May 11 - Hot Springs, Virginia to Greensboro, North Carolina
"Giving back is a big priority for Manheim and our parent company Cox, so we are thrilled to sponsor the Kyle Petty Charity Ride Across America once again this year," said Grace Huang, president of Cox Automotive Inventory Solutions. "We're excited that this year's route will bring riders to the largest auto auction location in the world-our very own Manheim Pennsylvania-where we look forward to welcoming everyone and rallying together to support this worthwhile cause."
Because of the Ride, 8,085 children have attended Victory Junction at no cost to their families. Last year alone, the Ride raised $1.3 million and sent 100 children to Camp. Victory Junction has served as the Ride's primary beneficiary since its establishment by Petty and his family in 2004 in honor of his late son, Adam.
Among the celebrities participating in this year's Ride are NASCAR Hall of Famer and seven-time champion Richard Petty; NASCAR legends Harry Gant, Hershel McGriff and Donnie Allison; current NASCAR driver David Ragan; former NASCAR driver and ESPN racing analyst Ricky Craven; former NFL great and Heisman Trophy winner (1982) Herschel Walker; Heisman Trophy winner (1980) and Super Bowl champion (XXII) George Rogers; and NBC Sports NASCAR personalities Krista Voda, Rutledge Wood, and Rick Allen.
"What started as Kyle and a few friends just having a good time, riding to-and-from racetracks, has turned into something so much more. It's still a way for everyone to have a good time, but to also do some good," said Kyle's father Richard Petty. "Because of these riders and fans, so many deserving kids get to have life-changing experiences at Victory Junction."
The 2018 Ride is made possible by presenting sponsor Manheim, as well as Coca-Cola, Harley-Davidson Motor Company, Dodge Law, Racing Electronics, WinCraft Racing, FLUIDYNE Racing Products, Petty Family Foundation, Headbands of Hope, Piedmont Moving Systems, WileyX and Goody's.
Keep up with Petty and the Ride on social media at the following accounts:
• Facebook: www.facebook.com/kpcharityride and www.facebook.com/kylepetty45
• Instagram: www.instagram.com/kpcharityride and www.instagram.com/kylepetty
• Twitter: www.twitter.com/kpcharityride and www.twitter.com/kylepetty
For more information about the Ride or to donate, please visit www.kylepettycharityride.com.
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