Kyle Petty, former NASCAR driver and NBC Sports racing analyst, will celebrate the 25th anniversary of his annual Kyle Petty Charity Ride Across America by leading the longest route in event history.
As one of the most successful and popular charity rides in the country, the Ride will travel a true corner-to-corner route across the United States – beginning in Kent on May 3 and ending in Key Largo, Fla., on May 11.
Petty and the field are scheduled to launch the ride from Manheim Seattle Auto Auction, 19711 77th Ave. S., Kent, from 7 to 8:30 a.m., on that first Friday in May.
For the first time in the Ride’s history, 250 riders will travel nearly 3,700 miles, raising money to send kids to Victory Junction – a camp dedicated to providing life-changing camping experiences for children with chronic or life-threatening illnesses.
Petty, the son of stock car racing legend Richard Petty, will lead the field, which will include more than 30 new riders, through 11 states in nine days.
For the seventh year, Manheim, a leading provider of used vehicle services, will host a stop along the route at Manheim in Tampa, Fla., in addition to the one in Kent.
Traveling from Washington to Florida, this year’s trek will offer a variety of scenic views – from the beauty of the Pacific Northwest and the red rock terrain in Utah, to the Colorado hot springs and Rocky Mountains, to the North Central Plains of Texas and the Louisiana bayou, and onto the Everglades and sunny Florida beaches.
“This year’s route is special because we’re bringing back a few of our favorite Ride stops from past years, like Glenwood Springs, Santa Fe and Childress, (Texas), but we’re also adding in a bunch of new places that our Riders will love,” Petty said. “I may be biased, but I believe this year’s Ride will be the best ever. We’ve gone north to south and west to east, but never corner to corner. Seattle to the Keys is a bucket list ride and I can’t wait to knock it off my list and help our Riders do the same.”
Spectators along the route are encouraged to attend one of the Ride’s nine overnight stops or daily fuel stops to greet Petty and the riders, purchase memorabilia and make donations.
25th Anniversary Kyle Petty Charity Ride Across America schedule:
Day 1, Friday, May 3 – Kent to Ontario, Ore.
Day 2, Saturday, May 4 – Ontario, Ore. to Orem-Provo, Utah
Day 3, Sunday, May 5 – Orem-Provo, Utah to Glenwood Springs, Colo.
Day 4, Monday, May 6 – Glenwood Springs to Santa Fe, New Mexico
Day 5, Tuesday, May 7 – Santa Fe, New Mexico to Childress, Texas
Day 6, Wednesday, May 8 – Childress, Texas to Shreveport-Bossier City, La.
Day 7, Thursday, May 9 – Shreveport-Bossier City to Pensacola Beach, Fla.
Day 8, Friday, May 10 – Pensacola Beach to Tampa, Fla.
Day 9, Saturday, May 11 – Tampa to Key Largo, Fla.
Because of the Ride, 8,185 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 Formula 1, Champ Car and NASCAR driver Max Papis; 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.
“It’s hard to believe it’s been 25 years since the Ride started. What started as just a few friends riding motorcycles to race tracks around the country has turned into something so much bigger than I could’ve ever imagined,” Petty said. “Because of our sponsors, fans and the people who participate in this Ride, whether they’re veteran participants or first-timers, so many deserving kids get to have the time of their life at Victory Junction each year.”
The 2019 Ride is made possible by presenting sponsor Manheim, as well as Coca-Cola, Harley-Davidson Motor Company, Dodge, Dodge Law, Racing Electronics, WinCraft Racing, FLUIDYNE Racing Products, Petty Family Foundation, Headbands of Hope, Piedmont Moving Systems, WileyX, Manafort Brothers Inc., Stock Car Steel & Aluminum, Inc., Blue Emu and Goody’s.
For more information about the Ride or to donate, please visit kylepettycharityride.com.