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Former driver, Kyle Petty, coming to Lee

John Willoughby: Greene Publishing, Inc.

In anticipation of completing all 3,685 miles, former NASCAR driver Kyle Petty and more than 200 other motorcyclists will be stopping at a Lee truck stop on Friday, May 10, for a quick rest before trekking to the next stop on the Kyle Petty Charity Ride. Petty is anticipated to arrive around 12:40 p.m., with his father, Richard Petty, and other major sports figures.

Kyle Petty, the son of seven-time NASCAR champion Richard Petty, will be leading the motorcycle charity ride from Seattle, Wa. to Key Largo, Fla., beginning on Friday, May 3, and ending on Saturday, May 11. While it is the 25th anniversary of the annual ride's inception, this year's route is slated to be the longest ever.

"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; but we're also adding in a bunch of new places that our riders will love," said Petty in a press release.

The ride is the main beneficent for the Victory Junction Camp, a vision had by his late son, Adam, who passed away after a tragic on-track incident at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in 2000. Victory Junction Camp, opened in 2004, is a year-round camp existing to enrich the lives of children ages six to 16 with chronic or life-threatening illnesses. The camp includes fun activities such as sports, racing-related activities and even an alpine tower, which allows wheelchair-bound children to participate through a pulley-system and highly-trained counselors.

Petty, now retired from full-time racing, has eight wins in the NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series. Petty's father, Richard Petty, is known as "The King" of America's favorite motorsport. Richard Petty has a boasting 200 wins, which makes Petty the winningest driver in NASCAR history. He also has won the Daytona 500 seven times and runs a full-time race team, Petty Enterprises, of which Darrell Wallace Jr. drives the famed number 43 on the race track every Sunday.

Participating in the ride across America will include NBC Sports NASCAR personalities Krista Voda, Rutledge Wood and Rick Allen, as well as NASCAR legends Donnie Allison, Hershel McGriff and Harry Gant. Active NASCAR driver David Ragan and former Formula 1 driver Max Papis will be participating. Additionally, Super Bowl Champion George Rogers and NFL great Herschel Walker will be making the trek with Petty and, of course, the King himself, Richard Petty, will be along for the ride.

Fans are encouraged to meet Petty as he stops at the Love's Travel Stop, located at 3204 SE County Road 255, in Lee. Fans and individuals may donate to the Charity Ride's "Small Change, Big Impact" program, which accepts donations at local stops.

For more information about Kyle Petty's 25th Anniversary Charity Ride, visit www.kylepettycharityride.com. Information about the Victory Junction Camp can be found by visiting www.victoryjunction.org.

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