NASCAR on NBC podcast, Ep. 78: Kyle Petty on his Charity Ride


For being committed to riding a motorcycle for several thousand miles every year – often without an itinerary – Kyle Petty is blessed with a necessary attribute.

“I have a crazy sense of direction,” the NBCSN analyst said on the NASCAR on NBC podcast. “I don’t know if it’s (because) I’ve traveled my whole life. I’m one of those guys who I can get to an intersection and something in my head says, ‘Go right,’ and it ends up being the right direction.”

In advance of his 23rd annual Charity Ride, which wraps up Friday, Petty discussed how he maps out the route ahead of time and why he has preferred two-lane roads to interstates throughout his life.

This year’s Charity Ride began in Portland and traversed Washington, Montana, Wyoming, South Dakota and Minnesota before ending in Wisconsin.

The stops will include quirky attractions such as the Corn Palace and the World’s Largest Ball of Twine.

But Petty said the best part is encountering personalities such a six-time national hog-calling champion a few years ago.

“The coolest part of any ride we do, bar none, is the places are cool, but the people you meet make the places more special,” Petty said. “You meet genuinely nice people who want to come out and say hello or talk racing or talk about the camp.”

During the podcast, Petty also discussed:

–The ride’s connection with Victory Junction Gang Camp (which has been supported by more than $17 million in donations from the event);

–How NASCAR drivers evolved from racing for a hobby to racing for a living;

–The quintessential Lee Petty story about why winning the contested 1959 Daytona 500 was more about picking up a check than a trophy.

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