The Kyle Petty Charity Ride Across America raised $1.3 million, the most since 2008, event organizers announced Tuesday.
Funds benefit Victory Junction, a camp dedicated to children with chronic or life-threatening illnesses. Since the charity ride began in 1995, more than 8,000 children have attended the camp at no cost.
The charity ride, hosted by NASCAR on NBC analyst and former Cup driver Kyle Petty, started May 13 from Portland, Oregon, and a week later in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The charity ride featured 200 bikers.
“This might be my 23rd year leading the Ride, but the overwhelming support we receive from fans in local towns across America just never ceases to impress me and we’re so grateful for that,” said Petty in a statement. “We had a very special welcome in Ten Sleep, Wyoming, where an entire K-12 school came out to greet us, and unforgettable receptions in Walla Walla, Washington, and in Mitchell, South Dakota. Not to mention the support from small towns like Kooskia, Idaho, and Raymond and Darwin, Minnesota.”
This charity ride surpassed last year’s total funds by $300,000. Funds were gathered from fans along the route, along with donations from sponsors, organizations and riders.
“We couldn’t do what we do without the support of our loyal sponsors, and this year we were fortunate enough to visit our friends at Manheim Portland, Manheim Minneapolis, WinCraft Inc. and Harley- Davidson,” said Petty. “Not only did these companies make generous contributions to our cause, but they also made an extra special effort to provide our riders with great food, live music, activities and more.”
Since 1995, more than 8,175 riders traveled more than 11.9 million cumulative miles and raised $18 million for Victory Junction and other children’s charities. Victory Junction has served as the charity ride’s main beneficiary since its establishment by Petty and his family in 2004 in honor of his late son, Adam.
Petty talked about the ride during an episode of the NASCAR on NBC podcast last month.