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NASCAR greats to visit Ti

TICONDEROGA NASCAR legends Richard and Kyle Petty will visit Ticonderoga July 15.

The Pettys along with former National Football League star Herschel Walker, model Niki Taylor and NASCAR Hall of Fame member Harry Gant will be in the area as part of the 13th annual Kyle Petty Charity Ride Across America.

The annual motorcycle trek features NASCAR celebrities, ride sponsors, motorcycle enthusiasts and fans traveling cross-country to raise money for the Victory Junction Gang Camp and other childrens charities.

The Victory Junction Gang Camp was founded by Kyle and Pattie Petty in honor of their son Adam, a fourth-generation NASCAR driver, who was killed in May 2000 during practice for a NASCAR Busch Grand National Series race in New Hampshire. Located in North Carolina, the camp opened in June 2004 to serve children with chronic medical conditions or serious illnesses.

Ride participants will be travelling from Woodstock, Vt., to Saratoga Springs Sunday, July 15. They plan on stopping at Fort Ticonderoga for lunch at about noon. Following lunch they will ride into the hamlet to fill up with gas before proceeding to Saratoga.

The lunch will be for ride participants only, according to Diane Hough, executive director of the event, but there will be time set aside for the Pettys and other celebrities to meet the public.

Hough said about 185 motorcycles and a dozen support vehicles will visit Ticonderoga.

Richard Petty is commonly called the King of auto racing. He is best known for winning the NASCAR championship seven times, winning a record 200 races during his career, winning the Daytona 500 a record seven times and winning a record 27 races (ten of them consecutively) in the 1967 season alone. He also collected a record number of poles (127) and over 700 top-ten finishes in his 1,185 starts, including 513 consecutive starts from 1971-1989. He is the son of Lee Petty, a NASCAR pioneer and champion.

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