His son Kyle has also become a NASCAR champion.
An impromptu ride with friends in 1994 from North Carolina to a NASCAR race at Phoenix International Raceway inspired Kyle to start the Kyle Petty Charity Ride Across America. After starting with four riders, the group attracted more than 30 people along the way. To date, the ride has logged more than 45,000 miles, included more than 5,350 riders and donated more than $9 million to charity.
Kyle, his wife Pattie, and father Richard will lead more than 275 friends, family and supporters down the East Coast in July 2007. The 2,800-mile journey will start in the woodlands of New England, continuing through the Blue Ridge Mountains on the way to the final destination the beaches of Florida. Along the way, riders will stop at the Victory Junction Gang Camp to meet the campers and tour the grounds. As a result of the 2006 ride, 125 children will attend the five-day camp session free of charge.
Fans can follow the ride virtually on www.chick-fil-akylepettycharityride.com. Kyles Virtual Ride will offer video footage in addition to audio journal entries and interviews, photos and Kyles daily journal, all of which share the days adventures on the road.
In 2006, fans and spectators donated coins along the Ride route through the Small Change. Big Impact program. These donations totaled more than $53,000 the equivalent of sending 21 additional campers to the Victory Junction Gang Camp at no cost to their families. During the 2007 Ride, Kyle Petty and the riders once again will collect small change in hopes of sending more children to camp.