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Let us praise Kyle Petty.

Kyle Petty doesn't have a NASCAR Sprint Cup ride this season, and he certainly won't be part of the combined Petty/Gillett Evernham organisation.

Nevertheless, the legacy Kyle Petty leaves is likely to be as monumental as that of his father, Richard Petty, a 200-time Cup winner and a seven-time Cup champion.

Kyle Petty's legacy is born of tragedy, not triumph. His son Adam died May 12, 2000 from injuries sustained in a crash during practice at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Kyle Petty refers to his son's death as "Adam's accident". When the accident occurred, Adam was still two months away from his 20th birthday.

As a driver, Adam was to have carried the vaunted Petty banner into the 21st century. Those dreams ended at Loudon.

From the devastating grief of that loss came Victory Junction Gang Camp, which Kyle and wife Pattie Petty established in Adam's memory. Through the camp, which serves children ages 6-16 with chronic and serious illnesses, the Pettys have welcomed thousands of children into their extended family.

For a multitude of reasons, Victory Junction as a concept has resonated throughout the NASCAR community and beyond. The unrelenting commitment of Kyle and Pattie Petty is a powerful magnet, one that attracts significant support from NASCAR's top stars.

A substantial portion of proceeds from Prelude to the Dream, the annual event Tony Stewart hosts at his own Eldora Speedway in Ohio, benefits Victory Junction. In 2008, Stewart presented Petty a check for $1 million after the race. The Jimmie Johnson Foundation donated $600,000 to add a bowling alley to the camp.

NASCAR president Mike Helton put a prized Harley-Davidson motorcycle up for sale at last weekend's Sound & Speed celebration in Nashville. In a live auction benefiting Victory Junction and the Country Music Hall of Fame, Helton's bike brought $30,000 when it was gavelled down at the Wild Horse Saloon.

Money is fuel for the furnace of Petty's vision. He has announced plans for a camp in Kansas City to complement the original facility in Randleman, N.C., though Petty says the floundering economy has slowed progress on the second camp. Ultimately, Petty would like to establish facilities throughout the country.

Though Petty's tenure with his namesake organisation ended last year with his final ride in the #45 Petty Dodge, he doesn't need the cachet of being a full-time Sprint Cup driver to accomplish his goals.



Related Pictures

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Kyle Petty during Brickyard 400 testing. [Pic Credit IMS Media/Dana Garrett]
Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Quicken Loans Chevrolet SS, races to an eighth place finish with Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS who finished in second place Saturday night, April 9, 2016 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo by Alan Marler for Chevy Racing)
Chase Elliott, driver of the #24 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet SS, stops in his pit on his way to a fifth place finish Saturday night, April 9, 2016 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas. Elliott takes over the #24 car from retired driver Jeff Gordon.  (Photo by Ashley R Dickerson for Chevy Racing)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s Chevrolet SS, races to a fourth place finish Saturday night, April 9, 2016 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo by Alan Marler for Chevy Racing)
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS, finishes in second place Saturday night, April 9, 2016 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo by Brian Cleary for Chevy Racing)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Interstate Batteries Toyota, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Duck Commander 500 as Texas Motor Speedway President Eddie Gossage (L) and John Godwin of Duck Commander (R) look on at Texas Motor Speedway on April 9, 2016 in Fort Worth, Texas (Photo Credit: Photo by Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Interstate Batteries Toyota, celebrates after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 9, 2016 in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Interstate Batteries Toyota, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 9, 2016 in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Sarah Crabill/Getty Images for Texas Motor Speedway)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Interstate Batteries Toyota, celebrates winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 9, 2016 in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Sarah Crabill/Getty Images for Texas Motor Speedway)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Interstate Batteries Toyota, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 9, 2016 in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Robert Laberge/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Carl Edwards, driver of the #19 Stanley Toyota, leads the field to the green flag to start the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 9, 2016 in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Robert Laberge/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #78 Bass Pro Shops/TRACKER Boats Toyota, practices for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 7, 2016 in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Carl Edwards, driver of the #19 Stanley Toyota, poses with the Coors Light Pole Award after qualifying for the pole position for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 8, 2016 in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Carl Edwards, driver of the #19 Stanley Toyota, poses with the Coors Light Pole Award after qualifying for the pole position for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 8, 2016 in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s 75th Anniversary Toyota, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway on April 3, 2016 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Photo by Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s 75th Anniversary Toyota, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway on April 3, 2016 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Photo by Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s 75th Anniversary Toyota, celebrates with the chequered flag after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway on April 3, 2016 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Photo by Sarah Crabill/Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s 75th Anniversary Toyota, crosses the finish line to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway on April 3, 2016 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Photo by Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)

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Norman Sizemore - Unregistered

January 21, 2009 12:08 AM

It is a shame that we will not being Kyle Petty out on the track this year. We have to over look that and consider what he had down. Kyle and Patti did not let the death of Adam deter them. Instead they carried out Adam's dream. Kyle is admired by fans and drivers alike. He will always be remembered as the driver who mad a difference in the children that are less fortunat.

Treatypresident - Unregistered

December 14, 2009 3:47 AM

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