Charity ride stops in Staunton

Story by Chris Graham

You’d expect a group of NASCAR drivers heading from Maine to Florida on motorcycles to make good time – but Steve Park swears that it’s all on the up-and-up.

“We run the speed limit, believe it or not – as much as we can,” said Park, who is taking part in his 11th Kyle Petty Charity Ride Across America, which will be making a quick stop in Staunton this morning.

The ride is now in its 13th year – after being launched by Petty to raise money for Victory Junction Gang Camp, a Randleman, N.C.,-based camp for children with special needs.

The charity ride has logged more than 45,000 miles, encompassed more than 5,000 riders and raised more than $9 million for Victory Junction and other children’s charities.

This year’s rider lineup features Kyle Petty, his father, NASCAR legend Richard Petty, in addition to University of Georgia and Dallas Cowboys star Herschel Walker and supermodel Niki Taylor.

Park has been a part of the ride almost from the get-go.

“We started to do this ride among friends – and all of the sudden, it blossomed into the ride that you see today,” Park said in an interview with “The Augusta Free Press Show” on Monday.

“We ride across the United States on motorcycles – which is something that we love to do. But the bottom line is, we try to raise a lot of money to let these kids go to camp at no charge and bring their families and actually enjoy a piece of life that we get to enjoy on a day-to-day basis,” Park said.

“So by riding motorcycles, we combine two passions that we have – one is riding motorcycles, and two is raising money for the kids at camp so they can enjoy their lives as much as we do,” Park said.


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Chris Graham is the executive editor of The Augusta Free Press.

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