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Kyle Petty’s Ride Across America stops at National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – From Indianapolis to the Kentucky Derby Museum in Louisville through stormy weather all the way to the Corvette Museum in Bowling Green… and that’s just a day’s schedule.

For the 28th year, a Ride Across America to raise money for children with chronic illnesses may feature motorcycles, but it’s led by NASCAR royalty.

The riders have been gradually making their way from the Midwest to North Carolina, and they made a stop in Bowling Green… led by a former NASCAR driver raising money for charity.

“This year, we started in Deadwood, South Dakota. We went to North Platte, Nebraska… Omaha, Nebraska… Davenport, Iowa… Indianapolis… Now we’re in Bowling Green… We’re headed to Bristol, Tennessee tomorrow, and then we go back to Victory Junction, which is a camp in North Carolina for children with chronic medical conditions and life threatening medical conditions,” Kyle Petty, former NASCAR Cup Series driver says.

Petty was greeted by loads of fans from his racing career, including a local official in Mayor Todd Alcott.

“I get to represent the people of Bowling Green… and we have this really cool thing called the key to the city. It’s a challenge coin… something similar to the military, but it has our city seal on it. It has part of Bowling Green, has the Corvette Museum, has Western Kentucky… just a little bit of our symbolism,” he says.

Plenty of special guests rode along with Kyle, including another iconic driver who was a surprise to fans in attendance.

“I called Rick Hendrick, who’s in the Hall of Fame here and Rick said he’d have Jeff come and I said ‘Thank you, man.’ That’s so cool. We’re going to do some stuff with Jeff, with our riders… and that’s a special treat for our riders. These people give up a week of their time to raise money to send kids to camp. Jeff Gordon’s their special treat right now,” Kyle says.

From a local perspective, Mayor Alcott says it’s very special to have the ride make a stop in Bowling Green.

“We all have families and we all have communities that we know someone that can benefit from this. We’re part of that… it’s a national group… so we get to see how that helps,” he says.

This ride across the country is the most important fundraiser of the year for Victory Junction… but don’t just take it from Kyle.

“When the kids come there, they pay nothing. The parents don’t have to pay anything… it takes a lot of money to make it work, and this is our biggest fundraiser,” Richard Petty, legendary NASCAR driver also known as “The King” says.

Riders spent the night in Bowling Green, before taking off for Corbin. Their next stops include Bristol Motor Speedway before heading to Victory Junction on Friday.

We spoke to a Victory Junction camper and her family who were in town. They say it’s amazing to see the support that Kyle, Richard and everyone involved has for them and the other campers.