Two-wheelin’ NASCAR

Petty brings charity ride to Smoky Mountain Harley

NASCAR driver Kyle Petty signs autographs in 2006 when the Victory Junction Gang brought their Charity Ride fundraiser to the Chick-fil-A in Clinton. Petty will be at the Smoky Mountain Harley-Davidson in Maryville for the 2010 ride on Saturday, May 8.

NASCAR driver Kyle Petty signs autographs in 2006 when the Victory Junction Gang brought their Charity Ride fundraiser to the Chick-fil-A in Clinton. Petty will be at the Smoky Mountain Harley-Davidson in Maryville for the 2010 ride on Saturday, May 8.

Former NFL star Herschel Walker and supermodel Niki Taylor came to Clinton in 2006 as part of the Kyle Petty Charity Ride. They are participating in the 2010 ride and will be stopping at the Smoky Mountain Harley-Davidson in Maryville on Saturday, May 8.

Former NFL star Herschel Walker and supermodel Niki Taylor came to Clinton in 2006 as part of the Kyle Petty Charity Ride. They are participating in the 2010 ride and will be stopping at the Smoky Mountain Harley-Davidson in Maryville on Saturday, May 8.

Children with chronic illness are getting some star-power attention from NASCAR great Kyle Petty with a nationwide event that now includes Maryville.

The Kyle Petty Charity Ride Across America will stop at Smoky Mountain Harley-Davidson, 1820 West Lamar Alexander Parkway, for lunch and a community celebration on Saturday, May 8. The riders are on a 3,800-mile trek from Indian Wells, Calif., to Randleman, N.C., to raise awareness of and funds for Victory Junction.

“We are thrilled to be a stop on a ride for such a great cause,” said SMHD owner Scott Maddux. “Victory Junction makes a huge difference in the lives of seriously ill children all over the country, and we are honored to support it here at Smoky Mountain Harley-Davidson.”

The public celebration to welcome the riders will begin at 11:30 a.m. at the Harley dealership. Guests are encouraged to come early as the Victory Junction riders will only be making a brief stop-over before continuing their ride. In addition to Petty, former NFL great and Heisman Trophy winner Herschel Walker, actress and supermodel Niki Taylor, legendary NASCAR driver Harry Gant and nearly 200 additional participants are scheduled to join Petty on the Ride.

Victory Junction provides a medically-sound camping experience to children with chronic and terminal illnesses.

The Kyle Petty Charity Ride for Victory Junction is led by NASCAR driver and racing analyst Kyle Petty. The Ride Across America raises awareness and funds for Victory Junction and other charities supporting chronically ill children. The Charity Ride is in its 16th year and has donated more than $13 million to Victory Junction and other children’s charities, with 6,400 participants logging more than 9.1 million cumulative motorcycle miles.

This year the ride is from May 1-9, beginning in Indian Wells, Calif., and ending in Randleman, N.C.

Petty and his wife, Pattie Petty, began Victory Junction, a year-round camping environment for children ages six to 16 with chronic medical conditions or serious illnesses, in honor of their son Adam. The camp is located in Randleman, N.C., with a second location planned for Kansas City, Kan. Victory Junction offers programs for 24 disease groups and maintains strong relationships with 26 partner hospitals. Its mission is to provide life-changing camping experiences that are exciting, fun and empowering, in a safe and medically-sound environment.

As a not-for-profit organization, the camp operates solely through the support of donors to provide this experience at no charge to children and their families.

For more information about Victory Junction, visit www.victoryjunction.org.

For more information about the Charity Ride, visit www.kylepettycharityride.com.

For more information contact Paige Bell at 865-977-1669 or visit www.SMH-D.com.

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