NASCAR’s Kyle Petty joins John O’Leary 0n the Live Inspired Podcast to discuss racing, family and life.
Kyle Petty was born into racing royalty. As a third-generation driver and the only son of NASCAR’s winningest driver ever Richard Petty, Kyle spent decades competing at motorsports’ highest divisions earning a reputation as a classy competitor and one of the greatest philanthropists that NASCAR has ever known.
For more than 20 years, Kyle has hosted the annual Kyle Petty Charity Ride Across America to raise more than $20 million for Victory Junction. Founded in honor of his son Adam, Victory Junction is a year-round camp that exists to enrich the lives of children, ages six to 16, with chronic and serious medical conditions.
Today, Kyle shares an insider’s perspective on stock-car racing’s rise in popularity in American culture, how he weathered the untimely death of his son and how he uses his platform to provide life-changing and life-giving experiences for others.
- His mother’s empathy and desire to give back stood out to Kyle.
- Worldly education: While providing Kyle and his siblings with traditional schooling was important to his mother, seeking worldly educational opportunities while traveling to races was just as important.
- By not comparing himself to his father or grandfather, Kyle felt the freedom to be who he was and find success in his own way.
- Big Business: For a single NASCAR Cup Series car to practice, it could cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.
- Kyle credits helping his dad Richard Petty win the 1979 Daytona 500 and helping his son Adam Petty win his first ARCA race as the two most meaningful and memorable races of his career.
- At 19 years old, Adam died in a practice at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Looking back at his son, Kyle sees a joyous kid that got to do what he loved to do.
- “The plan became clear. God had given you a platform to do good.”
- Since opening in 2004, Victory Junction has delivered more than 100,000 camp experiences and has served children with serious illnesses and chronic medical conditions. Learn more about Victory Junction.
- “Die is a dramatic word but not living is the same thing.”
Did you enjoy today’s episode?
You’ll love our Sports and Athletes playlist! Including fellow NASCAR star Kenny Wallace, six-time Olympian Jackie Joyner-Kersee, legendary sports broadcaster Bob Costas and so many more, this playlist will get your head in the game. Listen to the Sports and Athletes playlist now.
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KYLE PETTY'S LIVE INSPIRED 7
- Q. What is the best book you’ve ever read?
A. The Bible.
- Q. What is a characteristic or trait that you possessed as a child that you wish you still exhibited today?
- Q. Your house is on fire, all living things and people are out. You have the opportunity to run in and grab one item. What would it be?
A. A soapstone statue of a shepherd my dad brought back from the USO Tour to Vietnam which represented that he was home safe.
- Q. You are sitting on a bench overlooking a gorgeous beach. You have the opportunity to have a long conversation with anyone living or dead. Who would it be?
A. Adam and we’d talk out the great mysteries of life.
- Q. What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
A. You are who you are. Don’t try to be anything different.
- Q. What advice would you give your 20-year-old self?
A. Time is the most important thing. The time you give others and the time you give yourself.
- Q. It’s been said that all great people can have their lives summed up in one sentence. How do you want yours to read?
A. I did the best I could.