By Starrla Cray
DARWIN, MN If you’re a NASCAR fan, you might want to race on over to Darwin next week.
Kyle Petty, one of the most popular personalities in race car driving, will be in town for his 23rd charity motorcycle ride across America.
“We are thrilled to be a part of this well-known fundraiser, and we invite everyone to join us May 18 to share in the excitement,” Darwin Mayor Josh Johnson noted.
Petty plans to be at the twine ball in Darwin (1st Street) Thursday, May 18 at 3:25 p.m. Fans are encouraged to arrive by 3:10 p.m., as Petty and the other motorcyclists are on a strict schedule and won’t be able to stay long.
Celebrity riders accompanying Petty include:
• NASCAR Hall of Famer and seven-time champion Richard Petty
• NASCAR legends Harry Gant, Hershel McGriff, and Donnie Allison
• Former NFL great and ESPN’s 2016 Coaches Poll greatest college football player of all time, Herschel Walker
• Heisman Trophy winner (1980) and Super Bowl champion (XXII) George Rogers
• NBC Sports NASCAR personality Rick Allen
• Harley-Davidson Museum president, Bill Davidson, who comes from a long list of Harley-Davidson greats starting with his great grandfather who founded the company.
Spectators will have an opportunity to greet riders at the twine ball, and purchase memorabilia or contribute to the ride’s “Small Change. Big Impact.” program, which accepts donations at each stop.
For children with chronic illnesses
The ride’s beneficiary is Victory Junction, a camp dedicated to providing life-changing camping experiences for children with chronic or life-threatening illnesses.
The first Kyle Petty Charity Ride took place in 1995. Since then, more than 7,950 riders have logged 11.6 million cumulative motorcycle miles and raised $17.5 million for charity.
Petty will lead 200 bikers through eight states this year. The seven-day ride was scheduled to start in Portland May 13, and will end in Milwaukee May 19.
“The ride is an enriching experience for everyone involved, and this year we’ll be riding through some spectacular parts of the country like Mount Rushmore, and for the very first time the Columbia River Gorge,” Petty noted in a press release.
A few other stops will include Yellowstone National Park, Badlands National Park, Bighorn National Forest, and the Harley-Davidson Museum.
Altered to include Darwin
Johnson noted that Petty stopped in Darwin while scouting for this year’s ride, “and was so impressed with our enshrined twine attraction that he altered the route to make a stop in Darwin.
“To thank the group for making our community a part of their experience, we are raising funds for their cause and have been taking donations at several Darwin businesses.”
For more information about the ride, CLICK HERE.