Saturday, June 21, 2008

A Great Young Man, who Never really had a Chance.

On the day that Dale Earnhardt Jr won his first Winston Cup race, on April 2, 2000, I was very excited. I'd liked the young man since he first started driving in the Busch Series. Dale Jr. managed to win 2 Busch Series championships in 1998 and 1999. In 2000, he won just in his 7th Cup race of the season. It was a major accomplishment, and watching Dale hugging Dale Jr. in victory lane was a moment that I'll probably never forget.

There was another young driver in that race, his very first race in Winston Cup, Nascar's most elite series. His name was Adam Petty, the great-grandson of Nascar pioneer Lee Petty, the grandson of the King, Richard Petty, and the son of Kyle Petty. This was his first Winston Cup race, and sadly enough, it turned out to be his only race in the Cup Series. A little over a month later, Adam Petty died in an accident at New Hampshire Speedway during practice, on May 12, 2000. Adam was only 19 years old, and suddenly he was gone forever.

The Petty family's grief was evident, but subdued. Kyle had been in England with one of his daughters when the accident happened. Richard was quiet. But the grief they endured had to be monumental. No family, especially the Petty family, with such proud traditions, could have felt more grief than Kyle, Pattie, Richard, and all the rest of the family felt when Adam passed away at such a tragically young age.

After Adam's death, Kyle and his wife Pattie started the Victory Junction Gang Camp. This is a very special place where kids with all ailments and sicknesses get to live out their dreams. Kyle has told us that this was Adam's dream, even at only the tender age of 19. Adam wanted to help kids that are hurting, especially those in terminal conditions. The Victory Junction Gang Camp has fulfilled a ton of dreams since it's inception, and Kyle, Pattie, Richard, and untold how many drivers and friends have helped make Adam's dream a reality. There are kids that have been at the camp that have had their dreams realized, no matter how short their time is to realize any of their dreams.

I've got a friend, and he's a nice guy, and he's willing to donate his talent and time to this excellent charity. We call him TireDawg, and he posts regularly on the Pit Board, especially early in the morning. This man has his own business, but also does a remarkable thing on his own. He makes custom diecast replicas of Nascar race cars. My friend, TireDawg, will also be making these available on E-bay, and the total buyer's winning bid will be given to the Victory Junction Gang Camp. I hope to be working in conjunction with TireDawg, and will be posting links on this site. This is a worthy cause, folks. The Petty's are giving back from their success, and making kids very happy. Some of these kids won't live long, but Kyle and his family give them their dreams in memory of the son they lost.

We only live once. Get a custom made diecast that will contribute to a special cause. Our friend TireDawg makes some very good 'casts, and let's contribute to the Victory Junction Gang Camp. Let's do our part and help kids that need help.

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