NASCAR Great Kyle Petty Coming to CIU

April 26, 2012

NASCAR racing icon Kyle Petty is coming to Columbia May 9.  Petty will be speaking at a fundraising luncheon for the new intercollegiate athletics program at Columbia International University, and will also meet with prison inmates enrolled in the CIU Prison Initiative at the Kirkland Correction Institution.        

Petty, a member of NASCAR’s most famous family has spent three decades as a NASCAR driver, owner and media commentator.  His father Richard Petty, known as “the King,” is recognized as the greatest champion in NASCAR history.  His grandfather, Lee, was a larger-than-life figure in the early days of stock car racing.

While Kyle Petty made his mark in racing by starting in 829 races, he is also well-known for his philanthropy.  With his wife Patty, he founded Victory Junction Gang Camp near Level Cross, N.C. where nearly 5,000 children with life threatening or chronic illnesses find hope, laughter, friendship and adventure every year.  Petty also founded the Kyle Petty Charity Ride Across America to benefit children’s causes.  To date, the Ride has raised over $14 million and is the most successful philanthropic event staged by any person in the NASCAR family.

When Petty isn't behind the wheel of a racecar or serving humanitarian or philanthropic causes, he is a featured racing analyst on television, radio and the Internet. 

Petty will share lessons from his faith and life experiences with guests at the noon luncheon in CIU's Moore Fitness Center.  Earlier in the day, he will visit with 30 student-inmates at who are earning an accredited Associate of Arts degree from CIU while in prison.     

The public is invited to the luncheon.  For ticket information call (803) 807-5084 or email by May 1.  Proceeds benefit CIU athletics.  For more information on the luncheon visit .  

The CIU Rams compete in intercollegiate athletics for the first time in the school’s nearly 90-year history this fall.  For more on CIU athletics visit