The Goldendale Sentinel - Headlines & History since 1879

Fans turn out for Kyle Petty Charity Ride


Jaryd Cline

A PICTURE WITH PETTY: Kyle Petty, right, takes a picture with a fan on Saturday at the Maryhill Museum. The son of racing legend Richard Petty, is now retired from racing and works as a television analyst for NBC's pre- and post-race shows.

Starting in Portland, riders participating in the 23rd annual Kyle Petty Charity Ride Across America were showered with rain and even hit with hail for just a brief moment.

However, that didn't stop the group of around 200 bikers from showing up in style on Saturday afternoon at the Maryhill Museum.

Led by former NASCAR racer Kyle Petty, 125 bikes carrying around 200 former NASCAR racers, celebrities and other riders rolled into the museum, their first stop as part of the eight-day, 2,400 mile ride benefitting Petty's Victory Junction Camp which exists to enrich the lives of children with life-threatening and chronic illnesses.

One-by-one the 125 bikes made its way down the hill and into the museum parking lot where a large group of fans awaited, including Goldendale Mayor Mike Canon.

One rider pulled into the parking lot with ACDC's "You Shook Me All Night Long" turned up loudly, and shortly after, the parking lot to the museum was covered with a sea of nicely parked Harley Davidsons and other nice motorcycles.

Many of the riders broke for lunch while some strolled around and checked out the museum and some hung with fans and signed autographs.

"It's cool. It's been really nice," Petty said. "It's a little cool today. I'm not sure I would come out and stand in line for Herschel Walker or Kyle Petty or some of these guys giving autographs.

"But a good turnout of fans and what a nice place this is," he added.

1982 Heisman trophy winner Herschel Walker was one of the first to make his way over to the autograph line and signed footballs fans had brought and took pictures with many waiting in the line.

Eighty-nine-year-old Herschel McGriff also was with the group riding his bike. The racing legend who grew up in nearby Oregon shared stories of when he raced on the dirt tracks in Yakima decades ago.

Another former Heisman winner, George Rogers from the University of South Carolina who beat out Walker for the 1980 Heisman, took pictures with fans and also let them try on his Heisman ring and his Super Bowl ring that he won in 1987 with the Washington Redskins.

The King, Richard Perry, wasn't able to make it to Maryhill, but joined the crew later in Walla Walla.


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