Kyle Petty Bridges Two of North Carolina's Biggest Cultural Treasures: Music and NASCAR

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Kyle Petty likes to say, “We grew up in rural North Carolina where there were dairy farms and there were tobacco farms – we just happened to grow race cars.”

In recent years though, Kyle – the son of NASCAR legend Richard Petty and native of Randolph County – has proven there is another export crop from the area – songwriters.

This spring, Come Hear NC captured Kyle Petty performing with fellow North Carolina singer-songwriter David Childers at the Magnolia Roots Music Lounge in Wake Forest, N.C. The show took place a few days before he set off on the annual Kyle Petty Charity Ride, a cross country motorcycle trip raising money for Victory Junction, a children’s organization founded in honor of Kyle’s late son, Adam Petty. The audience was eclectic, with many folks wearing hats, t-shirts, or jackets adorned with Petty’s past racing numbers and sponsors. Once the music started, however, it was quickly apparent that Kyle Petty is as passionate and driven in his songwriting as he is about NASCAR. Borrowing equally from the Crash Craddock eight-tracks he listened to with his father and from James Taylor, who he discovered on his own, Petty extols North Carolina’s nurturing arts community for taking him in and helping him flourish. Though his racing days are behind him, we are happy to have him sharing his stories through song.