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NASCAR WCUP: Kyle Petty named True Value Man of the Year

18 December 1998

Kyle Petty
Daytona Beach, Fla. - Kyle Petty, who finished 30th in final 1998 NASCAR Winston Cup Series standings, was named the 1998 True Value NASCAR Man of the Year for his involvement in community projects and charities.

"To see the kids faces light up at these hospitals makes every mile on these rides we do worthwhile," Petty said. "This charity has helped raise well over a million dollars over the first three years, and is rapidly recruiting more riders and more support every year."

True Value, the Official Hardware Store of NASCAR, created the award as part of its ongoing efforts to enrich and support the communities in which it opens stores. As part of the award, True Value presents $25,000 to the recipient's designated charity and $25,000 to the recipient.

While $25,000 was donated to Samaritan's Purse in Boone, N.C., in his name, Petty said he and his family would make a decision in the near future as to where his portion of the award would be donated. Petty also receives a hand formed bronze sculpture of NASCAR founder Bill France Sr., on a marble base to commemorate the award.

This past year, Petty once again took the helm at the front of the Charity Ride Across America, combining his love for motorcycles and his passion for children.

The 1998 ride consisted of 130 riders including Petty's father, seven-time NASCAR Winston Cup Series champion Richard Petty, and several other drivers from the NASCAR Winston Cup Series as well as a few players from the National Football League. The proceeds from this year's ride benefited Children's Mercy Hospital at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, University of Kentucky Children's Hospital, Brenner Children's Hospital in Winston-Salem, N.C. and the NASCAR Winston Cup Racing Wives Auxiliary.

This year's ride started in Fontana, Calif., on May 4 and traveled through 52 cities until ending 2,600 miles and eight states later in Trinity, N.C. "Pit stops" were made in Kansas City and Lexington, Ky., to visit patients in children's hospitals there and to drop off donations.

Petty was selected as the True Value NASCAR Man of the Year by a blue chip panel which included Steve Ballard, USA Today motorsports editor; Dan Cotter, president and CEO of True Value; Brad Daugherty, former NBA all-star; Dick Glover, executive vice-president of ESPN; and Denis McGlynn, president of Dover Downs International Speedway.

The NASCAR Winston Cup Series schedule has been divided into four quarters in which drivers are nominated for their off-track involvement. Other 1998 quarterly nominees included Sterling Marlin (first quarter), Jeff Gordon (third quarter), and Bill Elliott (fourth quarter). Three-time NASCAR Winston Cup Series champion Gordon won the award in 1996.

In addition to the True Value NASCAR Man of the Year, True Value sponsors the Man of the Race Award, which goes to the eligible driver who wins each of the 33 NASCAR Winston Cup Series championship events. Each winner receives $1,000 with an additional $1,000 going to the charity of his choice.

Editors Note: The images displayed in this article (plus many more) can be viewed in The Racing ImageGalleries and the Visions of Speed Art Gallery.