Kyle Petty not concerned about direction of Victory Junction camp after removal of wife PattieBob Pockrass
Kyle Petty doesn’t believe the removal of his wife, Pattie, as chief executive officer of Victory Junction Gang Camp will negatively impact the camp the couple founded in memory of their son Adam.
The Kansas City Star
reported Sunday that Pattie Petty had been removed from the day-to-day operations of the camp. She has accepted a position as goodwill ambassador and chairwoman emeritus of the board that oversees the camp, according to a news release issued by the camp on Monday.
“It doesn’t impact anything, it really doesn’t,” Kyle Petty, a former NASCAR star, said Monday. “Basically, the board had decided to ask Pattie to take an emeritus role and just be a spokesperson. … I have no concerns with the direction of the camp at all. Period.”
The Pettys’ son Austin is chief operating officer of the camp for chronically ill children. The Pettys opened its Randleman, N.C., camp in 2004 and has been raising funds for a new camp near Kansas City.
“While public figures are involved, this situation is no different from a regulatory perspective, and personnel matters are private and confidential per the law and human resource policies,” Austin Petty said in a statement.
“Because of this, we will not have any further comment on this or any other personnel issues at this time.”
The North Carolina camp, which has hosted more than 14,000 children free of charge since it opened in 2004, was started after a major fund-raising effort by Kyle and Pattie and with the help of the NASCAR community. It was created in memory of Adam, who was killed in a NASCAR crash in 2000. Adam Petty had talked about building the camp before he was killed at age 19.
“We’re always going to be involved in the camp,” said Kyle, the son of seven-time Cup champion Richard Petty and a driver from 1979 to 2008. “The camp was founded in memory of Adam, and we have worked incredibly hard to build the camp.
“But the camp is about the kids that come, and it’s all about what’s best for the kids.”
Kyle Petty, who is vice chairman of the board, said Pattie, who was chairman and CEO, was primarily running the fund-raising efforts for the Kansas City camp. He said Austin and Victory Junction president John McKee handled the day-to-day operations of the North Carolina camp.
The North Carolina and Kansas City camps have separate board of directors that meet quarterly to make decisions on how the camps operate.
“The fund-raising is a lot harder now and a lot more intense than what it has been,” Kyle said. “It’s just a tougher environment out there. While we took more of an emotional approach to raise funds, it’s time now to take more of a business approach and get a plan for where we’re going to be and what we’re going to do.
“As much as anything, it’s more of a changing of strategy.”
Kyle continues to serve on the board of directors for the camp and conducts a charity motorcycle ride across the United States to raise funds.
Kyle said he and Richard Petty, who also is on the board, did not participate in discussions about the role for Pattie, who is battling Parkinson’s Disease. Pattie Petty, 60, wasn’t immediately available for comment.
“It’s a bigger story because she’s Pattie and the work she put in the camp and founding the camp and stuff,” Kyle Petty said.
Kyle said the move shows that the camp is not just the Petty’s camp and that decisions are made in the best interest of the campers.
“Austin has done a tremendous job of stepping in as COO of the camp in North Carolina,” Kyle Petty said.
“Directionally, for us and the family, he’s kind of taken the leadership role. From a family standpoint, I don’t have a problem with any of it.
"The camp belongs to the kids and the people that come to camp.”
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