Kyle Petty spoke at an athletics department fundraiser at Columbia International University on May 9, 2012
(WLTX) --- When he was competing in NASCAR's Sprint Cup series, Kyle Petty was known as one of the more marketable drivers because of his ability to communicate with just about anyone.
Now, that gift for talking has allowed Kyle to stay involved with the sport even though his driving career is over.
Petty is now a television commentator for NASCAR's pre-race and post-race shows on SPEED TV and he admits he doesn't hold back his comments.
The son of seven-time Cup champion Richard Petty says it's not unusual for people in the garage to take offense at something he has said. But Kyle says as long as he is being honest, he can't worry if his opinion is going to rub someone the wrong way.
On top of his broadcasting work, Kyle was the driving force behind the creation of the Victory Junction Gang Camp. That facilithy was created in response to a tragedy that rocked Kyle and his wife Patty's world. Their 19-year-old son Adam was killed 12 years ago in a practice session at New Hampshire. The 45 cap that Petty wears is a tribute to his son.
In a recent appearance at Columbia International University, Petty talked about how the camp has impacted the lives of countless youngsters. It's Petty's hope that those youngsters will in turn impact other people - creating a ripple effect born out of tragedy, but used to be a positve force in the community.