Petty to speak at charity event in Las Vegas LAS VEGAS - NASCAR racing veteran Kyle Petty will be the featured speaker at the third annual Mel Larson Night of Champions dinner to be held Saturday, Jan. 28, at Bally's Hotel & Casino. The fete will honor Dr. Dale Carrison, chairman of emergency services at University Medical Center and medical director for Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
The Petty surname is one of the most recognizable in American motorsports. The son of seven-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Richard Petty, Kyle forged his own identity early in his career by winning the first major race he entered: the 1979 ARCA 200 at Daytona Beach, Fla., at age 18. Driving for Petty Enterprises - a team launched in the 1950s by his legendary grandfather, Lee - Kyle finished ninth in his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series debut at Talladega, Ala., later that year. His first of eight NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victories came at Richmond, Va., in 1986.
A veteran of more than 750 races, Kyle is a colorful, outspoken and respected member of the NASCAR community. In 2004, Petty and his wife, Patty, opened the Victory Junction Gang Camp in North Carolina. The Victory Junction Gang Camp enriches the lives of children with chronic medical conditions or serious illnesses by providing life-changing camping experiences that are exciting, fun, and empowering, in a safe and medically sound environment.
"It is an honor for me to speak at the Mel Larson Night of Champions," said Petty. "It benefits a great cause in Speedway Children's Charities. Everyone knows that helping children is a high priority for the Petty family. What makes this event special is that we are honoring one of the most unique men I have ever met. Dr. Carrison is selfless in his efforts to make the world a better place. His work as medical director at Las Vegas Motor Speedway gives us drivers all a huge cushion of comfort. That's important in our profession. When your health is in the hands of Dr. Dale you are being cared for by the best."
The Mel Larson Night of Champions recognizes individuals who have made contributions to the community and to motorsports. Previous honorees include Larson (2006) and NHRA team owner Ken Black (2007).
All proceeds from the Mel Larson Night of Champions, which will include a meet and greet with Carrison and Petty, a silent auction and dinner, will benefit the Las Vegas Chapter of Speedway Children's Charities. This is the third year for the event in which a local community member is recognized for their contributions to racing in the Las Vegas community.
The event is named in honor of Larson, who provided much of the inspiration and guidance for the creation of Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Larson was a long-time publicist in Las Vegas and actively competed in various forms of motorsports for more than 50 years. Larson and his wife Marilyn continue to support racing and the community through many philanthropic efforts in the Las Vegas area.
For more information, please contact Las Vegas Motor Speedway at (702) 632-8231 or visit www.LVMS.com.