Huddle Up with Gus
Huddle Up with Gus

Episode 167 · 3 months ago

Kyle Petty

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Join us as we take a ride with Kyle Petty through his life in NASCAR and his amazing charity work. Kyle and Gus talk about the similarities between football and Nascar and how it takes a team effort to compete and a great team to WIN! 

Welcome to what Sureley will be a doozy of a matchup. Brian here. Sports Fans, whether your game is on the Gridiron, at the diamond or on the links, we can only say get up off your seats and get ready for some real action. Welcome to this week's huddle up with Gus. Fifteen year NFL quarterback Gus Barratt. Passion for sports has taken him on the field and behind the benches. Playing for seven NFL franchises, with on tds under his belt, Gus knows who the players are and how the Games are won. If every day you get to hang out with an NFL quarterback. Up Oka, sports fans, from the decked out and plush sixty one digital studios, it's kickoff time, so snap your Chin straps on and keep ready to huddle up with us. Everyone. Welcome to another episode of Huddle up with Gus. I'm your host, fifteen year NFL quarterback gusts frout, and I wanna welcome you to our show today. I'm really excited for our guests today. There's very there's so many similarities between when I started researching this, between football and NASCAR, and I can't wait to get into all that, but you can check out our show at how to work with GUS DOT COM or wherever you listen to your favorite podcasts. And you know it's for me. I'm a football guy. I know a lot of people that whose fathers have played. The brothers have played Chris Long, uh, Kyle Long, their dad, Howie Long is, uh, you know, very well known raider the manning's. Obviously there's so many. Should go down the list. Now we get into NASCAR and I started researching this gentleman and you know, he sent me his book and and I was like, Oh okay, yeah, grandfather pioneered NASCAR. Father Richard was a champion and like every race and then he did it for thirty years. So joining me today is Kyle Petty and we're gonna talk a little bit about his charity as motorcycle rise and also his new book, Kyle Petty's I don't know, swerve or die, Kyle, I don't know. I've I've never heard that in football. Maybe you can explain that a little bit to me and and I can guess I can understand a little bit of NASCAR. Yeah, so I will explain the tile and let me say this. So I when I was in high school, Um, I was an okay quarterback, not an NFL quarterback, and okay, but I got I got recruited by a couple of smaller schools in Georgia Tech, a couple of larger schools like that. One weekend I went to Georgia tech and I saw those guys in the weight room and I said you don't want I'll take my chances. I'll take my chances with getting hit one time on a race track compared to every play in the football game. And I went racing. That's that's how I ended up over here, it seems like. But well, you know, they always say when you're a quarterback and you get hit by three under pound guys, like being in a car wreck. And no doubt, dude, no, there's no doubt I am and I am in all of you guys, that's for sure. But so I say, swerver die. And this is as I stepped back after we, after I wrote the book and after Ellis and I Ellis Hannigan, who just was tremendous man, I started it on my own and I'm like, man, I'm I'm drowning here. I'm in over my head and uh, there was some good stuff, but there was some terrible stuff. So Ellis kind of pulled it all together. But, Um, we came up with that title for a couple of different reasons. If you read through the first three sections, they're really about me. The last section is about our sport. It's about the sport a NASCAR UM and and my part of it is, you know, the way I grew up, Um and it really the swerver die is very dramatic because that you wanted to jump off the shelf. Don't get me wrong, but basically what it means is, uh, be willing to take a take a different direction, be willing to swerve. Don't just stop when something happens in your life. Don't just stop. Move on, keep going our sport. It describes our sport perfect to our sport has been a chameleon for seventy some odd years. It fits into society. It does what it needs to do to survive and continue to grow Um, and it's always been that way. Through cigarette sponsorship, through Um, you know, telecommunication sponsorship, through alcohol and beer, through the racial strife that our country is facing right now and Bubba Wallace, the confederate flag. It just continues to move and continues to change and be what it needs to change. So, uh, that's part of the lesson and that's part of that part of the lesson. That's part of where the title comes from. Yeah, I know, I love it. I think that's so um poignant for what we're going through as a country today, right, that that these companies, these things that have been around forever. We knew that at some point everything comes to a head and we've gone through this pandemic and we're going through all these different things. And how do these companies that have been around forever survive and deal with it? And, you know, how do you create different diversity in your company than what you're used to? And I think that NASCAR,...

...like you said, they kind of they kind of grasped it and they're dealing with it. And because it's, you know, it can be a colossal sport, but you have to be able to be progressive, I would think, right, because not only are the people changing, but the cars are changing too. Yeah, you know, listen, it is just you have to be technology, innovation, uh, inclusion. All that drives the sport. Always has driven the sport. Um, they run a car with independent rear suspension, rack, companion steering, fuel injection, all the all the all the trinkets and trash that you get on a luxury car now. Isn't a race car. Isn't a race car. If we were still racing a nineteen five Chevy, you wouldn't be watching this sport. Um, you know, if football had stayed stagnant and hadn't continued to grow and evolve, if baseball, basketball, golf and the and the technology and a golf club hadn't changed, it would be a totally different sport. You have to continue and, Um, you know, sports are in a lot of ways. It's a game and I think sometimes we lose that. It becomes a way of life for a lot of us, like yourself, it becomes our passion, it becomes our business, it becomes uh, that for for us, but for most people it's just a game. It's a game they play in high school, it's a game they play, uh in college. It's a game they move on to something else in some other career. But that's where everyone comes together in a game. Everyone comes together on a field, everyone comes together under those rules, whatever they may be. Um, and and it is should be inclusive. It should definitely be inclusive. Our sport is as as a little bit different, because it's not only racist gender. We have female drivers who are just tremendous athletes. Tremendous athletes to compete in the same place because you compete with a car. Uh. And you know, listen, I started driving a car when I was five or six years old. So I figured five or six to eighty, anybody who's willing to drive, bring it on out there and let her go, uh, and we'll do it. Well, everybody loves the cars, right. I mean everybody wants to get behind the wheel. I never understood when kids say, well, I don't want to drive. When I turned sixteen and I'm like what what? My first car was a Camaros. Yeah, I love that thing. I worked on it, toured apart to do everything to it. But for you, I can't imagine what it's like because I when I played in the NFL, my kids were all my sons. I should say. It's the same thing, right. I couldn't have my daughter in the locker rooms, right, but I have my sons in there all the time. And for you it's probably like you had to be out there with the cars, with the guys, all the time, all the time. Um, I lived in a we lived in a house and the race shop was about seventy five yards from where we lived. Uh and I was over there every day, every day. Uh, I'd sweep the floor and they buy me a Cocola, Coca Cola in the afternoon. Man, that was my payment. But listen, I was tickled to death, Dude. Man, uh, you felt like you were making the place. Are Part of something, part of a team. Uh and, and I think people lose sight of our sports sometime. It is a team's board, from the guys that build the cars, the guys that work on the cars, to the guys that pit them to the guys that drive them. It takes every element and every segment of it. But Um, you know, I started traveling with my dad on in the summers when I was seven or eight years old, in the second or third grade. Um, and then one day you wake up, and I'm sure it's like your kids, one day you wake up and you know all these great people, all these great players, all these great race car drivers. You remember a race they were in, you remember something about them. Uh, and one day you wake up and you realize you know, your years old and that's all you know. That's all you know, man uh. And that's kind of the way it was for me when I started driving. I had already been through that school, it felt like, and I knew about about cars, I knew about working on cars. That was my passion. My next step, the ultimate step, Um, was to to drive a race car, and finally I got to that place. So what was your First Street car? The one that you really wanted? Oh, listen, hold on, back or down now. So the one I really wounded was something that that you know, that's not gonna happen. I lived out in the country, but I really honestly, I wanted to Trans am, man. I wanted to Trans am so bad I couldn't see straight. I wanted that smoke in the bandit and Damn Dude, that that that was the one I ended up as my first car with a nineteen fifty plymouth with an inline six and about sixty five, and my dad said, the first time you have to take the license out of your wallet to show it to a cop, you're gonna be in trouble. And that lasted about three weeks. I got a ticket in a fifty plymouth with a six cylinder. Uh. I got a ticket in my wife's one volts flag and rabbit. That wouldn't do over fifty. I was in the twenty five miles on going forty and I gotta take it like and I didn't even fit that thing. Yeah, and you get stopped and the guy looks at you and he's like, why are you running so fast in this car? And it's like it doesn't feel fast. I didn't feel like I was going in exactly. That's kind of the way it was in the Plymouth. Well, you know, and think back the day. Two that I can remember is that when...

...you did get pulled over, right, like they weren't there too. You know, things all things have changed, right, they would take you home or they call your dad. That was like the worst thing that could happen to you, like don't call my dad, like take me to jail, do something else. Don't call my dad, because he was a mill guy and he was way bigger than I was. So and that was the last thing I wanted to deal with. I do have to tell you this. So my dad got me my first motorcycle when I was five years old, Um, and I had some friends that lived down the road. We lived on a dirt road out in the country and I was would ride through the woods to to get there and back. But one day I was running late, and not in this story is in the book. I I hot held it up the highway, uh and got stopped by two state patrolmen and they escorted me home as a young eight year old. Uh. And I had to go inside and tell my dad, there's two guys out here really want to talk to you, and he said, do they want an autograph? I said I don't think they want an autograph, I think they just talked to you a little bit. So that was that was my first experience getting escorted or brought home, uh. And my father find it out about it. Yes, so what do you do when you came back in the house? That's what we want to know. I didn't get to ride the motorcycle for about a month or two, I will tell you that. And that was my passion, man. That's all I wanted to do was ride that motorcycle and go to that race shop. I still had to go to the race shop and work, but but I didn't get to ride the motorcy he just took the fun away. Now we're gonna make you work. We're gonna make you work. So you said you played sports growing up. Like obviously you have to be a pretty good athlete to be in a car and race. Yeah, you know, I think you do. I really think. When, when, when you look at these guys now, Um, and and listen, it's like any any sport. The evolution of the athlete has changed, just like the evolution of the equipment. Um, my, my dad was, was a good high school athlete and that's as far as he took it. Uh, and then he became a race car driver, but he didn't work out, he didn't run, he didn't lift weights, he didn't do any of that. As I came along towards the latter part of my career, that became part of the curriculum. Now it's a must it, they must for these guys. Um, we're talking about, you know, thirty five seven hundred pound stock cars. UH, these guys temperatures of a hundred, forty, two hundred and fifty degrees inside. Uh, and you've got to set in that SONA for three and a half to four hours and you gotta Stay Mentally Sharp and you've got to be physically sharp and in condition before you crawl in that thing. UH, and it. It is a tough it's a tough sport. It's as tough mentally as it is physically. But these guys, uh man today, I look at him and I think there's no way I could have ever run with these guys. They would run circles around me. But uh, it's pretty special to see how the how the sport has changed. But they are a great athlete. And listen, I was a decent athlete. You gotta remember, I said I went to a country school. There were eighty three kids in my graduating class. What that means is that every kid in school that could dress out dressed out for football because if we didn't, we didn't have enough people to play football, basketball or baseball. We had to make sure everybody play. I had kids in my class and you know, my high school football team we had nineteen kids. Didn't have nineteen athletes, we had nineteen kids right, whoever wanted to play. Great Point, you know what I mean. That's who played and you just dealt with it, you know, and and I just played a position where I was the biggest guy on the field sidebar here, Sade, bar here Um. I had a we had a fullback. This crazy story. We had a fullback that was allergic to grass Um and I carried on the football field. I carried smelling sauce and the hailer and when he would get tackled, if his face got too close, he would start breeding. I'd have to shoot him a little bit and gave him an Inn haler and we go back to the huddle and calling it go again. That that's dedication. When you're allergic to grass and you're playing on a grass field, that's dedication. Oh yeah, that's back in the day's two and the rest would be like, okay, hold up a second, we got ye. That's right. I know. If that guy went out, there's nobody else replacing them. That's right, that's exactly right. You definitely got to do that. But you know, I think that you know, a lot of times we say in sports that you should play multiple sports too, kind of help all of your senses right that when you play. I played basketball, football, baseball, I did a lot of other things too, but I would say that he's probably pretty important for your brain in driving to feel, to see, to get that vision, that peripheral vision, because if you never had that, how does that grow? What does that do for you when you're racing? Yeah, listen, there is and I saying I played basketball, football, baseball, Um, played all the sports that we had. We had tracked. That's the only other sport that we had at school. Uh, that that I could have done, Um, but but it is, it's it's a development. Um, you know it is. It is. It's muscle memory. It's getting into that and and that's the way race car is. When I first got in a race car and I was eighteen years old. Um Man, I went out, we went to Daytona and, uh, the stories in the book too. I went to Daytona and went out and run. My Dad took me around the racetrack. I'm just setting in the car and he took me Mycetrack at a hunt nine...

...two miles an hour, and then he said, okay, now throw me the keys, kind of thing, and said Hey, now it's your turn. I go out and I could only run a hundred and fifty one miles an hour because my eyes wouldn't focus. Everything was coming at me so fast my brain wouldn't process it and it took it took, you know, two or three races, two or three days at each race to get your brain and your eyes and that visual sink uh, and I tell people all the time I compared it to a baseball player. You know, you start playing and somebody throws a ball at you fifteen miles an hour and then it's twenty, then it's thirty and gradually your mind gets used to seeing that ball coming at you and you hear, you know, batters say, yeah, I could see the seams on the ball. Man. I've stood at a plate when I got through a seventy five miles an hour fastball by me, and I kindly call it a fastball at seventy five an hour, and I didn't even see the ball, I just heard it hit the catchers man. And because you just can't visually see those things. So playing, being a part of other sports, and I'm gonna tall it, being a part of a team, uh, as a big part of understanding teamwork. Um is a big part because I think so many times, you know, you you played quarterback. Um, I was as a driver. You know, those are the glamour positions that get all the press, but it takes everybody to make something work. Yeah, there's no doubt about that. Everyone you're listen to huddle up with Gus. Check me out a huddle up with GUS DOT COM, wherever you listen to your favorite podcast. Um, so we're having an interesting conversation with Kyle pettity today. Kyle, we were just talking about how a team is so important. It takes everyone. Yeah, you know, it was like I was the guy that was getting interviewed, but there were the the guys in front of you that we're doing all the work right, like they were. They were putting, they were hitting every play. That's your pit crew, right. Those guys are the guys you rely on that if one of them fails, it's gonna be a long day for you. Like if my left tackle isn't playing well, yeah, I don't feel so good at the end of the day. Yeah, now, and listen. Yeah, and that's the perfect analogy. You come down pit road, Um, you know you've passed six guys on the racetrack and you come down pit road and you have, you know, a ten second, eleven second stop. Boom, you're out here in front of them. You go past four or five more guys. Uh. You come down pit road, boom, you have another ten or eleven second stop. You go past four or five more guys. That's how you win races. Your pit crew puts you in position to be able to maximize your talent and do what you want to do on the racetrack. Now, you come down pit road, you past five or six guys. You come down pit road, you have a fourteen or fifteen second pit stop. Boom, you go back out. You're behind those five or six guys you just passed before. You gotta work your way back around. Then, boom, you have another fifteen or sixteen second pit stop. You're behind them again. So you spend all day trying to gain back that ground that you lose. Um. So it is they put you in that position to be able to to to win and not in that position to be able to lose. Uh. And and without them, man, you're you're just scrambling in your terminology. You're just scrambling back there. You're just trying to make something happen. Yeah. So another thing I wanted to talk about was. Okay, when I first started playing I was drafted in nine we didn't really had the headsets in our helmet right, you know, we had a coach that would either yell to play from the sideline or we make up signals for everything that we did. When did like the helmets and everything start coming where everybody was communicating with you? And do you remember the time where there wasn't like your God crew, Hey, here's what you gotta do. All right, go, go kill. You gotta get back in here and and good luck. Yeah, listen, I started, I kindly say I drove in the last century. So I started in the last century and and really I started when I was eighteen, in the late seventies, and at that time the radios were they were around, but you had to be at the best teams to have them. You had to be at the place. If you didn't, you had a guy standing out on pit road as you would come by a hundred, ninety miles an hour, with a great big pit board and it would say how are you, pit five, pit four, you know or whatever, and you you gotta read that, you gotta look to the left, read that and then focus on what you're doing all at the same time. And then radios became for just the crew chief and the driver, and then radios became. All the crew members have a radio, so they know what's going on all the time. They don't have to be told. They know something's happening. You're coming down pit road and they jump into action. And then the car's got so hard to see out of that they put a spot or up above the race track, which is kind of like when you when you watch an NFL game, I guess, and you see the coaches up in a box, you know, and down, because they see the whole field. The spotters see the whole field, they see the whole chess board. Uh, and they relay information to the crew chief and to you. If somebody's close and you can't see him, you don't know they're in a blind spot. Uh. You know, it's it's one of those that they help you do that. So it is. It's driven by a lot of voices. There's there's listen, there's a lot of voices in your head other than the normal six or seven voices that are already there's a lot of laces in your head during a race. Yeah, I think you have a chapter in your book above the voices in your head. Oh, yeah, for sure, for sure. Well, it's kind...

...of funny, you know. You talk about there's the eye and the sky right, that we used to call me go in and watch film and my coaches would be like throw it to him, he's wide open and I'm like, well, don't you see the three and twenty pound guy that's blocking the pound guy that I can't see through because there's six five and six eight and I can't see him. And I'm sure you've had that before where they're like okay, you gotta go right and you're gonna it's wide open and you don't feel it, you don't see it, and then you know you're kind of Oh, it's a little off. Yeah, listen, I will say this. Um, he used to be a an announcer, a legend in our sport. Chris Economckeie, Um, a legend and motorsports as far as as commentating and announcing. And I was with Dale earnhardt senior at Richmond Virginia, Um after after a Saturday race, and Chris came up to Askdale something and he was talking to him about something and he asked Dale why he did something and and he said that he had said, this is what I said on TV when you made this mistake, and they'll just stopped. And he looked at him and he said one a mistake. He said, let me explain something to you. Until you set your butt in a car at a hundred fifty miles an hour, at a hundred forty degrees and have a split second to make a decision, don't second guess anything I ever do in a car. That's my decision. That's what I chose to do. That's the only option I had at that time and I've always thought about that. You're exactly right and even today when I do stuff in NBC sports and I commentate on a race or call a race or try to analyze it, I can't put myself in that driver's position. I don't know what he whether he had a bad morning or whether he you know, he's setting traffic on the way of the racetrack and he was mad when he made that call. Might not have been the call I would have made. It might have been the same call I would have made, but you can't criticize him because that's his his deal and it's it is tough man. You make you make a lot of it seems like every wrong decision you make they catch on films somewhere. Have you ever noticed that? Maybe I've seen that once or twice, I don't know. Yeah, that's that's so true. It's it's it's pretty interesting. Just you know, we've gone over maybe six seven different similarities that we can throw each other and when you when you're in team sports, it's so viable and valuable, Um, to understand all these things because you learned so much from it. Right. That that I gotta Trust that Guy, he's got to trust me, and if we don't trust each other, we're not gonna win. And it's all about winning. Yes, you want to play well, you want to be you know, but it's really comes down to all about winning. If your if your car, is coming in last place every time, you're probably not going to be a driver for very long. Yeah, listen, we we talk about that. And and probably a little bit different terms, almost Um. And and are the first part of it. I trust those guys with my life, because they build that car, part fails or they leave something loose or something happens. It's it's not let's go back to the locker room and talk about it. It's it's life and death. This is it's a serious sport. Um. So so you, you definitely have you you have that aspect of it. So the trust. And we also have this saying. I can be mad at you, we can be arguing, but if we put a w in the column, that all goes away. All the WS solve all issues in the world. Man, all you gotta do is put a w in the column. Isn't that the truth? You know? And the other thing I was gonna ask you because we've seen heated races where drivers get out of their cars. They were running from their pit to the other pit and they're gonna face this guy. Did you ever have an issue like that, like, because I've been, you know, hit by guys and I thought it was terrible or is a wrong time or and you get up and there's I mean it's all emotions in the game. And and have you ever had a situation like that? Oh, yeah, shoot, check, listen, if you drive, I had a situation in the parking lot before I came in here. Um, just getting, just getting, yeah, you know, I don't want to hear about your wife dropping you off. I know, I know, but but I think what you what you do get into is um it is the emotion. It's the emotion of the moment. It's the emotion of and and for us that it's it's it's crazy, it's it's crazy because it's twofold number one. If something happens, you're out. You're out, you're off the field, you don't get to go back and play. It's over with. So that emotion, if you're up in somebody's face, it's over. It's over for you and it's over for them. So the motion is really spike and and you know I can't with Ricky Rudd, with earnhardt SR with rusty, with Mark, with my dad. I've had those moments, you know what I mean, because you race against him, your competitors, it's your job to go out there and beat them. At the same time, as soon as you do this, you have to turn around and do an interview because there's a guy standing there with a camera and you guys got to go back to the dressing room and had a little bit of time to kind of get your thoughts again. We never that's why race car driver sound bites are the gre the...

...sound bites in the world, because they come hot, they come heavy, they come fast. Uh, and there's no filter because when they those guys are talking, whatever happened to them happened about two or three minutes before that. Uh. That's the access that TV has these guys. Right. Yeah, no, it's funny. You say about no filter, and it's just the greatest sound bites. I'm thinking about a bunch of race car movies that I've seen, and you were actually in one, right with Burt Reynolds, weren't you? Oh Yeah, stroker, ice man, stroker in the race. Yeah, now you probably have to say that's your favorite movie, race car movie ever. But so give me another one. What's one of you like that? You love like that. When you watch it, either it makes you laugh or it makes you have emotions. What? Which? What? What movie would that be? So, okay, so here's what I'm gonna say. Okay, I always joke when I go and people and and you go out to give a speech or you go to talk to somebody, and I don't refer to them as movies. I refer to all those as documentaries. UH, they're all factual. That's what I tell people. No matter if you saw stroker race and Talladega Nights. It's a fact. That's the way we are. You know, just throw it out there. But I tell people all the time my favorite movie Um has to be days of thunder, not for the reasons you think. Here's what happened. There's a little company in Atlanta, Georgia, called Coca Cola and they had a little soft drink called mellow yellow, uh, and they put it on Tom Cruise's car in the race and everybody thought it was a made up name. Everybody thought that was a made up soft drink, unless you lived in the southeast and it was the head to head competition for mountain dew. It was a big drink in the southeast. So for me, I got a sponsorship out of the deal. They parlayed what they did in the movie and the money they spend in the movie into a race car and they were like hey, you want to drive this Mello yellow car and I'm like, films up, I might be two foot taller than Tom Cruise, but I'll squeeze in that uniform, I'll drive that thing. So Uh that that's my favorite movie because it kept me alive and kept me racing for about five or six years. Yeah, I know, that's awesome. That's a great reason. I love that movie. Like if if I'm gonna make some money off a movie, let's go. I'm all in my favorite movie ever. That's right. But but there's so many like you mentioned Talladega nights and and you know all the you know, the smoking, the bandit stuff. We all grew up loving all those things and and, uh, you know, I think that it's just amazing how your sport now has also progressed into video games. You think about that, like and trying to attract a new generation, what the sports has done for many, many sports out there. Yeah, and that and that. That's what it's all about. What e sports have done for the real sport, Um, where you look at Madden, Um, you know, and for us when you when you look at at the race games that are out there now, the racing, a lot of these kids that race, William Bayer and Kyle Larson, a lot of these younger guys that are racing now, grew up on those racing games, grew up running a virtual Talladega, a virtual virtual northwalk, for whatever that racetrack may be. And now, with simulation and so much that we have uh, and the sport. These guys are just natural. They've been doing that since they were ten eleven years old. Uh, they got they had more laps in a in a video game by the time they were fourteen and fifteen than I had in thirty years of driving a race car, you know. So when you look at it like that, the it's up the level, it's up to understanding of the game, because they begin to understand what racing is, they begin to understand it's not all about speed. There's strategy, there's a lot of other things that go into it and I think that's what the sports have done, Um, to broaden the fan base, but to also educate the fan base and what really goes on. Yeah, for us to give kids and look into the huddle how to say place, because all of a sudden it's John Madden, who was a real coach and he's putting all the plays and terminology in that he would say, and these kids are reading it, they're playing it, they're saying it and they're understanding the game of football as early you know, youth right. So when we were kids we had to learn it from some Dad who taught you football, who didn't know his pass from all on the grounds, you know what I mean. And now they're learning it from John Madden. And you know, people still come up to me and goes, Hey, I think I played you were in like mad seven. Yes, I'm that old. But you know, and I'm sure the simulators are incredible for racers that as well. Now. Yeah, you know, simulation has has has jumped to the place where it's like, Um, you know, you get on a commercial airline, uh, it is most of the airline polite training simulators. Now, uh, you know, you can set and and and a simulator in Miami, Florida, and land the plane in L A, land a plane in Chicago, land the plane in New York City, wherever it is, Um with air traffic controllers talking to you and all that, and you stay in there long enough it feels real. That's the way a race car Simulat it is. If you stay in...

...there more than thirty or forty minutes, you feel like you're in a race. Your heartbeat goes up, everything begins to adjust to that simulation. That's how real it is. So, uh, it's pretty spectacular when you when you watch these kids. There was a kid a couple of weeks ago, ty Gibbs, coach gibbs, gives a grandson. Um, another driver got hurt on Saturday and he had to fill in on Sunday and he spent two hours in the simulator that night and then got in the race car on Sunday and ran a great race. But had never been in this race car, had never been in this type of race car and had only run one race on this racetrack. Uh, and run like thirteenth and fourteen. Had An incredible race and it all came from that simulation. Can that like? The simulation? How realistic would you say it could be like as far as race track, the type of car you're gonna run, all the modifications they can do for that race it? Listen, it's, it's. It's that close. I mean you can't see between my fingers, that's how close it is. It is now they use it. Our sport has gone to I don't you think about this. So our sport has gone to this, uh, from covid covid. This is the impact. They don't practice at a lot of places anymore. They just show up and they race and and that's the way it was. Um. So the simulation was their practice. The driver would spend a couple hours in the in the simulator. He would talk about springs, talk about shocks, talk about Arrow talk about all the little pieces that come together to make the race car drive. They would take that simulation, put it in a real car and he would go out and barrel off into the first corner in a hundred ninety miles an hour, never having set in that car before, only having done it from a simulator. So that would be like you guys being just setting and playing video games and then saying, okay, now we're gonna go out on the field one time a week. One time a week, that's the only time you get to be on the real field, is one time a week and play a game. Uh, and and that I think that shows the level of of how accurate the simulation is, but I think it shows the level of talent of these drivers and these teams too. Yeah, right, I agree with that. Um, Hey, everyone, thanks for joining us on huddle up with Gus. We're talking with Kyle Petty. UH, Kyle, one thing that you know. We were just talking about the sports and all the simulation stuff. What do you think if you had to go back and have a conversation with your grandfather Lee, what he would say about all this. Yeah, that's the conversation he would have. If, if, if he knew where the sport had come to, Um, and what the sport is now. If he could, if he could, you could just bring him back today and let him walk around a garage. I think it would. It would just blow his mind, because it is. It's light years, light years, light years away. Um, I mean we went from you know, you know what was his car? What was his listen, they raised true stock cars. They raised two ship the first race he ever ran, he borrowed an old buick or an oldsmobile from a friend, Gilbert good, and went to Charlotte to run it and rode it over and it wouldn't couldn't drive it home and had to catch your ride home. It was a stock car and that's what they run for a number of years and then in the sixties they begin to be partially stocked, partially modified. Then in the seventies they were more modified, and now they've they've come to the place where, Um, they're fighter jets, these things, and that's how far away they are. Yeah, and I can't imagine like when you get the indy car and all the different Um, you know how fast these cars are going now they're doing, you know, all these street races. Now you know which are really interesting and I think it's a great way to keep the sport going. And if you really think about racing, all the different types and and then you go to you know, when you get to the desert racing, what do they call those? Where you're going over long periods of of earth? Right, they're just running. It's all on dirt and mud and water and it's yeah, all those uh, it's you're so many different types and I think it's just great. So we lost my Internet is terrible here. Um No, I just think it's great that all the diversification of all the different types of racing, and that's one thing great about the Internet too, is that you've learned so much about every other racing sport. Yeah, and that's that's the one thing that's good for your fan base. Um is is you just need a portal, you just need a window into what the sport is, whether that's drag racing, whether the stock car racing, whether it's any car, whether it's off road, whether stock car and the desert, rallies, Um and motorcycles. It doesn't make any difference because if you enjoy it, if you enjoy it, uh, you'll continue to search and it's there and you can find it. Uh. You know, if we go back thirty years ago, you had to buy a magazine, you had to wait for it to come. It was always three months behind and whatever they printed, whatever you were reading about, happen, you know, in January and you're reading about it June. So I think you know now everybody is just wants instant...

...gratification. But you can get that right now. If you're a fan of a sport. You can get that right now just about uh, anywhere you've got to do is go online. And people wanted to go back to the way it was, but it's never going to be right. It's never going to go back. The Internet and technology is just gonna continue to grow and you just have to kind of live with it. But there's still something pure right about racing. Is it's still an oval track, Yep, right, it's still a left turn, Yep, and it's still a hundred hour and listen and it's it's just like your sport. It's still a hundred yards, man, you gotta move the ball. That's the way it is. And you know, I laugh at people. I tell people all the time. Um, you know, we've been doing the same thing since our sport began. You started a white line, you run a bunch of circles and you end in the same place. Uh, you. You might run five miles, but you don't go anywhere. And and and people always laugh, and I'm like, you can laugh all you want to, but you tickets and watch us do that. You know. I mean that's what that that that's the deal. But that part of the sport has never changed. And as long as that part never changes, uh, if you stay true to that piece of it, then there's always a piece of you connected to the history of the sport, Um, and there's always a piece of you connected to the drivers that came before you and the ones that will come after you. Yeah, Do you speaking of that? You while you were driving? Have you ever had your dad talking in your ear, where he said something to you over the radio? No, he never did that. No, man, listen, I don't want him on my radio. Oh my God. Like, I can't tell you how many times I played a sport and I can hear my dad from the sideline. Oh Yeah, he was so loud they wouldn't let him in the gym. And my for my senior year in basketball. That was more. That was my mom. That was so you has the wrong question. You guys about my dad. You should ask about my mom. My mom and I got escorted out of out of a basketball game when I was a senior. She screamed something. I defended her and flip the guy and they escorted us both out. So that was that was your mom. She was. Yeah, that was my mom. So that was. That was she was the one that was would be in my ear. Oh that's great, that's great. Um, yeah, no, you know, I just think that everything is so, so similar. It's been so much fun to talk about and the other thing is too, when we're done, we all have these charities that we want to be a part of, and I understand, uh, where your charity comes from, and I don't know if you want to discuss that or not, but but you know, and it comes from a place of love and hurt and everything else that you had to go through for all this. But tell me a little bit about your your charity. That you're part of wait. So I it's it's so funny. We started a charity uh, called the Kyle pitty charity right across America. Started that in nine and we were going to children's hospitals and going to different hospitals. It's a motorcycle ride. We'd ride from California back to North Carolina, uh, and and we'd stopped at Children's mercy in Kansas City, U C L A medical center, Mattel's Medical Center, the Children's Hospital in Oakland. I mean we just we went in a lot of places. Uh, and we would help families pay their medical bills. That that was what our deal was because, Um, you know, child treat treatment for cancers and and other other illnesses for children are so catastrophic to families. Um, when Adam, my oldest son, was killed in a racing accident, I had been fortunate had driven some sports car races with Paul Newman. We had talked about building the camp and uh, we built a camp in North Carolina called Victory Junction and we've seen over a hundred thousand kids uh since we opened the doors there, and two thousand and four totally free of charge. Uh. The COL pity. Charity Ride has raised almost twenty million dollars, or right around twenty million dollars, uh, since we since we started it, since this inception in and all the money that we raised there goes to Camp Um and we sent we see kids that are really sick, kids that come to camp, kids with spine, a beffe of the kids with Cranio facial disorders, kids that have and then burns and the accidents, kids with certain forms of cancer, full blown AIDS. We see all these kids. They come to camp and they just get to be kids for a week. Man, they just get to hang out, they get to swim, they just get to be kids. They're not their medical issues. So it is something that is really near and dear to my heart and I tell people all the time when I see a kid and he's got that Adam Patty smile on his face, I know Adam still here with me. So it's a personal it's a personal gratification for me. That's what I take away from it. Yeah, I couldn't imagine that and Um, you know, just thinking about I've had some really good friends who has lost their children. So I'm sorry about that and it's just I just couldn't imagine it and I know he lives on through every kid that you see. So that's wonderful. Thank you very much. Yeah, yeah, everyone you listen to huddle up with Gus. Appreciate you listening to us. CHECK US out on how to up with GUS DOT COM and Kyle, you know, we're just talking about your motorcycle, your charity ride, and how much it's raised, over twenty million dollars, and it's time. You said you started it with Paul Newman, like how well I started camp with Paul Neman, the camp thing with Paul Neman,...

Camp Victory Junction right was, I'm sorry, with Paul Newman. How did that like? You know, did he go on? Did he go on a ride with you? What was like? No, he so, he's a race car driver. He was a race car driver. I think a lot of people lose sight that Paul was a really good race car driver. Even when he was making movies. He was a factory dots and driver. Uh, that's before Dotson became now their nisans. They used to be Dotson's back in those days. But uh, he was a really good race car driver and Um, we had met run some sports car races run the twenty four hours of Daytona. We run Watkins Glen Uh together in a sports car race and run two or three times together. So we just got to be friends and it was it was a strange thing, man. It's like I was the biggest fan of cool hand luke ever and he was just a race fan. So it was it was fun to be around him. Uh. And then when Adam's accident happened, like I said, uh, he had built his camp and and Um and connect called the hole in the wall game camp, and that's where Newman's own all their salad dressing, their popcorn. That's where his foundation and the money goes there. So, Um, there's eight, seven, eight, maybe Tim Campson and the United States that fall under the serious fun group of camps, which is is what Paul's camps are called. Uh. And we're one of them in North Carolina called Victory Junction. Yeah, that's awesome. I watch some of the videos and some of the stories from your website. Tell everybody about the website and where they can can get ahold of you. If you want to know anything about the rider, you want to ride with US sometime, go to Kyle Petty Cherry Ride Dot Com uh and and we'll send you an email send you information about it. We do it once a year, the last week of April, first week of May. But the the Victory Junction camps, Victory Junction Dot Org. If you know a child that can benefit. We've seen kids from all fifty states. It's totally free of charge to all kids that come. Uh their their parents don't pay a time. We didn't want to be in a financial burden to any parent with a child. So they're all that. We see kids from California, from Alaska, from Hawaii. We've seen kids from a little bit of everywhere. So go to Victory Junction Dot Org if you know a kid or if you want to donate or if you just want to see what we do, because it's a it's a really special place. That's awesome. If you want to donate, participate in your ride. Okay, what kind of motor circle do I have to have? What are you driving? You have to have one that runs. That's what that's it probably pretty comfortable because your rides aren't short. I ride a Harley, but I've written to Harley my whole life, so that that doesn't mean anything. That's just what I ended up on when I started riding, because that's what every guy knew wrote, so I wanted to be like them and that's what I wrote. But, uh, yeah, anything, man. We have Honda's, Yamaha's, big bikes, little bikes, we have a little bit of everything. As long as you can go a hundred on the tank of gas bringing on, that's what that's how far we're gonna run before we stopped for gas for the first time. And I loved all the little stories on your site too, about people that were on the Rhyde, the husband and wives or whatever, and what it meant to them or how they met and all those kind of things and and how it brought them together. Yeah, that that is the cool part. It's it's a family ride. When you really get into it, you realize how many fathers and sons, fathers and daughters, husbands and wives have gone, how many people have mad along the ride. Uh, it is really when we get together, it's it's kind of like, and you've been a part of a team, so you know it is. You're you're with a bunch of people, you don't see each other for six months, but you picked the conversations right back up where you left them off six months before. It's like no time ever passes when you see them right and uh, all right, for the last thing, you know, there's this great picture on the back and and and this wonderful book that you've written. So let's talk about this a little bit. And you know you talked to earlier about how you had these thoughts in your head and then you maybe you wrote them on paper or what, and Um Ellis came in and helped you with this. So tell me how all that whole process went for you and what it was like to write a book, because I've always thought about it because it had crazy things happened in my life. Yeah, but it's like, what do I do? You have no idea. Yeah, and you don't what what saved me, what helped was the pandemic. Honestly, out of the pandemic, because you couldn't go anywhere, you couldn't do anything, you had time on your hands and everything that you had always put off you had an opportunity, if you were at home, to do some of that. So I sat down started writing some stories. My wife, Morgan, Readham Um and these are stories I just wanted really for me to have for my kids. I've got three little boys now and I want them to know what I grew up doing, and I grew up riding motorcycles, being that the race track, doing things like that. So, uh, then a bobbed into what it became and uh it was. There were moments in it that were really hard. Walking back down that road of Adam's accident and his death, uh, and unpeeling the layers of that onion was very, very, very emotional. I have to say. Um, even when I did audiobook it got more emotional when I actually read the words again.

Writing them down was one thing, reading them again with something else. And so there's there's stuff like that that's very sad and very tragic. But there's some funny stories too, man, about me leaving my sister at home when she was a little girl and just just funny things that happened to me. And it was it's time consuming, I'm gonna tell you that. And if you're if you're not willing to open up some of those doors from the past, don't go back down that road because, uh, it'll stop you in your tracks when you get to that door and you have to question do I want to continue with this or do I want to stop? And there were plenty of moments like that on whether I wanted to go on or stop. Oh Yeah, well, I I got to the part where you have all these pictures in right from girl up and everything. And were there any that you saw and you said, I just it's too embarrassing, I can't put it in the book. Listen, listen. When you get off this, just google me and you'll see every embarrassing picture ever of me. I think the bull riding pictures in there where I'm getting thrown off the ball. That's that. But listen, here's here's what I tell people and and, and I mean this and as I say it to you, is I don't believe I can be embarrassed Um because of this. Is there's nothing. There's not much. I won't say nothing, but there's not much that I won't try. Uh, you say you want to go to this, let's go try. Let's go jump out of an airplane, let's ride a bull, let's drive a race car, let's play music, let's do this. I tell people all the time I want to be that guy when I get to be a hundred and two years old, and and we're in the assistant living at home, and we're all sitting around, uh, got our teeth sitting on the table, and somebody says, man, I had a chance to do this one day and I'm gonna raise my hand and say I did it. I did it, I wrote that ball, I did it. I got hit in the side of the head with a two by four. I did it, you know. But but the thing is, I'm I'm more afraid. I'm not afraid of failure, I'm more afraid not to try. I don't want to. I don't mind failing. I'm not gonna be as good a quarterback as you. You put me in a lot up. I'M NOT gonna I'm gonna throw the ball, as far as you know, but I gotta. I give it a shot. Now I might not give a shot and getting hit by pound guys, I'm gonna say that. I'M gonna. I'm gonna send some over your way. I'm gonna drop, Tuck and roll. Okay, I'm gonna use the old elementary fire fire, fire roll right there, fire drill. So Um. But but my point is is, I think you only you know. It's that stupid saying you only live once. You know, we all know that you only live once. I just want to make sure I live every day. That's the main thing. Yeah, you know, I don't have many regrets, but there are a few. Um, the time I didn't go. I couldn't. We my wife and I don't really regret because we had a baby, but I was supposed to go up in a jet, you know, in a fighter jet, and fly over the ocean. Like I didn't get to do it. He sure did, and so I was like okay, well, that's one thing I don't get to do. And then my uncle ran all the commerce going over to Um for the navy when we were over in the first war over there. And Uh, and he goes, Hey, do you want to come to go on to nuclear sub for a week? And I'm like no, like, like, what's the height of all those? You know, he was a little dude. He he said, well, if you're six five like you are, you're pretty much have to walk around and, you know, crouch down on that. Yeah, I'll pass. I don't know if I want to go. Like we'd be doing the interview like this. The CASTROPHOBIA would probably just get to. But those are a couple of things. But you're right, like you gotta try everything. If you get an opportunity, don't pass it up. Don't pass it. You know, you got an opportunity to come on a huddle up with gust and that's right, man. I didn't pass it up. Join every minute of it. Yeah, no, this is this has been wonderful. You know what, I'm gonna go out today. I have to go to the store and I'm gonna do my best cow petty to see how fast I can get to the store today in my old two thousand fourteen GMC truck. Listen, that's listen. If you got if you've got that GMC truck, just remember Robbin's racing. If you can't get around him, just spin them. Oh, that's right, I just gotta hit him in the bump him as I'm going down the Odin. That's right around them. That's right. You know. Well, there's just there's some people that are a certain age you just can't get around, and I don't know why that is. I don't know why. It's like their cars is like twenty feet wide and you just you just stuck. Why is that? Why can't I go around them? I have no idea, man, I'm not going to comment on that. All right, hey, kyle, I appreciate you joining me and huddle up with Gus. It was great. It was a lot of fun and I love the similarities between our sports, for sure. Man. Thank you very much, man, thanks for having me. All right, everyone, Kyle Petty, Um, you know, check them out at Victory Junction Dot Org, where, you know, where they have fun for their camps. For All the kids out there that that need a place, you need to just to go to have a good time, to get away from a lot of things that they're going through in life, go to Victory Junction Dot Org. Check out his new book, Kyle Petty, Swerve or die. Right, that's a good one, um. And then, uh, Kyle, what is the what is your charity site? For the motor cycle ride? It's Kyle Penny Cherry...

...ride DOT COM. For Camp, it's Victy junction dot org. All right, everyone, thank you again for joining us on huddle up with Gus. Go Check Kyle out and we'll see you next week on huddle up with Gus. That's a wrap. Sportsman leaves for joining in the fun. At the study on digital studios. For another as huddle up with gus, featuring fifteen year NFL quarterback gus far Rod. Huddle up with Gus is probably produced by digital medio and is available on at the Music.

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