Kyle Eugene Petty is from Randleman, North Carolina. The son of racing driver Richard Petty. He pilots the number 45 Wells Fargo Dodge Charger for Petty Enterprises in NASCAR. Petty originally did not intend to become a race car driver. He was a star in many sports in high school, including football and basketball and received scholarship offers from many colleges.
However, Kyle did eventually decide to follow in his father's footsteps and he won his first stock car race, an ARCA event at Daytona International Speedway in 1979. He then entered the Winston Cup soon after that, driving as a teammate to his father at Petty Enterprises. He left his father's team in 1985 to drive for the Wood Brothers team. His first Winston Cup win came the following next year at Richmond International Raceway. Petty returned to driving for Petty Enterprises in 1996 and is now CEO of that team.
Petty's son Adam Petty had begun a promising career in racing as well, but was killed in 2000 in a practice accident at New Hampshire International Speedway. Upon his son's death, Petty finished the 2000 season racing his son's car in the Busch Series.
Petty is active in many charitable causes, such as the Victory Junction Gang Camp for terminally-ill children, which he established to honor his late son, as well as an annual charity motorcycle ride across the country.