ASHEBORO — Since retiring from NASCAR, Kyle Petty has rediscovered another love — music. He’ll be performing Saturday, Sept. 9, as part of the Sunset Signature Series.
“I learned to play the guitar at 12 with Darrell Griffin of Randleman,” Petty said in a phone interview.
Later, he regularly visited Asheboro legend Larry Davis to hone his craft. “He was an incredible guitar player,” Petty said of Davis, who passed away a few years ago. “I hung out with him and bought some guitars from him.”
Petty said he plans to play mostly his own creations, avoiding cover songs. He began writing at an early age as his musical talents blossomed.
“I thought everybody wrote their own songs,” he chuckled, finding out later that popular artists often sang songs written by someone else. “My music is original, written the last 20 or 30 years. Some are good, some are not so good. Some I’ve never played before (in front of an audience).”
He gives a great deal of credit to his mother, the late Lynda Petty, for encouraging him to do anything he felt strongly about. “My mother believed I was artistic. It’s probably why I kept up with music. She always loved music. We (including his three sisters) played in the Randleman High School marching band. We went to marching competitions all over the country.”
Now living in south Charlotte near Matthews where NBC has a studio, Petty will have something of a homecoming when he plays at the Sunset Theatre. It’s a venue he’s familiar with.
“I was in third or fourth grade when my class saw ‘Fiddler on the Roof’ at the Sunset,” he said. “I saw lots of movies there.”
Petty said his “claim to fame in Randolph County was playing football at Randleman High School and driving a race car at Caraway Speedway.” His music may add to that fame.
Now remarried with three little boys, Petty said, “I’m living a dream.”
From sitting behind the wheel, he now sits behind a microphone as an analyst for NBC’s NASCAR race coverage. He also can be seen:
— Twice weekly on ”NASCAR America,” streaming on Peacock.
— On pre- and post-race NASCAR Cup and Xfinity coverage on NBC and USA Network.
— As host on his new show, “Dinner Drive with Kyle Petty” on the Circle Network.
He also co-hosts the weekly radio show "Fast Talk" on the Performance Racing Network.
In 2022, Petty published his best-selling memoir, “Swerve or Die: Life at My Speed in the First Family of NASCAR Racing.”
If that doesn’t keep him busy enough, he leads his annual Kyle Petty Charity Ride Across America, one of the country’s most popular charity motorcycle rides, which raises funds and awareness for Victory Junction — a camp for children with chronic and serious medical conditions created by the Petty family in honor of Kyle’s late son, Adam.
At his Sept. 9 concert, Petty is expecting to see 15 or 20 of his Kyle’s Ride participants in the audience, along with friends and family.
“I’ll come up and spend a few nights with my Dad (Richard Petty) and let the boys play,” he said.
He encourages everyone to “come out and have a good time. I’ll tell stories and sing. It’ll be fun to get back to Randolph County.”
The Sunset Signature Series is sponsored by the Heart of North Carolina Visitors Bureau, the City of Asheboro and the Friends of the Randolph County Public Libraries.
The Sunset Theatre is located at 234 Sunset Ave., Asheboro. For more information, contact the Heart of North Carolina Visitors Bureau at 800-826-2672.
The concert is free.