The International Autobody Congress & Exposition (NACE) announced
that NASCAR Nextel Cup driver Kyle Petty will deliver the 2004 keynote
address on Nov. 4, in Las Vegas. NACE also announced Richard Flint,
Richard Flint Seminars, as the speaker for the event's luncheon on Nov.
5, and Jim "The Rookie" Morris, a school teacher who pursued
his dream to become a professional baseball player, as the keynote speaker
for the general session on Nov. 6.
Petty is the son of Richard Petty, the most successful driver in the
history of the sport, and will enter his 25th season behind the wheel
of the No. 45 Georgia-Pacific/Brawny Dodge. He runs the day-to-day operation
at Petty Enterprises, a two-car operation, and has eight victories on
the NASCAR Nextel Cup circuit. Besides being known for his racing skills,
Petty is also known for his charity work. In 1995, he founded the "Kyle
Petty's Charity Ride Across America" to benefit children's charities.
His camp, "Victory Junction Gang Camp," will soon open near
his home in Level Cross, N.C., and will be the sixth camp in the "Hole
in the Wall Gang" camps founded by actor Paul Newman. For his efforts,
Petty was named NASCAR Winston Cup Illustrated "Person of the Year"
in both 1999 and 2000. He has also won the 2000 Meyers Brothers Award,
the highest award presented by the National Motorsports Press Association,
and in 2002, Petty was awarded the True Value Person of the Year Award
for his humanitarian efforts.
During the Saturday morning general session, Morris, a schoolteacher by trade, will relate his story that captivates and inspires audiences to never give up on a dream. His story is the subject of the Walt Disney film, "The Rookie" and his best-selling book of the same title. Morris' dream of becoming a major league baseball player was derailed by a series of debilitating arm injuries before he left the lower minors in 1988. At the age of 35, and approximately 11 years after retiring from minor league baseball, Morris was challenged to pursue his dream of pitching in the major leagues. His rise from obscurity became a feel-good story of 1999. After pitching with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in 2000, Morris signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers and retired from baseball in 2001.
Tickets to these three special events are included in the NACE Full
Congress Registration Package (and are also available individually).
To register for NACE, visit www.NACEexpo.com.
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