So far, he has also interviewed three people with strong Georgia ties: football legend Herschel Walker (taped before he declared his candidacy for Senate in 2021), pro wrestler Ric Flair and, most recently, Atlanta Braves legendary player Chipper Jones at his Canton home he recently put up for sale for $15 million.
During the episode, which aired last month, Jones showed off the annual plaques summarizing his childhood baseball achievements that his grandparents created, and autographed baseballs revealing the evolution of his signature. At the house, he also had a room packed with jerseys highlighting his career such as his 1995 World Series win and milestone jerseys for 1,500 hits, 400 home runs and 1,000 RBIs. He kept his locker from Turner Field. And he owns all sorts of sports memorabilia from the likes of Joe DiMaggio, Willie Mays and Ted Williams.
“When we walk in, it should say Chipper’s museum,” Jones told Petty. “It’s all something that is absolutely priceless to me.”
Petty, in a phone interview with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution while at his home in Charlotte, North Carolina, said he enjoyed his time with Jones. “It was tough to edit down,” he said. “We talked an hour and a half and had to get it down to 21 minutes.”
Jones explained to Petty why he bought the Canton mansion in 2018 for $9.25 million. “I was looking for a place where we could get everybody on the same compound and have some privacy,” he said. “A place like this came in handy during the pandemic. We could barricade ourselves in. We planted a garden with a deer feeder. We could have harvested some meat if we needed it.”
Earlier this month, Jones told The Wall Street Journal he put the house up for sale because he needed to downsize, buying a $3 million mansion in Blue Ridge.
Later, Petty and Jones hung out at the 7 Acres Bar & Grill in Milton. “It’s my jam,” Jones said to Petty. “When I say the food is good, brother, it’s some kind of good!”
Petty’s most unexpected show pick to date was Pitbull, the Miami dance music impresario. “He’s such a great guy,” he said. “We met him at a racetrack. He’s involved in NASCAR. He owns a team. He’s such a great motivational positive influence for the Cuban American community.”
While Petty is usually the one answering questions from journalists, he enjoyed being the inquirer. He found it especially interesting to dig into people’s childhoods and how that shaped who they are today.
He loved hearing how Pitbull’s father would take a seven-year-old Armando Christian Pérez (his real name) to Miami bars in Little Havana in Miami and have him recite poetry from the Cuban revolution to his friends. “That’s where Pitbull began to understand the power of the word,” Petty said. “He’d recite these poems and look around and see grown men crying.”
Pitbull recalled driving around with his mom at night in a 1976 Ford Pinto because their apartment was too hot. Petty couldn’t find that particular Pinto but they drove around in a 1979 Mercury Bobcat which was basically the same thing.
For the show, he said being a fellow celebrity makes it easier for his subjects to open up to him. “You know the person across from you has walked in that path,” he said.
Petty also spent the pandemic writing his memoir, coming out next month called “Swerve or Die: Life at My Speed in the First Family of NASCAR Racing.”
“That was therapeutic,” Petty said. “I got to answer my own questions.”
“Dinner Drive With Kyle Petty,” 9 p.m. Thursdays on Circle TV