Lynda Petty, wife of NASCAR Hall of Famer and seven-time Winston (now-Sprint) Cup champion Richard Petty and mother of former driver Kyle Petty, passed away on Tuesday at her home at the age of 72 after battling central nervous system lymphoma.
“We wish to sincerely thank everyone who has supported us and our family throughout the years and at the times,” a statement released by Richard Petty Motorsports read. “We will forever love and miss a wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and friend.”
In addition to Richard and Kyle Petty, Linda Petty is also survived by daughters Saron, Lisa and Rebecca, as well as several grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Her grandchildren include Adam Petty, son of Kyle Petty, who passed away in 2000 because of injuries sustained in a Busch (now-Nationwide) Series practice crash at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon.
“As a young driver’s wife, I still recall the many conversations that I had with Lynda Petty,” Liz Allison, widow of former NASCAR driver Davey Allison, posted on her Facebook page. “She, Judy Allison and Susan Bonnett were the three wives that I always turned to for advice and support. Lynda was the most down to earth and loving person and one who was never too busy to lend a listening ear. She will always hold a special place in my heart!”
Lynda Petty played a role in the formation of the Racing Wives Auxillary. She also had a role in the original “Cars” movie. Away from the track, she was a 16-year member of the Randolph County (N.C.) School Board.
“Through the years, Lynda became an integral part of the NASCAR landscape,” NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France said in a written statement. “We have lost a true friend, who will be missed each and every day. Our thoughts and prayers will be with the Pettys throughout this difficult time.”
There will be a private memorial service for the family. The family asks that expressions of sympathy take the form of donations to the Petty Family Foundation, 311 Brandson Mill Rd., Randleman, NC 27317.
– Photo courtesy of Getty Images for NASCAR