Sep 13, 2013; Joliet, IL, USA; NASCAR Sprint Cup Series owner Richard Petty during practice for the Geico 400 at Chicagoland Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Rob Grabowski-USA TODAY Sports

Richard Petty returns to the track

Richard Petty has returned to the NASCAR scene at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway for Saturday’s Toyota Owners 400 Sprint Cup Series race at the track after taking some time off to deal with the loss of his wife, Lynda Petty. Lynda Petty died at the age of 72 on March 25. On Friday morning, Petty discussed the loss, being away from the track and his return. Here’s what he had to say:

WHAT IS IT LIKE FOR YOU TO BE BACK? “I just felt like I needed to sort of had a little time on our own so I have been gone for two or three weeks but I am back in the saddle again now. I am just learning to live all over again.”

DO YOU THINK BEING AT THE TRACK WILL BE A GOOD DISTRACTION? “Yeah, doing the things we were supposed to do the last few weeks have been put off so starting Monday we were in Georgia and Tuesday we were in Tennessee and Wednesday in Wyoming and now here on Thursday. The busier they keep me the better off I will be.”

HOW ARE YOU DOING? “I am surviving. It is going to be different I guess. After 55 years I have to start all over again. I was fortunate that all the kids came home for Easter. We had all the kids and grand kids home and that really made things work good.”

WHAT DO YOU EXPECT THE OUTPOURING YOU WILL RECEIVE AT THE TRACK TO BE LIKE? “It is great that so many people knew Lynda so well. Of course she had been around a long time too. She never met a stranger. Every once in awhile I would come in the house and see people I didn’t even know. She would invite them in the house to spend the night or whatever. Again, it is just going to be different.”

HOW CLOSE DID YOU FOLLOW RACING WHILE YOU WERE GONE? “They kept me informed. They called everyday about what was going on and I watched some of it on TV. It was still not the same as being there though.”

WHEN IS THE LAST TIME YOU WERE GONE FROM THE TRACK FOR SO LONG? “I have never been gone that long. Never. I have never missed two or three races in a row. Maybe one from time to time but never more than that. It is a different situation. I just have to learn to live with it.”

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Tags: NASCAR Richard Petty Richmond International Raceway

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