Most NASCAR fans have probably heard or read the news by now that Lynda Petty, wife of Richard, mother of Kyle and grandmother of Adam, passed away Tuesday at the age of 72 after a four-year battle with central nervous system lymphoma.
In the time since news reports of her passing, many in the NASCAR community have made public expressions of condolences and also told warm-hearted stories about Lynda. Here’s what former NASCAR wife Liz Allison (widow of Davey Allison, who died in a helicopter crash near Talladega Superspeedway in 1993) said about Petty on her Facebook page:
“As a young driver’s wife, I still recall the many conversations that I had with Lynda Petty. 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!”
Unfortunately, I never had the opportunity to meet Petty, but I’d like to share this little story I’ve heard about her a few times over the years. I’m not positive, but I’m thinking Richard Petty may have even told it during his speech at his NASCAR Hall of Fame induction a few years back.
Richard said that he’d tell Lynda that he’d quit racing when it wasn’t fun anymore. So when Richard got caught up in a huge wreck and ended up banged up and in the hospital, Lynda walked into his hospital room, stood over him and asked him if they were still having fun.
Apparently, Richard stopped “having fun” in 1992, as he retired at the end of that year after a farewell season.
Lynda Petty was more than just a NASCAR wife. She played a major role in the formation of the Racing Wives Auxillary. Away from the track she served as a member of the Randleman County (N.C.) School Board.
The family will honor her in a private memorial service. Fans who wish to honor Lynda are asked to make donations in her memory to the Petty Family Foundation, 311 Brandson Mill Rd., Randleman, NC 27317.
Have any Lynda Petty memories to share or just want to publicly express condolences? You may talk to us on Twitter @AutoRacingDaily or Facebook (facebook.com/autorcngdaily). Amanda’s also on Twitter @NASCARexaminer and has a fan/like page on Facebook: NASCAR Examiner