NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
              === Richard Petty's wife, Lynda, dies at age 72 ===
 Randleman,  NC  ( - Lynda Petty,  the wife of NASCAR Hall of
 Famer  Richard Petty,  a  seven-time champion  in the  sport,  passed away  on
 Tuesday after battling cancer for several years. She was 72.
 According to a release from Richard Petty Motorsports, Lynda Petty died at her
 home in Level Cross, N.C. She was surrounded by her family. A private memorial
 service  for family  and friends will be  held in Randleman at a date and time
 which will be determined later.
 "We  wish to  sincerely thank  everyone who  has supported  us and  our family
 throughout  the years and at this time," the Petty Family said in a statement.
 "We  will forever love and miss a wife, mother, grandmother, great grandmother
 and friend."
 Known as the "First Lady of NASCAR," Lynda Petty helped start the Racing Wives
 Auxiliary  and will always be remembered as the wife to Richard Petty, who she
 married in 1958. Lynda was a leader in her local community as well. She served
 as  a  Red Cross volunteer, a  school volunteer, the president of the athletic
 booster  club  and a Girl  and Boy Scout leader  during her lifetime. She also
 served  on the Randolph  County School Board for 16 years and was on the board
 of the Randolph County Hospice.
 "On  behalf of  the France  Family and  everyone at  NASCAR, I  want to  offer
 sincere  condolences  to the Petty Family  regarding the loss of their beloved
 matriarch,  Lynda Petty,"  NASCAR  Chairman and  CEO Brian  France  said in  a
 statement.  "Through  the years, Lynda  became an  integral part of the NASCAR
 family. 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."
 Lynda  Petty  is survived  by her husband  of 55 years,  Richard, son Kyle and
 daughters  Sharon, Lisa  and Rebecca. She had several grandchildren and great-
 03/25 21:00:12 ET