Richard Petty’s wife, Lynda, dies

Chris Keane

The NASCAR legend's wife was 72.

Lynda Petty, wife of NASCAR Hall of Famer and seven-time Cup champion Richard Petty, died Tuesday at her home in Level Cross, N.C.

Petty, 72, underwent treatment for a brain tumor and central nervous system lymphoma in 2010. She was eventually declared cancer free, though health problems persisted.

"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."

Richard Petty, who won a NASCAR-record 200 races, often credited his wife for his success. The couple married in 1958 just as he was beginning his career -- she was 17, he was 21. The couple had four children, including former NASCAR driver and current television analyst Kyle Petty.

NASCAR chairman and CEO Brian France offered his condolences in a statement.

"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," France said. "Through the years, Lynda became an integral part of the NASCAR landscape. 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 is survived by her four children, 10 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

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