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Wife of NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Petty dies

Tuesday - 3/25/2014, 7:28pm  ET

FILE - In this Nov. 15, 1992, file photo, NASCAR driver Richard Petty, left, kisses his wife, Lynda, during ceremonies before the start of the final race of his career, the Hooters 500, at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Ga. Lynda died Tuesday, March 25, 2014, at her home in Level Cross, N.C., after battling cancer for several years. She was 72. (AP Photo/Ric Feld, File)

RANDLEMAN, N.C. (AP) -- Lynda Petty, the wife of NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Petty, died Tuesday after battling cancer for several years. She was 72.

Petty Motorsports spokesman Jeff Dennison said in a statement that Petty was surrounded by her family when she died at her home in Level Cross. He said she had been fighting cancer for the past several years.

Lynda Petty helped start the Racing Wives Auxiliary, a benevolent fund for injured members of the NASCAR community. The group was formed by the wives of drivers, crews and sponsors.

"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," said NASCAR chairman and CEO Brian France.

Besides her husband, Lynda Petty is survived by son Kyle, two daughters, 10 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

"It was no secret that she was the cornerstone of the Petty family; a woman of humility and extraordinary strength," said Austin Petty, Lynda and Richard's grandson and chief operating officer of Victory Junction, a camp for children with chronic medical conditions or serious illnesses.

"While we mourn her death, we also celebrate her life and the profound impact she had on those who knew her," Austin Petty said.

A private memorial service is scheduled for Reverie Place in Randleman. No date or time was given.

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