“She went to all of the races where my grandfather was racing. She also worked in the business end, doing the payroll and a lot paperwork.”
granddaughter of Elizabeth Petty
Elizabeth Toomes Petty, born in a family of eight children in rural Randolph County, never imagined she and her husband would become part of a world-famous family.One thing she knew for sure — she loved a young man named Lee Petty, who would become a champion in a new sport called stock car racing. “She and my grandfather loved each other more than any two people I ever knew,” said granddaughter Rebecca Moffitt, of Trinity.
Elizabeth Petty, 88, who worked behind the scenes to help build the Petty NASCAR dynasty that would become known as the “first family of racing,” died Sunday morning.
The matriarch of the Petty racing family, who was born May 12, 1917, to Robert and Allie Mary Toombs, had been in declining health for about two years. Husband Lee Petty died in a Greensboro hospital April 5, 2000. A private funeral service will be held, and burial will be in Level Cross United Methodist Church Cemetery, beside her husband.In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to Level Cross United Methodist Church, Victory Junction Gang Camp or to Hospice of Randolph County.
Elizabeth Petty was the mother of Richard Petty, who won more NASCAR races than any driver, and Maurice Petty, who also was instrumental in the family founding Petty Enterprises. Her grandson Kyle Petty became a third-generation race driver, and great-grandson Adam Petty, killed in a race car accident May 12, 2000, was the fourth generation of drivers in the family.Survivors include nine grandchildren, 24 great-grandchildren, one great-great-grandchild, two sisters and two brothers.
Not well-known to the public, Elizabeth Petty was a key part of the early venture of Lee Petty into racing. “She went to all of the races where my grandfather was racing,” Moffitt said. “She also worked in the business end, doing the payroll and a lot paperwork.”She bowed out of going to the races on a regular basis after Lee Petty was seriously injured during a 100-mile qualifying race at Daytona Speedway in 1960. He was hospitalized for four months, and his days driving on the track were over. Lee Petty, with the help of his wife and two sons, turned to building Petty Enterprises into the powerful company it would become.Elizabeth Petty never raised any objections over her family’s involvement in stock car racing — something her husband took up at the age of 35.”It was just a way of life,” Moffitt said.
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Australian Andy Caldecott ,41, a 3rd time Dakar Motorcycle Racer, was killed in Stage 9 of the Dakar Rally between Nouakchott and Kiffa. He was the 23rd competitor to die in the Rally’s history. He was considered Australia’s Greatest ever Rally Rider.
Caldecott, who was the winner of the third stage, was in 10th place overall.
Andy Caldecott first competed in the Dakar in 2004, retiring in 6th position after courageously finishing stage seven with a broken ankle. In 2005 Caldecott returned to Dakar showing the world he was a rider to be reckoned with after taking two stage wins at Smara and Kayes, finally realising his dream in reaching the beaches of Dakar, finishing the rally 6th outright.
Caldecott, who became the 23rd competitor to die in the Rally, was married with one child.
The organizers, the teams, the riders and race officials in the Dakar Rally opted not to race today as a tribute to Andy Caldecott, the Australian KTM rider who was killed in yesterday’s stage nine of the rally.
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