If you’re an old-school NASCAR fan or a newer fan who follows the goings-on of the Richard Petty Motorsports team, then you probably know all about the iconic Petty family. The patriarch is, of course, stock car racing legend Richard Petty: a 7-time Daytona 500 winner and 7-time NASCAR Cup Series title holder with 200 Cup Series wins.
Though she didn’t get as much time in the spotlight as Richard, his rock throughout his racing years was the late wife of Richard, Mrs. Lynda Petty. Together, they raised four kids: son Kyle Petty and daughters Sharon Petty Farlow, Lisa Petty Luck, and Rebecca Petty Moffit.
Lynda Gayle Owens, as she was known before she married “The King,” was born in Guilford County, North Carolina. What you may not know about Lynda Owens is that she voiced one of the characters in the Pixar movie Cars. Over the years, Lynda was a huge supporter of her husband and Petty Enterprises, and that’s exactly the character she played in the movie.
Richard and Lynda Petty’s Pixar Moment
In the movie, Lynda Petty plays Lynda Weathers, a 1974 Chrysler Town and Country station wagon, who used to be a demolition derby queen. That is, until Strip “The King” Weathers — an anthropomorphic 1970 Plymouth Superbird and racing legend — came around and stole her heart, and she traded in the roll cage for a two-car garage.
As they prepare for the movie’s final Piston Cup race, Lynda informs “The King” to be careful while racing. The car is later seen in the crowd cheering on her lover during the racing. Things go south when Chick Hicks (the movie’s villain, voiced by Michael Keaton) crashes “The King” on the final lap of the speedway race. Even though they are extremely worried, Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson) comes to the rescue and sacrifices his victory by pushing Strip all the way to the finish line. Lynda then gives Lightning a kiss on the cheek to show her appreciation.
Remembering Lynda Petty
Married to Richard for over 50 years, Lynda Petty helped start the Racing Wives Auxiliary. She also served on the Randolph County School Board for 16 years, and was a board member of the Randolph County Hospice. On top of that, she was a Red Cross volunteer, the president of the athletic booster club, and a Girl and Boy Scout leader. Needless to say, Lynda was an extremely giving person.
Sadly, in 2010, four years after the release of Cars, Lynda Petty was diagnosed with backbone cancer, and she fought for several years until 2014, when she passed away in Level Cross, North Carolina at the age of 72. A private memorial service was held in her memory.