Adam Petty dies in practice crash

Adam Petty was killed during a practice session crash on Friday afternoon at New Hampshire International Speedway

Adam Petty dies in practice crash

The 19-year old fourth-generation driver, and grandson of NASCAR legend Richard Petty, died at nearby Concord Hospital from severe head trauma suffered as he prepared to qualify for this weekend's NASCAR Busch 200-miler at the Loudon facility.

By mid afternoon, relatives had gathered at father Kyle Petty's house and were unavailable for immediate comment. Adam's great grandfather, Lee Petty, was one of NASCAR racing's first 'stars'. He died just last month at the age of 86, having seen Adam win his first major race - an ARCA event at Charlotte - in 1998.

The latest racing Petty, who was the spitting image of Richard at a younger age, had a shy but mischievous personality and seemed unaffected by his own success or that of fan attention. Kyle's son had already experienced his birth by fire during several hard crashes in his young career, but - like so many the family experienced over 50 years - he walked away to race another day.

Pain and pride were Petty hallmarks. Lee Petty won 55 races and three Grand National championships. In 1959, he was the photo-finish winner of the first Daytona 500. Son Richard emerged as 'The King' of stock car racing with a record 200 victories and seven championships.

Richard's son, Kyle, now in his 20th year as a Winston Cup regular, recently took over the day-to-day business of running the family's team.

The trademark Petty resiliency and quick smile was erased in a hot lap on the 1.058 mile speedway here, one which has been remarkably safe because of its low banking and resulting slower speeds.

Arrangements for Adam Petty have not been announced.

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