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Lee Petty

Age: 86

stock car racing's first superstar of the 1940s and 50s and patriarch of the first family of NASCAR; won inaugural Daytona 500 in a car bearing his trademark #42; three-time Grand National champion, (now Winston Cup series); never finished lower than sixth in 12 Grand National seasons; compiled 55 career wins, seventh all-time; best season was 1959, where he finished 41 of 49 events, won 12 and amassed an unprecedented $46,000 in earnings; father of Winston Cup great Richard Petty, grandfather of Kyle Petty and great-grandfather of Adam Petty; a serious crash during qualifying at Daytona in 1961 left him with a punctured lung and broken leg; raced occasionally after the crash but retired from racing in 1964; voted mechanic of the year in 1950 and most popular driver in 1953 and 1954; inducted into Motorsports Hall of Fame in 1996; The cause of his death was not given, but he had undergone surgery for a stomach aneurysm weeks before his death.

Died: Greensboro, N.C., Apr. 5

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