Kyle Petty: Richard Petty “doing pretty good” but still adjusting to life alone

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Yesterday at Long Beach, NBCSN contributor and former Sprint Cup driver Kyle Petty provided an update on his father, seven-time Cup champion Richard Petty, who is still mourning the recent loss of his wife, Lynda.

Mrs. Petty, known for her gentle spirit and for being the rock of one of NASCAR’s most important families, died March 25 at her home in Level Cross, North Carolina. She was 72 years old.

Her passing brought about an outpouring of condolences from the NASCAR world, and Richard has stayed away from the race track in order to grieve.

He and Lynda were married for over half a century, and together, they raised four children – son Kyle and daughters Sharon, Lisa, and Rebecca.

“He’s doing pretty good, he’s used to going to the racetracks and being at the racetracks alone, but he’s not used to being at home and being alone,” Kyle said according to the Associated Press. “So I’ve stayed with him some, and my sisters have stayed some.

“It’s just going to take time. They were together 57 years and even though he spent 50 of those 57 years on the road, according to him, at race tracks, it’s been a lot harder and a lot tougher [than he thought].”

Multiple drivers, including the Richard Petty Motorsports duo of Marcos Ambrose and Aric Almirola, honored Mrs. Petty during the Martinsville race weekend in late March with a memorial decal on their cars.

At the time, NBCSN contributor and USA Today writer Nate Ryan tweeted that Richard was expected to return for the Toyota Owners’ 400 at Richmond International Raceway later this month.

F1 2017 driver review: Sergio Perez

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Sergio Perez

Team: Sahara Force India
Car No.: 11
Races: 20
Wins: 0
Podiums: 0
Best Finish: P4 (Spain)
Pole Positions: 0
Fastest Laps: 1
Points: 100
Championship Position: 7th

While failing to hit the podium as he did in both 2015 and 2016, Sergio Perez once again finished the year as Formula 1’s leading midfield team driver, but faced a greater fight from within Force India in the shape of Esteban Ocon.

Perez has long been knocking on the door of F1’s top teams should an opportunity come up, and 2017 saw him continue his solid if unspectacular form. The dominance of Mercedes, Red Bull and Ferrari meant any finish higher than seventh was impressive, something he managed to do on five occasions.

But there were some missed opportunities along the way, most significantly in Baku. Force India had been quick all weekend, with Perez charging to sixth on the grid, and when drama struck at the front, he and teammate Ocon were eyeing a podium finish as a minimum.

Contact between the two forced Perez to retire and prompted Ocon to pit for repairs, leaving the team without the top-three finish it targeted heading into the season. With Lance Stroll taking P3 for Williams and Daniel Ricciardo winning the race, a maiden victory for Force India was not out of the realm of imagination.

Perez and Ocon came to blows on a number of occasions, with the final straw coming in Spa when they twice touched on-track, prompting Force India to introduce team orders. Perez finished the year 13 points clear of Ocon in the final standings, meeting his own pre-season target of 100 points, yet the Frenchman had arguably made the bigger impression at Force India through his first full season in F1.

Force India remains the top underdog in F1 with Perez spearheading its charge, but it is difficult to see either taking the final step to becoming true contenders at the front of the field anytime soon, as solid as their displays have been.

Season High: P4 in Spain after retirements for the ‘big three’.

Season Low: Losing a sure-fire podium, if not a win, in Baku after contact with Ocon.