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CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Richard Petty is scheduled to return to the race track this weekend for the first time since the March 25 death of his wife, Lynda.

The seven-time NASCAR champion and Hall of Fame driver missed races at Martinsville, Texas and Darlington as he mourned the loss of his wife. The Pettys were together 57 years. Trent Owens, crew chief for Richard Petty Motorsports driver Aric Almirola and Petty's nephew, believes being back at the track in Richmond, Va., will be good for "The King."

Owens says Petty has been at the shop recently and in good spirits. Almirola said Petty will give a lift to the organization at the track. The driver spent Tuesday with Petty at an appearance in Nashville, Tenn., and found his boss' spirits to be improved.

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