LOUDON, N.H., May 12 -- Adam Petty, the fourth-generation driver of NASCAR's first family of racing, died Friday after crashing into a wall during a practice session at New Hampshire International Speedway. He was 19.
Petty was airlifted to Concord Hospital after the accident, but a hospital statement said he died of head trauma. The crash occurred shortly after noon during the second practice session of qualifying for Saturday's Busch 200.
Petty is the son of driver Kyle Petty, the grandson of the legendary Richard Petty and the great grandson of Lee Petty, who died on April 5.
Ironically, Adam Petty competed in his first Winston Cup race at the DirecTV 500 three days before Lee Petty died. He finished 40th.
"It is difficult to express our sadness over the passing of Adam Petty," NASCAR president Bill France said. "The Pettys are an integral part of the sport of NASCAR. The entire NASCAR community will miss Adam Petty."
Adam Petty was in his second season in the Busch Series and planned on moving to the Winston Cup circuit full time next year. He had three top-five finishes and four top-10 showings overall in 29 starts last year. His best finish in 1999 was fourth at the Auto Club 300 at California Speedway.
This season, his best performance was a 12th-place finish at the Touchstone Energy 300 at Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama on April 15. Petty earned $141,930 this season.