NASCAR Hall of Famer Maurice Petty, brother of Richard Petty, died Saturday morning at the age of 81, Richard Petty Motorsports announced.
The team said he passed away peacefully surrounded by his family.
Maurice Petty was the chief engine builder at Petty Enterprises and is credited with 212 Cup series wins as an engine builder with six different drivers.
Nicknamed “Chief,” he was the first engine builder to be elected to the NASCAR Hall of Fame. He was inducted in 2014.
Petty was the crew chief for Pete Hamilton when he won two races in 1970, the Daytona 500 and a race at Talladega.
NASCAR released the following statement from CEO and Chairman Jim France:
“The ‘Chief’ was one of the most talented mechanics in NASCAR history. He provided the power that helped Petty Enterprises define dominance in sports. While he was known for his work under the hood, Maurice played multiple ‘behind-the-scenes; roles, doing whatever it took to help deliver his cars to Victory Lane. On behalf of the France family, I offer my condolences to the friends and family of Maurice Petty, a true NASCAR giant.”
Today my uncle passed away. He was the last uncle I had. I don’t know of anyone that fought harder and overcame more in life to succeed the way he succeeded. The world was a better place because of him and there is now an empty place that will never be filled again. pic.twitter.com/0lZb0qjAYx
— Kyle Petty (@kylepetty) July 25, 2020