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Owens not at track Friday; Richard Petty not expected

March 28, 2014, Kenny Bruce,

Aric Almirola's crew chief expected to return Saturday following Lynda Petty's death

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MARTINSVILLE, Va. -- Aric Almirola, driver of the Richard Petty Motorsports No. 43 Ford, is without the services of crew chief Trent Owens at Martinsville Speedway on Friday.

Owens is the nephew of Lynda Petty, whose memorial services are scheduled for Friday. Petty, wife of NASCAR Hall of Fame member and seven-time Cup champion Richard Petty, passed away March 25.

Owens is expected to join the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team for Saturday's activities as well as Sunday's STP 500.

Friday's schedule called for one practice session (Noon-1:30 p.m. ET) and qualifying (4:40 p.m.).

During his absence, Owens' duties are being handled by committee -- car chief Greg Ebert, engineer Jason Stockert and R&D engineer Scott McDougall.

Richard Petty and Hall of Fame crew chief Dale Inman were scheduled to serve as grand marshals for Sunday's race. Inman will now handle those duties alone.

Officials said RPM teams would carry special decals in memory of Lynda Petty on their cars this weekend, and similar decals will also be made available to other teams.


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