Lynda Petty, the wife of seven-time NASCAR champion Richard Petty, has been diagnosed with central nervous system lymphoma.

In a statement Thursday, the Petty family said she will be treated at Duke University Medical Center. Richard Petty said in the statement that his wife is in "good hands" and the family is "very optimistic" that her treatment will be successful.

The family thanked friends and fans for their support, and asked to have their privacy respected during her illness.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.