Initially, police said, his motive for fleeing was simple. "I take it he was just trying to see his mom," said Michael Douglas, the police chief in Pleasant View, Tennessee, near the home where Gay's mother is dying of cancer.
On Tuesday, Gay got to within 50 yards of his mother's house, about 25 miles northwest of Nashville, but abandoned the Wal-Mart truck and fled into some woods, authorities said.
Later in the week, authorities said, Gay stole the bus belonging to Gayle -- the younger sister of Loretta Lynn, known for her long hair and hits such as "Don't It Make My Brown Eyes Blue."
A man believed to be Gay arrived Thursday night at USA International Speedway in Lakeland, Florida, telling the track's manager he was there with NASCAR racer Tony Stewart and asking him for help getting a new generator for the tour bus he was driving, officials said.