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Racing Legend Dick Trickle Commits Suicide

Dick Trickle
Bill Hall/Getty Images

Richard “Dick” Trickle died Thursday at the age of 71. His body was discovered next to his pickup truck at a cemetery in Lincoln County, North Carolina, after the longtime NASCAR and short-track driver shot himself, according to police.

Trickle was retired from competitive racing and had been living in Lincoln County for some time. Around noon, the Lincoln County Communications Center received a phone call, saying that there would be a dead body at the Forest Lawn Cemetery in Boger City. Soon after, authorities found his body.

Over the course of a career that began at age 17 in 1958, Trickle was a two-time American Speed Association champion (1984, 1985), he won seven ARTGO championships, and he took the 1968 USAC Stock Car Rookie of the Year and the 1989 NASCAR Winston Cup Series Rookie of the Year.

Trickle became quite famous for his name, becoming a repeated punch line on shows like ESPN’s ‘SportsCenter.’ And though he never had much success on the NASCAR circuit, that didn’t hurt his sense of humor. In 1997, he filmed a commercial for NAPA Auto Parts in which he predicted the winner of an upcoming race: “It’s gonna be me!” A graphic then flashed across the screen that read “Dick is 0 for 243 in Cup races.”

Trickle then smiled and said, “I think we get champagne!”

[Charlotte Observer]

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