Former NASCAR driver Dick Trickle committed suicide earlier today in the Forest Lawn Cemetery in Bogar City, North Carolina. He was 71 years old and was fatally killed by a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. The Wisconsin native raced in NASCAR for 32 years and became a favorite among the fans. In 303 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts, he never won but did post 15 top 5′s and 36 top 10′s. Trickle also won the pole for a race at Dover back in 1990. 1989 was his best year points wise finishing 15th in the standings. He was the Rookie of the Year that same season at the age of 48; not a very common age among NASCAR rookies. He also won 2 times in the Nationwide Series and once in ARCA.
The police reported that he called and told the operator that there would be a dead body in the cemetery and that it would be his. They tried to return the call but did not get an answer. By the time emergency personnel and local authorities had arrived, he had already taken his life. His body was found a few feet from his pick-up truck and a suicide not was discovered; the contents of which have not been released. Fans remember back in the day that the in car camera would catch Trickle smoking cigarettes and that he was always a kind person. He may not have won a bunch of races but he will certainly be remembered as a great man and good friend to many. His laid back, funny personality is what made him so likable among all the fans and drivers.
Kenny Wallace: “Dick Trickle taught me to be me, He taught me to Justify things my way and said “Kenny keep laughing loud cause that’s who you are”
Mark Martin: “Say it’s not so. Sad news about a racing legend. Dick Trickle.”
Joey Logano: “Sad to hear of Dick Trickle. At some point we were all short trackers. He was the best.”
Krista Voda: “Just read news of Dick Trickle’s death. So sad. When I think of his career, I think of longevity and character. Thoughts w his family.”
Stewart-Haas Racing: “Dick Trickle was a racer’s racer and he will be missed. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family.”
Ford Racing: “We join thousands of fans/friends of Dick Trickle in mourning his passing. He was part of our program and will be missed.”
Andy Lally: “Horrible news. Incredibly sad to hear about Dick Trickle.”
David Ragan: “Very sad to hear about the passing of Dick Trickle today. There are not as many “real racers” around 2day. And we lost 1 of the best.”
Randy Pemberton: “Dick Trickle : Respectful, fun, no ego, wheel man… Down right one of the nicest guys I was ever around in NASCAR racing… RIP Dick…”
Ward Burton: “When I started racing, he was one of the heroes in the sport that you looked up to. Nobody could play as hard and work as hard as Dick Trickle.”
Brian France: “Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of Dick Trickle on his passing today. Dick was a legend in the short-track racing community, particularly in his home state of Wisconsin, and he was a true fan favorite. Personalities like Dick Trickle helped shape our sport. He will be missed.”
Rusty Wallace: “I’m in 100 percent shock. Dick Trickle was my mentor. When I was short track racing, I would call him every Monday morning and he would always help me with race setups and stuff. He and I had such a good time telling little stories, but he was the guy that taught me almost everything in the American Speed Association. And he was the guy that I battled right to the end for my 1983 ASA championship. I barely beat the guy that taught me everything. I’d not seen Dick as much as I’d like to of late. He was a legend. A man that’d won over a thousand short track races, was one of the most winning short trackers in America, was a role model to many short track racers coming up. Could just do magic with the race car and he taught me so much about racing. My success in the ASA and what Trickle taught me is what got me into NASCAR. That’s what got me hired by Cliff Stewart back in ’84. Between Larry Phillips and Dick Trickle, they taught me everything.”
Obviously, the racing community is shocked by this horrible and unexpected tragedy. Bob Pockrass reported that Johnny Sauter who is from Wisconsin was so distraught in hearing the news that he didn’t want to talk; he had seen Trickle less than two weeks ago. Dick was a 7x ARTGO/NASCAR Midwest Series champion and a 2x ASA champion winning well over 1,200 races across the country. The NASCAR Race Hub is doing a tribute to him on tonight’s show. One famous story of Trickle was when he crashed into Robert Pressley under yellow during the 1995 Daytona 500 while trying to light a cigarette. If there are anymore details that come out regarding what led him to take his life, I will be sure to update this article. He was a great man and will truly be missed by all.