Former NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Driver Dick Trickle Dead At 71

Former Sprint Cup Series legend Dick Trickle was found dead Thursday of an apparent self inflicted gunshot wound according to reports from WBTV 3 in Charlotte, N.C.

Dick Trick (center) with former Charlotte Motor Speedway general manager Humpy Wheeler (right) in 2006. (Photo: Chris Trotman/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Trickle was 71 years old.

Trickle’s body was found in the Forest Lawn Cemetery in Boger City, N.C. at about noon Tuesday.

WBTV reported“The Lincoln County Communications Center received a call apparently from the victim that ‘there would be a dead body and it would be his.’ Communications Center workers tried to place a return call to the number but did not get an answer.”

Trickle’s legend was earned on the short tracks of his native Wisconsin and throughout the ranks of Midwest short tracks. He ran occasionally in NASCAR’s national ranks through the 1970’s and ‘80’s.

In 1989 he ran full-time for the first time in NASCAR’s highest level, Sprint Cup Series, then known as the Winston Cup Series.

He stopped running full-time in the series after the 1998 season. He made his last Sprint Cup Series start at Dover International Speedway on June 2. Over a 24-year span from 1970 to 2002 he made 303 Sprint Cup Series starts and recording 15 top-five finishes in that span.

Trickle made 158 starts in what is known today as the Nationwide Series, recording two career victories.

“Dick Trickle taught me to be me,” longtime NASCAR competitor Kenny Wallace posted on Twitter this afternoon. “He taught me to Justify things my way and said ‘Kenny keep laughing loud cause that’s who you are'”

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