Skip to content

Former NASCAR driver Dick Trickle dies of apparent suicide

May 16, 2013, 4:35 PM EDT

Dick Trickle, 71, died Thursday of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, according to the Lincoln County (N.C.) Sheriff’s Office, in a report by Charlotte affiliate WBTV.

The County reported this happened at 12:02 p.m. local time, where Trickle was found dead next to his pick-up truck.

MORE: Trickle was the ‘the roughest, toughest, meanest, craziest and grouchiest son of a gun who ever climbed into a race car’

Trickle was a veteran short track legend in Wisconsin, and 1989 NASCAR Winston Cup Rookie-of-the-Year. He occasionally lit up cigarettes during caution flags, as shown in the video below.

But more than that, Trickle doubled as a fierce competitor and rival to all who raced against him, and a “throwback” who was never afraid to race by day, and have a beer by night. His NASCAR career – which paled in comparison to the statistics achieved on short-tracks throughout the country, where he won more than 1,200 career races – included 36 top-10 finishes in the Cup level over 24 years, and two wins in 11 years of Nationwide (then Busch Grand National) competition.

Tweets poured in throughout the afternoon and spanned the generation gap. Mark Martin, who at 54 had parts of nearly three decades racing against Trickle, said of Trickle, “He kicked butt everywhere he went.”

Landon Cassill, who’s only 23, had this to say about the driver born in Wisconsin Rapids, Wis.: “Trickle was a legend-When i was 14 we beat doors for 50 laps @ Madison-He gave me the boot w/ 5 to go, offered me a cigarette after the race.”

Proof then, that some things never changed.

Latest Posts
  1. Huertas returns, Dracone back as well for GP of Indy at Coyne

    May 6, 2015, 10:56 AM EDT

    GrumpyCatReturns Getty Images

    Carlos Huertas set for return at Dale Coyne Racing for this weekend’s Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis.

  2. Pagenaud primed for big month of May with Team Penske

    May 6, 2015, 10:00 AM EDT

    Photo: INDYCAR Photo: INDYCAR

    After a decent start on pace, Simon Pagenaud looks for results to match to kick off the month of May.

  3. New McLaren Honda livery revealed

    May 6, 2015, 9:25 AM EDT

    Photo: McLaren Photo: McLaren

    McLaren’s new darker graphite grey livery is unveiled.

  4. Q&A: IMS President Doug Boles heading into 2015 Month of May, 2016 planning

    May 6, 2015, 9:00 AM EDT

    BolesHiRes AP

    MotorSportsTalk’s Tony DiZinno speaks to Indianapolis Motor Speedway president J. Douglas Boles for an overview on the present plans and the future outlook as IMS rolls into the 2015 Month of May and ahead into 2016.

  5. Fast Facts: Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis

    May 6, 2015, 8:00 AM EDT

    Ryan Hunter-Reay AP

    Fast facts heading into this weekend’s Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis, courtesy of IndyCar PR staff.

  6. Justin Wilson looks to make most of Indy rides with Andretti Autosport

    May 5, 2015, 7:49 PM EDT

    justin wilson 2014 Getty Images

    Without a full-time ride for this season, Justin Wilson is happy to be back in a race car and to have a ride for at least the next two races.

  7. On eve of 300th IndyCar start, Helio Castroneves eyes record-tying fourth Indy 500 win

    May 5, 2015, 6:02 PM EDT

    Helio ST PETE 2015 AP AP

    Helio Castroneves hopes to enjoy the appetizer this weekend and then sink his teeth into the main course two weeks later.

  8. NHRA legend John Force turns 66, not slowing down any time soon

    May 5, 2015, 2:03 PM EDT

    (Photo courtesy International Motorsports Hall of Fame) (Photo courtesy International Motorsports Hall of Fame)

    At a time when many people would be embracing retirement, legendary NHRA drag racer John Force just keeps motoring along.

  9. Road America adds new video boards, makes further track investments

    May 4, 2015, 5:18 PM EDT

    Photo: Road America Photo: Road America

    Road America invests millions into some track upgrades for 2015.

  10. Olympic gold medalist Nastia Liukin named grand marshal for 2015 Indianapolis 500

    May 4, 2015, 2:18 PM EDT

    Photo: IMS Photo: IMS

    Nastia Liukin named grand marshal for this year’s Indianapolis 500.

  11. Tequila Patron ESM makes its Ligier JS P2 Honda race debut in Spa (VIDEOS)

    May 4, 2015, 1:33 PM EDT

    Photo: Tequila Patron ESM Photo: Tequila Patron ESM

    Videos from the debut of the new Ligier JS P2 Hondas for Tequila Patron ESM at Spa-Francorchamps this weekend.

  12. Andretti, Honda open strongly on Indy 500 opening day

    May 4, 2015, 11:35 AM EDT

    Photo: Honda Photo: Honda

    Early days yet, but seems as though Andretti Autosport is starting the month of May out on the right foot.

  13. Westbrook, Valiante score TUDOR win in Monterey

    May 4, 2015, 11:24 AM EDT

    TUDORmrlswin Getty Images

    The No. 90 Corvette DP pairing ends on top in Monterey.

  14. Montoya fastest on opening day of Indianapolis 500 practice

    May 3, 2015, 8:42 PM EDT

    Photo: IMS Photography Photo: IMS Photography

    Day one of the month of May is in the books at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

  15. Iranian government planning to build Formula 1 circuit

    May 3, 2015, 5:00 PM EDT

    AUTO-PRIX-BHR-F1 Getty Images

    Could we see the Iranian Grand Prix join the F1 calendar in years to come?

  16. Chester confident Lotus can compete with Red Bull

    May 3, 2015, 3:30 PM EDT

    F1 Grand Prix of Bahrain Getty Images

    Lotus technical director Nick Chester expresses his confidence in the upcoming upgrade package for the E23 Hybrid car.

  17. A handful of new drivers, liveries make first outing for Indy 500 practice (PHOTOS)

    May 3, 2015, 2:11 PM EDT

    Mann and Daly. Photo: INDYCAR Mann and Daly. Photo: INDYCAR

    A run through of new driver firesuits and liveries thus far on the first day of practice for the Indianapolis 500.