Dick Trickle Dies: NASCAR Driver Commits Suicide With Self-Inflicted Gunshot Wound; Why Did The Wisconsin Race Car Legend Kill Himself? [PHOTOS & REPORT]

By Noelle Chehab May 16, 2013 5:52 PM EDT
Dick Trickle died Thursday from a self-inflicted gunshot wound that is believed to have been an act of suicide. The NASCAR legend enjoyed much success as a race car driver. (Photo: Getty Images North America)
Dick Trickle died Thursday from a self-inflicted gunshot wound that is believed to have been an act of suicide. The NASCAR legend enjoyed much success as a race car driver. (Photo: Getty Images North America)

Dick Trickle, retired NASCAR driver, died on Thursday at 71-years-old in an apparent suicide committed by a self-inflicted gunshot wounds, according to Lincoln County authorities. The former race car driver, whose real name is Richard Trickle, was found dead at Forest Lawn Cemetery near his automobile.

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Officials said that Trickle called the Lincoln County Communications Center and told them that "there would be a dead body and it would be his." Employees at the North Carolina Communications Center said they attempted to call the race car driver back, but he did not answer or respond. When emergency units arrived at the scene, Trickle was already dead, lying near his pickup trick, according to investigators.

Trickle raced for decades and won several championships during his driving career, with an estimated 1,200 career wins. The late race car driver competed in NASCAR, All Pro, IMCA, USAC and ASA, among others, and logged one million laps during his life on the tracks. Trickle won seven ARTGO Championships in nine years and back to back ASA Challenge championships.

Dick Trickle was found dead beside his pickup truck from an apparent suicide after the NASCAR driver shot himself. He called police to warn them before pulling the trigger. (Photo: Getty Images North America)
Dick Trickle was found dead beside his pickup truck from an apparent suicide after the NASCAR driver shot himself. He called police to warn them before pulling the trigger. (Photo: Getty Images North America)

Nicknames the "White Knight," which was a reference to his race car's SuperAmerica paint job when he competed in Wisconsin, Trickle was known for smoking cigarettes in his vehicle during caution flags. Although the racer never won a NASCAR title, his best Sprint Cup finish was 15th place, and he placed 11th in the NASCAR Nationwide Series.

Left in Trickle's memory is the Dick Trickle 99 race at the La Crosse Fairgrounds Speedway, a 99 lap event during the annual Oktoberfest race weekend. Trickle's Wisconsin stomping grounds named a Wisconsin International Raceway building the "Dick Trickle Pavilion."

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