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NASCAR'S Dick Trickle

Commits Suicide

Driver Left Suicide Note

5/16/2013 1:33 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Exclusive Details

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2:44 PM PT -- NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France just commented on Trickle's death ... saying, "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."

2:28 PM PT -- We're told ... Trickle's body was removed from the cemetery and has been transported to a nearby hospital.

2:17 PM PT --
Multiple sources who knew Trickle tell us he had been sick for a while and depressed.  We're not sure what kind of illness Trickle had been suffering from.

1:51 PM PT --
Law enforcement sources tell TMZ ... Trickle did leave a suicide note at the death scene. The contents of the note are unclear at this time.

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Former NASCAR driver Dick Trickle is dead ... apparently having taken his own life with a self-inflicted gunshot wound.  He was 71 years old.

Cops in North Carolina say Trickle shot himself at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Lincoln County at 12:02 PM today.

0516-dick-trickle-cemetary-2-tmzOfficials say they received a phone call before the shooting in which the caller said there would be a dead body at the cemetery and it would be his.

Operators scrambled, trying to place a return call, but there was no answer.

When emergency responders arrived, they found Trickle's body near his pickup truck.

Trickle was a fan favorite in NASCAR -- often smoking cigarettes while he raced.



Dick won the NASCAR "Rookie of the Year" award in the Winston Cup in 1989, when he was 48 years old. 

Trickle was also beloved by the gang on "SportsCenter" -- Keith Olbermann and Dan Patrick used to almost always report his race results -- no matter how poorly he finished -- just because they were amused by his name.

Olbermann just tweeted ... "No sports figure Dan + I had fun with took it more graciously. In fact, gratefully."

He added, "Trickle helped mainstream NASCAR coverage on @SportsCenter We gave prominent attention to him, then his races, then ALL races."
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153 COMMENTS

No Avatar
16.

21stcent    

What ever happened to make him do this?
Rest in Peace Dick, thank you for your sportsmanship on the track

523 days ago
17.

Jody    

I wonder if he killed himself on a loved one's grave…maybe his deceased wife.

Very sad

523 days ago
18.

roll3567    

his pallbearers will be rusty trombone, hugh jass, lefty cappuccino, duane pipe and i.p. freely. rip man may all your turns be left ones.

523 days ago
19.

Hollywierd_gurl    

So very sad to see a life end in this way. God bless him, his family, and his NASCAR family that loved him so. Please keep the posts respectful, a family has lost their son, father, grandfather, uncle, friend.

523 days ago
20.

gegeok    

Rip

523 days ago
21.

ndtaylor77    

Little known fact- Trickle is the only driver to ever win Rookie of the Year in NASCAR and go on to never win a single race.

523 days ago
22.

FamilyMember    

It is very sad when you feel that this is the only way out. It is also sad the the people have no class and have to say rude things. That is what is wrong no one has compassion anymore. I feel very sad for your souls. RIP Dickie you will be missed by many family ,friends and fans,

523 days ago
23.

HRDS    

He was a great man. Met him probably 5 times back in the 90's. He acted like if you were a fan of his, you were a friend of his. Very proud that I can actually say I got to know him then. He will never be forgotten in the racing world. RIP

523 days ago
24.

Pudding Tang    

And there went the theory of 'trickle down economics'... RIP

523 days ago
25.

lyn    

Dick Trickle, was 71 not 48.

523 days ago
26.

Stevi    

Tom Cruise was named Cole Trickle in Days Of Thunder after Dick Trickle

523 days ago
27.

Lake    

"having taken his own life with a self-inflicted gunshot wound" is pretty crappy writing. You can't take your own life with a bullet shot by someone else. Anyway, I think it's great he did that in a cemetery, and great he did it, period. I love people who are determinists; why wait for "nature" to decide when/how you check out? We're all going to die, and this sounds very efficient. Leave a note, call the authorities, be in a cemetery, and bam. I like it. But better to write "he shot himself." You don't need all those other words. "take his own life" is so lame.

523 days ago
28.

Truth    

He lived for 71years then decides to pull the trigger?! What

523 days ago
29.

Elizabeth Alan    

Condolences to his friends and family. Sad day for many I am sure.

523 days ago
30.

Majestik    

R.I.P. Mr. Trickle.

523 days ago
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