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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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For more sports stories, check out tmzsports.com!
151 COMMENTS

No Avatar
31.

andy    

Well, . . . this is certainly going to change the overall "mood" heading into NASCAR's ALL STAR weekend, this week in Charlotte. Dick Trickle had direct influence on drivers such as Mark Martin, Kenny Schrader, Rusty Wallace, etc, while racing for many years in the ASA national touring series.
WISH HIS FAMILY AND FRIENDS THE BEST.

435 days ago
32.

jessloraine    

r.i.p sir very missed

435 days ago
33.

Irma    

My heart goes out to his family but please tell me that was not his real name.

435 days ago
34.

Irma    

"Trickle's body was removed from the cemetery and has been transported to a nearby hospital."

I always thought it was the other way around.

435 days ago
35.

Faye    

RIP Dick Trickle. Condolences to family, friends and fans.

435 days ago
36.

spectator72    

R.I.P Mr.Trickle

435 days ago
37.

Jay W.     

A very matter-of-fact way to go about it. I respect that.
RIP

435 days ago
38.

TheEric    

a) Nascar isn't a sport. b) with a name like Dick Trickle, I'm surprised he didn't off himself sooner.

435 days ago
39.

moonglow    

Romba.......... OUT him? What do you think you know about Mr Trickle? Ignorant ass

435 days ago
40.

Roscho    

Just like Olberman, take credit for establishing NASCAR coverage at ESPN. Him and Al Gore are said to be working on inventing HD TV.

435 days ago
41.

Wayne Rice    

I met Dick Trickle in 1997 at an event held for Dave Marcis at George and Sons Construction in Pennsylvania. He just like Dave were the two most down to earth and humble drivers Nascar has ever had. I ask you to please not make fun of his name, he was a great driver and a great friend to many in the sport.

435 days ago
42.

Janet Becraft    

RIP Richard 'Dick' Trickle: 10/27/41-5/16/13
NASCAR DRIVERS AND FANS WILL MISS YOU and your legacy will live forever

435 days ago
43.

nancy    

actually, he joked about his name forever...he said once that he laughed the loudest when teachers in school did the roll call and called him as trickle, dick

435 days ago
44.

asa    

435 days ago
45.

Ray B sr    

billy goat

435 days ago
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