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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

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.

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."

For more sports stories, check out tmzsports.com!

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ive been a nascar fan all my life thanks to my mom and dad please dont bully a dead man he was found near his sons grave who was murdered in Las Vegas maybe he never got over it

493 days ago

Kimberly Weiss    

This is so sad. Nobody knows what goes on in a persons mind unless they have mental issues too.I know his family and friends will be greatly supportive of him.I have been having issues for years but never ever want to take my life away. Wishing he would have talked to somebody. God Rest your Soul Mr. Trickle.What ever it was, it's over now.

493 days ago


Who and what...

493 days ago


Such a loss, and I send prayers for his family, but, personally, I cannot have any kind of respect for anyone who commits suicide...it is a totally selfish act.

493 days ago

Debbie S.    

I don't know him or him personally! However, my gut and mind say...He didn't commit suicide! He didn't write the note or shoot himself! I feel that if law enforcement really dig deep, they'll find out everything they need to know! RIP Dick Trickle and may your family and friends find peace.

493 days ago

The Zombie    

Yeah, his name was funny. Sounds like something you have to go to the clinic for. In fact, I read that Cole Trickle would have had another name if the writers of Days Of Thunder would have known Dick Trickle was so popular. My father raced against him in the '80s and tells me that after a yellow flag, if you were behind Trickle, you'd always see a cigarette butt fly out his window. Maybe the illness was cancer. Either way, RIP

493 days ago


Suicide is a permanent solution to what could have been a temporary problem. Depression, coupled with a physical illness and advancing age are a bad combination. My condolences to his family and friends. He sounded like a wonderful guy.

493 days ago


R.I.P. Dick!

493 days ago

Leonard Walker    

Hello Harvey, Charles and TMZ family you guys had a interview with a lady defending the Boston bombing brothers let the lady know he left a note in the boat admitting he and his brother did the bombing

493 days ago


To all of you how have to say something negative, I dare you to go to any race track in the country and yell out loud what you said here. I dare you.

493 days ago


RIP... What a great name and he embraced it! Never met him but I bet he was a cool dude!

493 days ago


U will be missed. The family, friends and nascar family are in my thoughts.

493 days ago


also he was 71 soo close of finishing his time on earth. prayers to his family and friends

493 days ago


RIP Dick Trickle. You will be missed.!! May you rest with the angels.

493 days ago


Wow,who think like that.its really far out.was there a reward?he'll be thought of.too bad there was no sign.nascar is such a rainbow of great supporters.he'll never be missed.such a drip that hes dead.........

493 days ago
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