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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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151 COMMENTS

No Avatar
61.

nikynewark    

Dick Trickle? No disrespect but a trip to the clinic would help.

442 days ago
62.

Loreli    

I have been part of Dick Trickle's brother, Chuck Trickle from Las Vegas, NV, "adoptive" family for as long as I can remember and this is a very devastating thing for the Trickle family. For all of you people saying mean things, know this...he did this for a reason and for you to talk crap about him is very disgusting!! How would you feel if someone you loved and cared about did this and you had the public writing such hateful things towards your loved one?!?!? Be considerate of people's families! They are in shock and pain right now and it doesn't help for you people to be doing this. Dick was a well loved amazing man and he will be missed deeply!

442 days ago
63.

Sandra Glaman    

Remember seeing him in the pits when my Dad was racing...Had to be the late 60's..Defitnately the end of an era here in Central Wisconsin....Thoughts and prayers are with the family...

442 days ago
64.

Sandra Glaman    

Remember being in the pits with my dad who was also a local racer and fan back in the early 70's...Definitely the end of an era here in Wisconsin....Thoughts and prayers are with the family...

442 days ago
65.

Tammy    

RIP Dick you will be missed in the Nascar world,Prayers to go out to all of your friends and family

442 days ago
66.

Reality_Check    

To all the dumb and ignorant people making the unoriginal joke about him killing himself because of his name: his name was RICHARD. He chose to be known as Dick. Grow up!

442 days ago
67.

Metta Worldhate    

If you poop when you die does your dick trickle also?

442 days ago
68.

tym    

...

442 days ago
69.

princeluvr41    

Theres nothing funny about this ,,all these adults on here making jokes whatta dam shame god forbid someone close to you ever commits suicide im sure you wouldnt see the humor ,,,shame on you.

442 days ago
70.

Cat    

I knew Dick and after he lost his nephew he wasn't the same...For all of you that don't know NASCAR I invite you to watch a race....If you are tired of hearing about rape, drugs, and other things with pro sports figures....watch NASCAR....this is a family sport, its clean not controverisal, and its the best sport in the world

442 days ago
71.

Bryan    

Unbelievable! I know what it's like dealing with those kinds of things. It's been a rough year for NASCAR. Thoughts and prayers go out to the Trickle family.

442 days ago
72.

flatcat    

I remember seeing a sandbag ashtray in his racecar.. that's why they didn't like to incar camra him..

442 days ago
73.

Eric    

I can only assume he did it because of the ***ulative embarrassment of a lifetime of living with his stupid name...

442 days ago
74.

Miva    

Such a great loss, Dick Trickle one of the best drivers, RIP! Found his lovely wife Darlene here http://fabwags.com/darlene-trickle-is-nascar-driver-dick-trickles-wife/

442 days ago
75.

SNAFU    

So many posters here should do the same thing he did, the world would be a better place.

442 days ago
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