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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

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| 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | Most Recent | Next 15 Comments
1.

romba    

Wonder if whoever was going to out him still will now that he's dead.

433 days ago
2.

Johnny    

RIP, Mr. You Know Who

433 days ago
3.

Colonel Nudge    

couldn't take any more jokes about his name huh?

433 days ago
4.

Signothorn    

I could be mean and make fun of his name, but I wonder if he had some kind of illness

433 days ago
5.

xrodriguez    

I am positive hw is the one that made the call

433 days ago
6.

jarhead333    

Sweetness

433 days ago
7.

Cirrus Unicus    

Tragic. And so unnerving that he called it in beforehand.

433 days ago
8.

LOL!    

Nascar has a penis?

433 days ago
9.

Vinny    

RIP Dick. WHY DICK!?

433 days ago
10.

who dat    

Very sad. Please try and be respectful to his memory, friends and loved ones.

433 days ago
11.

Tuna212    

I would have shot myself at 17 with friggin' name.

433 days ago
12.

ABB    

How thoughtful! Offing yerself' in a cemetery. It'll save his peeps a ton of money in transportation costs.

433 days ago
13.

A    

"Dick Trickle" sounds like a porn star name.

433 days ago
14.

If sense were common everyone would have it.    

Jeez I can't believe it. I wonder if he was grieving for someone who's buried there? That's horrible. I hope he rests in peace. My condolences to his family.

433 days ago
15.

Joe    

The Wisconsin native had the best name of anyone in any competitive activity. RIP.
No guy named Richard under the age of 50 has the nads to go by d l c k any longer.

433 days ago
| 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | Most Recent | Next 15 Comments

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