Former race car driver Richard “Dick” Trickle died this morning at the age of 71.
Lincoln County officials said that Trickle died of a gunshot wound. Authorities believe that it was a suicide.
According to WCTI, authorities received a call this morning from a man who said that “there would be a dead body and it would be his” at the Forest Lawn Cemetery near Boger City, North Carolina. Rescue workers tried to return the call but didn’t get an answer.
Trickle’s body was later found near his pickup truck.
Trickle was a mainstay in the Sprint Cup series for over 20 years. He retired in 2002 after 303 Sprint Cup races. Yahoo Sports notes that Trickle’s best year came in 1989 when he scored six top five finishes.
Several NASCAR drivers have taken to social media to express their grief over Trickle’s passing.
Kenny Wallace wrote: Dick Trickle taught me to be me, He taught me to Justify things my way and said “Kenny keep laughing loud cause that’s who you are”
NASCAR wrote: Dick Trickle will always be remembered – as a NASCAR legend, a great character, and a true wheelman. He will be missed.
J.J. Yeley added: I just read about Dick Trickle, met him during my season doing IROC series. He was a true Racer and will be missed.