Retired NASCAR driver Dick Trickle died on Thursday of an apparent suicide. The 71-year-old allegedly called 911 and told the operator “there would be a dead body and it would be his.”
The operator attempted to call him back, but nobody answered. Trickle’s body was discovered near his pickup truck at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Boger City, North Carolina.
Tim Johnson, a Lieutenant Detective with the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office, stated that foul play is not suspected. He added that a note was found by Dick Trickle’s body. Further information, such as the contents of the note, will not be disclosed. Johnson explained:
“We’re trying to protect the family as much as possible, and they had just gotten notified right after it happened. We’re trying to respect their privacy.”
NASCAR released a statement about Trickle’s apparent suicide, saying that its thoughts and prayers are with the former stock car driver’s family. The statement added:
“Dick was a legend in the short-track 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.”
Current and former NASCAR drivers took to social media following the news of Dick Trickle’s death. Rusty Wallace, who was mentored by Trickle, stated:
“I’m in 100 percent shock. Dick Trickle was my mentor. When I was short track racing, I would call him every Monday morning and he would always help me with race setups and stuff. He and I had such a good time telling stories …”
Other NASCAR drivers joined in mourning Dick Trickle’s death, saying on Twitter:
Sad to hear the news of the passing of Dick Trickle. He was one tough competitor! #RIPDickTrickle
— Jeff Gordon (@JeffGordonWeb) May 16, 2013
Very sad to hear about the passing of Dick Trickle today. There are not as many “real racers” around 2day. And we lost 1 of the best. — David Ragan (@DavidRagan) May 16, 2013
So sad to hear about #dicktrickle. Thinking about and praying for his family….
— Matt Kenseth (@mattkenseth) May 16, 2013
Sorry to hear about Dick Trickle.. Good man.. Got some great memories of him.. Loved racing with him.. Prayers to his family.. — Elliott Sadler (@Elliott_Sadler) May 17, 2013
Dick Trickle is considered one of the best short-track racers in American history. Despite never winning a Cup race, Trickle’s larger than life personality made him a legend.
[Image via Royalbroil]