Former NASCAR driver Richard “Dick” Trickle is dead at 71 years old, WSOC reports. According to officials a call was made to the Lincoln County, N.C. Communications Center from the Forest Lawn Cemetary, in Boger City, that was apparently from Trickle.
On the call Trickle said there would be a dead body and that it would be his own. Workers tried to dial the number back after the call ended, but there was no answer.
When emergency units arrived on the scene they found Trickle’s body lying next to his pickup truck. Officials say he died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Trickle never had any first place finishes in NASCAR’s biggest races, but he still made an impression and had quite the following. Throughout his career he had 36 finishes in the top-10 and was also noted for smoking cigarettes in his car during races. NASCAR gave him permission to do so during yellow flags, which led Trickle to drill a hole in his helmet for a cigarette and even install a lighter in his car.
Even in his later years, Trickle continued to compete in smaller races in his home state of Wisconsin.