CONCORD, NC - Authorities in North Carolina say former NASCAR driver Dick Trickle has died of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. He was 71.
The Lincoln County Sheriff's Office says authorities received a call believed to be from Trickle on Thursday saying that ``there would be a dead body and it would be his.'' Authorities tried to call the number back, but no one answered.
The sheriff says Trickle's body was found near his pickup truck at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Boger City, N.C., about 40 miles northwest of Charlotte. Sheriff's Lieutenant Tim Johnson says foul play is not suspected.
Trickle was the Winston Cup series rookie of the year in 1989 but never won a Cup race. He won two Busch Series races.
Wisconsin Rapids native, Trickle has been billed as the winningest short-track driver in the history of stock-car racing, recording about 1,000 victories in feature races, including 67 in 1972.
As a teenager, Eagle River dirt track racer Guy Carley remembers watching Trickle compete in Plover.
"To lose somebody you knew in your childhood, he wasn't a hero - I was in my early teens," Carley explains. "He was someone you looked up to. Every Friday night he was the guy to beat."
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