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NASCAR Driver Dick Trickle Dead at 71

Former NASCAR driver Richard "Dick" Trickle died Thursday, ESPN reports. He was 71. Trickle died of...

Natalie Abrams
Natalie Abrams

Former NASCAR driver Richard "Dick" Trickle died Thursday, ESPN reports. He was 71.

Trickle died of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound at a cemetery in Lincoln County, N.C. The Lincoln County Communications Center reportedly received a call from Trickle, in which he reported there would be a dead body and it would be his. Workers at the center tried to return the call, but did not get an answer. Emergency units found Trickle's body lying near his pickup truck.

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Trickle, who was nicknamed the "White Knight," has been billed the winningest driver in America, with approximately 1,200 wins. He won seven ARTGO championships and was named the NASCAR Winston Cup Series Rookie of the Year in 1989. In the Sprint Cup series, he was in 303 races over a span of 24 years, including 36 top 10 finishes.

"Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of Dick Trickle on his passing today," NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France said in a statement obtained by ESPN. "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."