Former NASCAR driver Dick Trickle committed suicide Thursday at the North Carolina cemetery where his granddaughter Nicole Ann Bowman is buried. Bowman died in a car accident in 2001, according to the Charlotte Observer. The Lincoln County Sheriff's Office says Trickle’s body was found near his truck at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Boger City after he placed a 911 call informing authorities "there would be a dead body and it would be his." He died of a self-included gunshot wound.
Trickle’s brother Chuck tells the Las Vegas Review-Journal the 71-year-old had been experiencing severe chest pain. "He was very down," says. "He more or less said he didn't know how much longer he could take the pain."
"It's a shock to me," he adds. "It's real hard to think about. He was my brother, my friend and my hero, in that order."
Dick began his racing career on the short track, winning over 1,200 races. He joined NASCAR’s Winston Cup series in 1989 and earned Rookie of the Year. He competed in more than 300 Cup races.
"Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of Dick Trickle on his passing today," says NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France. "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."
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