On Thursday May 16, 2013 Dick Trickle died of a self-inflicted gun wound.
The below story was posted in 2005 to poke fun at one of the more colorful drivers in NASCAR history.
One of the worst finishing drivers I ever recall would be Dick Trickle. I remember Trickle seemingly finishing 30th or worst just about every week in the early 1990′s. I know there were some other bad drivers from this period. Hut Strickland, Derek Cope and Bobby Hamilton immediately come to mind.
I wondered what had happened to Dick Trickle. It’s been years since the ESPN announcer’s have listed the top 10 and where Dick finished. Dick Trickle wasn’t a complex man at all. He basically was able to escape the media because he just wasn’t that good.
When my wife Carrie had told me she had a gotten a Dick Trickle trading card from a vending machine my interest had peaked.
The first place I decided to look was the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. After all Bobby Hamilton reemerged there. It’s not just Hamilton who has turned his crappy NASCAR finishes into a top of the line truck career though. Ted Musgrave, who was solid for years under Jack Roush racing, Johnny Benson and Ron Hornaday are also there. But I knew they were there. I also found Todd Bodine, Steve Park, Mike Skinner, Robert Pressley, even Butch Miller is still alive and kicking over there. Sadly no Dick Trickle though.
I was curious. I mean with a name like Dick Trickle how could this guy escape the media? I checked the Busch Series standings. Though I didn’t find anything. Of course seeing Stacy Compton’s name made me chuckle. Remember how great he was to be? Ya, someone better call up Loy Allen and let him know he’s not the guy who had a few fast laps in practice to crack the top 10 just twice in 52 races between the NEXTEL and BUSCH Series.
Anyway Loy Allen is a completely different story. I mean he’s no Dick Trickle. A quick look over at Racing-Reference at Dick’s stats show what we already knew. He hasn’t been racing in the big leagues since 2002. He raced just three races that year but the result pretty much sums up his career. Crash, Engine, Oil Pump. Oh and if you were wondering who was piloting Trickle for those races it was none other then the cockroach himself. The ancient Dave Marcis. The combined age of the two at the time was over 120. Just wow.
Dick Trickle is perhaps one of the most colorful characters in the sport. During his time in NASCAR, Dick was famous for having a cigarette lighter in his racecars, and having his full-face helmet drilled so that a cigarette would fit in front of his mouth thru the helmet allowing him to smoke during caution laps.
What is Trickle doing these days? Trickle and his wife Darlene live on 8 acres in Iron Mountain, NC. Racing is now his “hobby”. “I did it for a living, made a career out of it, but now I’ve turned it into somewhat of a hobby. I don’t race a lot, half a dozen (races) a year maybe. I play with my tractors and live somewhat of a family life and just try to enjoy trying to retire sooner or later. Racing is in my blood, I can’t quite get out of it yet”, Trickle was quoted as saying in a recent interview.
I also found the homepage to the Dick Trickle fan club. What a disgusting bunch of people. I know Dick Trickle may be a “short track God” in some places. (Their words not mine) But I have to question the validity of someone’s life who would actually support this kind of behavior. It just seems to be there’s better things to do with your life then follow the racing career of a 61 year old who hasn’t been competitive since Kennedy was in office.
Here’s some stuff that will make all of us NASCAR fans sad. Did you know Dick Trickle was the 1989 Rookie of the Year and won the 1990 Winston Open? Oh yea his fan club also takes pride that in 1997 and 1998 he was voted the sports 4th most popular driver. Who the hell actually votes for that crap is what I want to know? And if you took the time to vote why cast a vote for Dick Trickle? That’s like voting for David Bell for the All Star team.
I guess that’s just how race fans are though. They get attached to their drivers and not even the jaws of life can save them. It’s just unfortunate for these fans that they got attached to Dick Trickle. Hell even Ken Schrader would of been a better choice.