Dick Trickle’s brother, Chuck, has said the legendary NASCAR driver suffered chronic and debilitating pain in his chest before his suicide.
Richard “Dick” Trickle, 71, who died on Thursday from a self inflicted gunshot wound, was so distressed by his mystery ailment that he visited doctors twice a day.
According to his brother, Dick Trickle became depressed by a discomfort under his left breast telling him that he “didn’t know how much longer he could take the pain”.
“It’s a shock to me,” said Chuck Trickle to The Las Vegas Review Journal.
“It’s real hard to think about. He was my brother, my friend and my hero, in that order.”
“He was very down.”
Chuck Trickle, who lives in Las Vegas said that to his knowledge his brother was healthy, except for the pain under his chest, but when they last spoke a week ago he suspected that something was wrong when he heard his brother curse.
Chuck Trickle said his brother was so beloved that “he could’ve run for president and won”.
“He was there for everybody,’ Chuck Trickle said. ‘He left a very large footprint on this earth.”
Chuck Trickle’s son, Chris, was shot in 1997 while driving in Las Vegas. He died the following year, and the case never was solved.
During his racing career, Dick Trickle attracted attention when he drilled a hole in his safety helmet to allow him to smoke a cigarette as he competed.
He also installed cigarette lighters in his cars so he could smoke during races, the local news station noted.
Dick Trickle recalled in an interview with Fox Sports two years ago of a fan who came up to him while signing autographs and asked him about the cigarettes.
“He says, <<How many cigarettes did you smoke during that race?>> And I said, <<How many yellows were there?>> I said, <<One for every yellow>>.”
Dick Trickle said he quit smoking two and a half years before that interview but did it “just for no good reason”.
He died on Thursday at age 71 from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, police confirmed.
The body of the retired race car driver was found at the Forest Lawn Cemetery in Boger City, North Carolina, 30 miles west of Charlotte. His body was discovered near his pickup truck.
It is not known why he chose the cemetery as the location to end his life.
Dick Trickle had actually called police before shooting himself and forewarned them “there would be a dead body and it would be his”.
He made his debut on the NASCAR circuit in the #84 Miller High Life Buick for Stavola Brothers Racing.
His career spanned 24 years, during which he competed in a total of 2,200 races.
Dubbed the “White Knight” by his corporate sponsor SuperAmerica, Dick Trickle was said to have nabbed the most wins in short track racing.
He was named the Rookie of the Year in NASCAR’s Winston Cup in 1989 at age 48.
Sheriff’s Lieutenant Tim Johnson says foul play is not suspected.
Dick Trickle leaves behind his wife of 53 years Darlene and three children.
They are the proud parents of three children. 50-year-old Tod Allen Trickle born on March 22, 1963, 41-year-old Chad Trickle born on March 03, 1972 and their eldest and only daughter 52-year-old Victoria Trickle, now Vicky Trickle Bowman, who once worked as her father’s personal assistant.
Darlene Carol Trickle, 69, was born Darlene McMahon on January 11, 1944, she got married to her childhood sweetheart Dick Trickle shortly after he graduated from High School in May, 1961.
At age of 8, Dick Trickle almost died while playing tag with his cousin in a house under construction.
He fell two floors to the basement and broke his hip and spent three years in a cast from his waist to his feet – walking with a limp for the rest of his life.
And tragically, his nephew, Chris Trickle, who was also a NASCAR driver was murdered in an unsolved drive-by shooting in Las Vegas in 1998.
Chris Trickle died from his wounds 409 days after the shooting.