NASCAR Hall of Fame driver and ESPN analyst Rusty Wallace competed for years against Dick Trickle on Midwest short tracks, in the American Speed Association (ASA), and then later in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. At age 48, Trickle was rookie of the year in the Cup Series in 1989, the same year that Wallace won his only championship at NASCAR’s top level, and the two old friends and rivals were honored together at the NASCAR awards banquet for that year in New York City. Trickle, 71, died today of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, according to the Lincoln County (N.C.) Sheriff’s Office.
RUSTY WALLACE — “I’m in 100 percent shock. Dick Trickle was my mentor. When I was short track racing, I would call him every Monday morning and he would always help me with race setups and stuff. He and I had such a good time telling little stories, but he was the guy that taught me almost everything in the American Speed Association. And he was the guy that I battled right to the end for my 1983 ASA championship. I barely beat the guy that taught me everything. I’d not seen Dick as much as I’d like to of late. He was a legend. A man that’d won over a thousand short track races, was one of the most winning short trackers in America, was a role model to many short track racers coming up. Could just do magic with the race car and he taught me so much about racing. My success in the ASA and what Trickle taught me is what got me into NASCAR. That’s what got me hired by Cliff Stewart back in ’84. Between Larry Phillips and Dick Trickle, they taught me everything.”
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