A Lincoln County dispatcher received a call -- believed to have been placed by Trickle -- that "there would be a dead body and it would be his," that county's sheriff's office said in a news release. There was no answer when authorities tried to call the number back.
Emergency units went to Forest Lawn Cemetery in Boger City and found a body lying near Trickle's pickup truck.
The Wisconsin-born Trickle raced during the 1970s and 1980s, then broke through as a full-time and widely recognized NASCAR driver in 1989. By that time, according to a Sports Illustrated article, the 48-year-old grandfather of two had won some 1,200 stock car competitions in 31 years of racing.
He settled in Lincoln County, in central North Carolina, in the early 1990s, according to the sheriff's office.
Though Trickle never managed a victory in NASCAR's premier Sprint Cup series, he did have 15 top-five finishes and won two Nationwide Series races before his retirement in 2002.
I don't think there was a sports figure who was picked on more for their name than Mr. Trickle and he was a great sport about it.
Also, this was posted in the comments below the article and I thought it was pretty profound:
"People expect old men to die, They do not really mourn old men.
Old men are different. People look
At them with eyes that wonder when...
People watch with unshocked eyes;
But the old men know when an old man dies."