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Dick Trickle, former Wisconsin racing star, dead at 71

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BOGER CITY, N.C. - Former NASCAR driver and Wisconsin Rapids native Dick Trickle died yesterday. Authorities said the 71-year-old Trickle had an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, and was found at a cemetery in Boger City, North Carolina, about 40 miles northwest of Charlotte.

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The Charlotte Observer said Trickle's daughter was buried in that cemetery, and he had a hard time dealing with her death from a traffic accident 12 years earlier. Trickle made his name by winning more than a-thousand short track races in the U.S. and Canada. He was named the top rookie in the U.S. Auto Club's stock car division in 1968. Trickle had nine championships on the ARTGO and American Speed Association tours in the 1970's-and-'80's. He had been in NASCAR races since 1970, and became a full-timer in its top circuit in 1989 when he filled in for the injured Mike Alexander. Trickle made 303 starts in NASCAR's former Winston Cup, now the Sprint Cup. He won the exhibition Winston Open in 1990, but he never won a race in which points were awarded. Trickle did have two victories in NASCAR's second-tier Busch Series.

Brad Keselowski, the reigning Sprint Cup champion, called Trickle the most significant racer of his era. He moved from Wisconsin to North Carolina in the early 1990's.

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