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WIZM'S Dan Deicher (track announcer at the La Crosse Speedway) and Dick Trickle at the La Crosse Speedway in 2012.
Retired stock-car driver Dick Trickle, known for his colorful name and short-track prowess, died on Thursday from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. He was 71.
According to the Lincoln County, N.C., sheriff's department, the incident occurred at 12:02 p.m. ET at Forest Lawn Cemetery off Highway 150 in Boger City.
The Lincoln County Communications Center received a call, apparently from Trickle, that "there would be a dead body and it would be his." Center workers tried to place a return call to the number but did not get an answer. Emergency units found Trickle's body lying near his pickup truck when they arrived. Lt. Tim Johnson, who heads the Lincoln County detective department, said that at the family's request, no additional information would be released at this time.
Trickle has been billed as the winningest short-track driver in the history of stock-car racing, recording about 1,000 victories in feature races, including 67 in 1972. He was the rookie of the year in NASCAR's premier series in 1989 with six top-five finishes and nine top 10s. Much of Trickle's short-track success came in Wisconsin, where he was nicknamed the "White Knight'' because of his SuperAmerica paint scheme. He even has a La Crosse Speedway Oktoberfest Race Weekend race named after him, The Trickle 99. Motorsports Management's Chuck Deery told us Trickle will be missed by the speedway, his former racing parnters and competitors and his fans.
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But now, John and Linda Lyche are able to wear their Riverfest uniforms in public, as the new commodore and first mate for this year's summer festival in La Crosse. Linda Lyche says the couple's three children now live outside the area, so they were told about the honor early, and make plans to travel to La Crosse with the grandchildren for Riverfest. John Lyche has been president of Dura Tech and the former Ridgeview Industries in La Crosse. Linda is a retired school psychologist. Riverfest runs from July 3rd through the 6th.