NASCAR driver Dick Trickle dies at 71

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Former NASCAR driver Richard "Dick" Trickle died in North Carolina Thursday of an apparent suicide. He was 71.

Police found Trickle's body lying near his pickup truck in a cemetery in Boger City, North Carolina. Deputies said he died of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.

The Lincoln County Sheriff's Office says authorities received a call believed to be from Trickle on Thursday saying that "there would be a dead body and it would be his." Authorities tried to call the number back, but no one answered.

Trickle won the Winston Cup series rookie of the year award in what is now known as NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series in 1989 at the age of 48. He is still the oldest driver to win rookie of the year honors.

He won two Busch Series - now known as the Nationwide Series - races in his career.

He made three starts in the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, completing all but one lap in three years. His best finish was 18th, which he accomplished in both 1995 and 1998. He finished 23rd in 1996.

Trickle's career began in short-track racing in Wisconsin in the 1950s.