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TIL of Dick Trickle, the NASCAR driver ESPN anchors Keith Olberman and Dan Patrick would always be sure to announce the results for because they thought his name was funny. Trickle had a hole drilled in his helmet so he could smoke cigarettes during races, and won rookie of the year at 48 years old

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I never knew he committed suicide.

This is the real TIL

19 points · 3 months ago

It was a big deal in the NASCAR community. A couple weeks later, another driver (Jason Leffler) died in a sprint car accident.

This happened around 5 years ago.

Fuck man. Now I'm sad.

Comment deleted3 months ago(66 children)

He shot himself in a cemetery about 5 miles from my house, where his granddaughter was buried. It was crazy news here (small town)

There's a great article about it: "Elegy of a Race Car Driver"

Wow I read the whole thing. Thanks man. We used to say his name all the time in the 90s.everybody knew it

Yeah, I'd been watching NASACR since the 70s and was still watching when Trickle showed up.

To me he was just kind of a buffoon who smoked in his car during cautions. I didn't know how amazing his driving background was. Learning that was part of what made the article so powerful for me.

Exactly! I would’ve respected him a lot more if I’d read that article years ago. Tough ending for that family, but people have their reasons sometimes. Guessing there is more to the story that we wouldn’t be told.

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Damn that was good. Thanks for sharing.

8 points · 3 months ago

Absolutely amazing read. What a legend.

Thanks for that link!

Underrated comment right here. Great read.

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I'm not a Nascar fan, but i really enjoyed the article... Thanks...

2 points · 3 months ago

I can’t help but wonder if part of this was the inspiration for a certain plot line in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri.

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Damn, I’m not saying we should publicize and benefits from another man’s life, but Hollywood should make this movie.

They did. Lol Days of Thunder... Main character Cole Trickle. Lol jk

Dick cole trickle?

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Damn I never knew that.

Damn I didn’t know that. RIP Dick Trickle

Comment deleted3 months ago(0 children)

My God has NASCAR changed. The cars and drivers both used to be unique. Now...well, NASCAR has changed.

29 points · 3 months ago

Got all pretty and corporate and lost all of that hillbilly charm.

21 points · 3 months ago · edited 3 months ago

The small teams simply got priced out of existence. It takes hundreds of thousands of dollars to get the cars, equipment, registration, team, etc. all set up for even one race in NASCAR these days, which makes it so that only large corporate sponsors can field anything. Junie Donlavey was a local team owner from my state that my granddad worked with for a long time and by the late 90s/early 00s maintaining the team had become so expensive that he and many other small teams that came from short track racing had to call it quits. What makes me angry is that NASCAR touts its sport's heritage as a grassroots small town movement but doesn't do a thing to help the local cash-strapped teams that created the sport in the first place. Everything revolves around advertising and sponsorships these days with the drivers and teams so whitewashed they barely have the personality and charm of the old days. The entire organization is just as stale, corporate, and money hungry as the rest of the major league organizations but luckily a lot of the local dirt and short track leagues are alive and well.

2 points · 3 months ago

See, we need to get a shitload of money together and start a team of rotating drivers. Ward Burton, Ken Schrader, Hut Stricklin, Kenny Wallace, and find a way to resurrect Bobby Hamilton.

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Because mainstream wanted them to change and BZF did and lost the casual and the hardcore base.

The guys are still cool. Blaney and Bubba are headbangers, Kesewlowski is a no nonsense guy, Logano is weird, Kyle Busch is an ass, and even more.

The racing is still good. It's the playoffs and stages that need fixed.

I remember going to Talledega a few times with my dad and his friends when I was younger and how big of a party it was. The free campground would be absolutely packed, we'd have people in our group leave days early to claim a spot in the front, I always looked forward to going when I was old enough. Fast forward to a few months ago, I have a friend who's into Nascar and she wanted me to go with her. I was like hell yeah! After talking to my dad about it, he said he doesn't even think there's optional free camping there anymore and not near as many people go as before. I ended up backing out after that, I don't know how I'd feel going there and it not feeling like a huge party again. Thered be all kinds of people who came just to party and hang out, wouldn't even go watch the race in the stadium. They'd just hang out at the campgrounds and watch it on the TV. Good memories man.

My man my man. I went in 2012 when Carl Edwards rocked the fence at dega. That weekend was nuts and there is still 2 huge camping areas that are free.

When there are nascars in Alabama there will always be a party. Go! Dega is in 2 weeks. It’ll be a blast.

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You see plenty like him, you just have to watch any amateur racing.

37 points · 3 months ago

I remember seeing him smoke during cautions in NASCAR.

Pretty sure he was the only driver with a cigarette lighter in his car.

How do you light a cigarette while driving a race car?

You use the electric lighter that goes in the car charger port.

Charger? Trickle was a Ford man you bellend!

30 points · 3 months ago


I really want there to be a stereotypical British dude who is a die hard Dick Trickle fan.

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Yet he drove a Buick his first year in the Cup, and won his only Cup race in a Pontiac.

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The phone charger port, not where the gas goes.

Edit: I thought it would have been obvious cause that's where the lighter goes on all the old cars. Seriously, I believe it's only available as an option now on all new cars. Do any brand new cars come with an actual lighter and built in ash tray?

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On the straightaways lol

In a Nascar? That's where they have the most steering input applied!

In a Nascar


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Because they have two different sized tires?

A lot of it has to do with the wheel alignment.

He had a coil lighter like every car used to have, but he would only light a cig during caution periods.

Grannie knob on the wheel.

While Larry Phillips wasn't part of the big series (big time short track racer), he also had a habit of smoking during a race. As one would expect, he died of lung cancer.

I almost saw him win a Busch series race at the Milwaukee Mile, only to blow a tire on the last turn.

Just like lighting McQueen!

No doubt. I remember him and Earnhardt always battling hard on the small tracks.

Yeah, my dad knew him pretty well from dad’s days racing ARCA. Nice guy, never saw him without a smoke.

He grew up in my hometown. My grandfather was also an amateur race car driver. They grew up close as kids racing gokarts that their fathers and they had built.

His last race was in Dover, my hometown, and he was i think 60 or 61. Only race my family went too all together.

heard he would tape the pack of smokes to the dashboard

My roommate and I went to see his car at some promotional event at a dealership in the early 90’s. His car had a cigarette lighter installed in it. Classic Dick Trickle!

Was it by any chance the #90 Heilig-Meyers car? My granddad worked on that team for several years.

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Don't forget about Cole Trickle....he used to race for Harry Hogg...picked it up by watching it on television

Rubbing is racing.

Keep it up and they're gonna black flag you!

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17 points · 3 months ago


Comment deleted3 months ago(0 children)
2 points · 3 months ago

That also works

Next time I watch the movie this will be all I hear

Change my tires!

No, no, he didn't slam ya, he didn't bump ya, he didn't nudge ya. He rubbed ya. And rubbin', son, is racin'.

When you raced Indy, the car weighed half as much and the tires were twice as wide. Now the car weighs twice as much and the tires are half as wide and you’re burning ‘me up. They melt and get greeaazy, You slip and slide and you're out of control.

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Harry Hogg was the son of the legendary Boss Hogg...true story.


We are the Diamond Hoggs

This is the only thread where I can see a Days of Thunder reference up top.

John C Rieley is in both the original and the parody. I am not going anywhere with that. Just think it is awesome

John C Riley was in Days of Thunder also? TIL!

Sometimes the greatest feeling is going back and watching all those movies you saw as a kid....and you see an actor you love now that you had NO idea about back then. It's like watching those movies again for the first time, it's fucking great.

ron perlman in ice pirates with anjelica huston...

3 points · 3 months ago

What!? I'm going to watch this carefully now.

Its a stupid 80s movie but I loved it as a kid and still do. Bruce villanche is in it

The space herpie coming out of the chicken put me off food for a few weeks when I was a kid. Good times.

I've seen it many times, but none recently. I never realized Pearlman was in it!

You have to watch them in order, it's hilarious.

And that's a damn shame .....


Tires are what wins a race

The coverage is excellent; you'd be surprised by how much you can pick up.

Hit the pace car!!!

Hit the pace car?


8 points · 3 months ago · edited 3 months ago

We're having iced cream

I C E C R E A M?!

When the fuck did we get ice cream!

Well you’re welcome to come on in and get one but I don't think NASCAR will think much of you tryin to eat an ice cream cone out there... you’re having enough trouble gettin’ around the track as it is.

Oh ya, I remember him in the Mellow Yellow car.

Stay high Cole!

Nobody goes to the outside on turn 4!

Yes. I still quote this every now and then. "You dumb bitch, think I can't turn left better 'n' you?"

Who looked like a bunch of monkeys fucking a football.

Let me outa the caa cole!

Tim, take a look at that hound. That's the best coon-dog I ever seen or heard about and I didn't have to teach him a damn thing.

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Only reason I remember this name is because in my history class we had a mock congress where we could pick our own congressional names, but the rule was that it had to be a real person's name. You couldn't just make up a fake name like Farthead McDinglenuts or something. Of course my buddy chose Dick Trickle.

9 points · 3 months ago

I once did a biology report on the Cock of the Rock

The only reason I know his name is because of That 70s show

They would always give his position on the full screen results. They’d have the top 5 positions and then the next line was always Trickle and his place.

19 points · 3 months ago

I have a Dick Trickle shirt. Most everyone thinks it's a joke. One of my favorites to wear down to Indy.

I had at least a dozen of them in high school. You could send in the proofs from a 12 quart oil box.

My family has dozens of shirts, cars, posters, etc all with his name on them from my granddad's time on the #90 team. Really funny and unique when people come over and see his room full of Dick Trickle memorabilia.

Then he had debilitating pain and shot himself.

What was the pain caused by? Was he in a bad wreck?

22 points · 3 months ago

More like decades of smaller ones. I don’t remember a career ending wreck.

It was just decades of crashes on short tracks, probably a couple decades of concussions too. He went to a bunch of doctors and none really had answers for him. He was apparently in so much pain that it was hard for him to do anything but sit. Sad case really.

Kind of sounds similar to what is happening in football. I wonder if it had happened today would he been diagnosed with CTE?

10 points · 3 months ago

Same thing that happens to all of the football practice squad guys who made like $40,000 to take shots from third string linebackers.

"Well shit."

They make well over 40's close to 5 times that if they're on an NFL practice squad

Not true. My older brothers college roommate/best friend is currently on the patriots practice squad. He said he makes 57k a year. Which, not to be sound dumb, is still a pretty good job.

I had a friend on the practice swaud who made 200+ but he may have actually been 2nd string..he would be on the sidelines

Yeah, that's probably different then. He doesn't stand on the sidelines during the games, and they don't travel with the team

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Broken hip as a kid that caused a limp, hip replacement later in life, and lots of crashes on the physical side. Loss of his nephew and (more so) his granddaughter on the emotional side.

He had hip problems and other things but according to the long-form article someone posted he was having recurring intense pain 2 inches below his left nipple and no doctors could figure out the cause

Bad hip injury he got when he was 8 years old.

Original Poster52 points · 3 months ago

Yeah, I was saddened to read that part. I watched Sportscenter religiously in the 90s, and had a soft spot in my heart for Dick because of Olberman and Patrick.

Turns out Trickle even called in his own death to 911. Sad shit, that.

I really hope he at least hung up first. Guy who worked next door to my high school job called 911 and pulled the trigger. He didn't want his mom or sister to find him, so he traumatized a stranger.

He did, someone posted a nice article farther up about his life. The 911 call is in it.

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He looks legitimately high there.

Lol probably was. Look at that crew and tell me kelso is "acting".

In more than an estimated 2,200 races, Trickle logged one million laps and is believed to have won over 1,200 feature races.[2] He was billed as the winningest short track driver in history.

TIL winningest is a word

It is. But generally used in relation to American sports.

And the most winningest hot dog eating champion is....

Joey Chestnut?


It embiggens the smallest man.

10 points · 3 months ago

I once got pit passes with my friend to the Michigan Speedway and saw Dick Tickle in his stock car during time titles and he had a magic 8 ball howled out and duct taped inside his car to his roll cage. So he could smoke during pit stops.

How does a magic 8 ball help him smoke?

He howled it out.

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4 points · 3 months ago

Ashtray. Most likely.

Ash tray?

As I see it, yes

2 points · 3 months ago

I once got pit passes with my friend to the Michigan Speedway and saw Dick Tickle


If you are at all interested in him.....this is a great read...spent the last hour or so reading it.

He wrote a book, called Trails in the Sand, by Dick Trickle

I looked it up on Amazon. No results. Do you know if any other sources?

25 points · 3 months ago

it's usually bundled with "The Yellow River" by I.P. Daily

There was an addendum called "Little yellow river runs though me" by I.P. Freely

I bought it in an anthology along with 50 yards to the outhouse by Willy Makit and Over the Cliff by Hugo First.

Also Overpopulation in China by Wi Fuckem Yung

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Look for his other book, "65 year old prostate"

The subject of one of my favorite Letterman Top Ten Lists from the 80's:

Top Ten NASCAR Drivers or Venereal Diseases

12 points · 3 months ago


Cause of death Suicide by gunshot


His name sounds like an STD

If only Dan Patrick and Keith Olberman had thought of that. Can you imagine the fun they'd have had announcing his results?

Dats Nastycar

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7 points · 3 months ago

I didn't realise he passed away, quite a legend.

Wait, Dick Trickle died? Fuck man. :(

Wow. I had never heard of this dude but he was one badass son of a gun. RIP

11 points · 3 months ago

Did he always come first?

He was legitimately one of the best short track drivers in the world. So yes, often.

Back when NASCAR was actually worth keeping up with.

It still is.

No, it hasn't been worth watching in the past few years. Years ago tracks sold out. Now they are begging for people to show up.

The racing hasn't really changed from the peak in the late 90's, people just moved on. They've introduced all kinds of ideas to recapture people's interest (car of tomorrow, chase for the cup, bespoke 'stock' front ends for each mfr), but America seems to have had its fill of cars going fast and turning left. If I had to guess I'd say their original die-hard fan base is literally dying, and the people who made the sport mega-popular in the 90's have proven too fickle to hold onto. But yeah, my original point was the cars are still out there every weekend getting loud as hell for three hours of 200 mile-an-hour Sundays. Still going fast, still running three and four wide around the banks at Talladega and Daytona. If it was worth it when it was popular, it's still worth it.

So many sports are at risk of this. The demographics for baseball and golf in particular are looking pretty bad.

3 points · 3 months ago · edited 3 months ago

Plus, we are about 20 years away from a crisis for the NFL. I'd bet my house that tackle football will be banned from middle school play within the next two to three years with high school following shortly after. The game will fundamentally change at the high school level which will, in turn, change it at the collegiate level. I'm not sure what the NFL will wind up looking like after this all goes down but it won't be like what we watch today.

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It's a cool sport. I just don't understand how it's entertaining to watch...

If you ever get the chance to go to a race in person, you'll probably understand.

If not, your call. Racing isn't for everyone.

My attorney’s name was Dick Wilt.

To be honest I always thought they did this on purpose but I was never 100% positive. You'd be watching a race and they'd announce 1-10 like normal and be like and in 27th place, Dick Trickle.

“Cause of death: suicide by gunshot”

Well that’s a sad ending.

His parents knew exactly what they were doing when they named him “Richard.”

Wisconsin legend!

Didn't he live in Sparta for a while back in the 90s?

3 points · 3 months ago

I guess you've never heard of Dick Butkus, either.


If you think that's amusing, you really need to hear the commentary of the Chavez vs. Mainus MMA bout . . . where the announcer pronounces it "my anus".

Foreman, are you stoned?

Also one of the winningest short track Drivers ever and a helluva great guy. The Wisconsin guys back in the day went all over the Midwest racing and Trickle was usually the class of the field RIP Dick

He wore an open face helmet. There was no need for a drilled hole. They caught him more than once with an incar camera smoking.

This is a famous clip of him smoking in the car. No open faced helmet, but no hole drilled in it either it seems.

i think the bigger mod is him actually having a push button lighter installed in a stock car...

Well it is a stock car, and you know what they say about stock cars.

The fastest driver Schneider National ever had

drilled hole in helmet to smoke during races

This is the most amazing thing I've never known about.

“Well, it looks like Dick Trickle tried Hard to win this race, but ended up cumming Short. He didn’t last very long, and ended up bringing up the Rears.”

Trickle nearly won the 1997 Bristol race while driving the 90 car.

He was my uncles favorite driver. He got to see him a bunch early in his career at State Park Speedway near Wausau. I think he even gave me an autographed Trickle shirt for an xmas gift.

They would also always give the stats of Miraslav Satan of the Buffalo Sabres.

They mentioned him on That 70’s Show.

I think they make an anti-biotic for that

20 + years ago I remember watching him race on labor day at the Minnesota state fair.

I checked him in at Hotel for a family vacation. He was so nice! I told him where a good place to see Bears and Wolves (Yellowstone) and he came back and gave me a $20 tip. It was pretty awesome.

Yea yea

Reminds me of a commercial I saw for a funeral home. The guys name in the commercial???? Dick Tips.

There was a parody song on Bob & Tom (longtime morning DJs on the rock station in Indianapolis) about drawing Dick Trickle in an office Indy 500 pool every year. It was called "Dicked Again".

Somebody should make a YouTube compilation of a bunch of dick trickle mentions

Cole Trickles black sheep cousin.

30 for 30?

Holy shit, ive known (and laughed about) Dick Trickle since i was young, always said it was the best name ever. But i never knew he had a hole in his helmet to smoke ciggs, thats insane. A real american hero.

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