Thursday, February 13, 2014

Dick Trickle, a fun guy (from 2013)

(NOTE: I didn’t write about Dick’s death. It was added in editing, and I’ve cut that out.)

HMS NOTEBOOK: Trickle was a fun guy to be around

Posted: Wednesday, May 22, 2013 9:31 pm | Updated: 9:34 pm, Wed May 22, 2013.


HICKORY, N.C. -- Last year, I wrote about Dick Trickle, the former NASCAR Cup driver, and I did it without finishing the story.
Dick won the next-to-last Busch (now Nationwide) Series race run at Hickory Motor Speedway, and I didn’t learn that until just after his death. In victory lane, the always-joking Trickle said, “I get free beer, right?”
Of course, in this case, I doubt he was joking.
Trickle was a fun person to know. When he turned 50, he went bungee jumping with his team and said he’d do it again in another 50 years.
When he turned 55, we were at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway, and people were kidding him about his age. He then bragged he could get a senior-citizen’s discount at Shoney's and everyone quieted down.
When I first met Dick, I asked him how he got the name Dick Trickle. “My mother named me Richard,” he said with a straight face.
He said the late Dale Earnhardt didn’t mess with him on track because “you don’t mess with your daddy.” Earnhardt would have been 62 this past April 29. Dick would have been 72 on Oct. 27.
I hadn’t talked to Dick since the fall of 2007 when I was working on the book Angel in Black: Remembering Dale Earnhardt Sr., and I was shocked when I heard.
I waited too long to call again. Sigh.
He would have enjoyed more bungee jumping in 28 years.
Trivia question
An Andy won five straight Late Model championships at Hickory. Who were they, and when were they champions?
Upcoming schedule
• Saturday will be Woodforest Bank/Hickory Daily Record Night, featuring Late Models, Limited Late Models, Street Stocks, Super Trucks, Renegades and Sportsman Classics. The sponsors have requested the Late Model race be extended to 100 laps, and the purse has been increased.
• The next ZLOOP Challenge is set for June 1, with a 100-lap Late Model race and Limiteds, Street Stocks, Trucks, Renegades and 4-Cylinders also running.
• The Late Models, Limiteds, Street Stocks, Trucks, Renegades and 4-Cylinders are set to run on June 8.
Point standings
Austin McDaniel, the defending Late Model track champion, is leading Shane Lee, the defending Limited Late Model champion, by eight points in Late Models.
In other divisions, Lee is leading Landon Huffman by 16 points in Limiteds; Kevin Eby is leading Marshall Sutton by two points in Street Stocks; Gregory Austin is four points ahead of Carroll McKinney in Renegades; Todd Harrington leads Donnie Harmon by six points in 4-Cylinders; Jeremy Birch has a 14-point lead on Jason Smith in Super Trucks; and Don Fenn leads Charles Thorne by six points in Classic Sportsman Racing.
In the ZLOOP Challenge standings, Matt Piercy is four points ahead of McDaniel, followed by Jesse LeFevers (10 back), Lee (12 back) and Grant Wimbish (32 back).
Since the track was off last Saturday, the standings are good through May 11.
Track champs, let me hear from you
If you’re a former HMS track champion, you’re invited to contact me through the track office (464-3655 office, 217-0002 cell). They’ll give you my number. Or you can get me via email at
I’d like to hear from Tony Warren, Max Prestwood Jr., Andy and Marty Houston, Larry Caudill, Andy Mercer and other track champions. And if you’re a past champion in other divisions (such as Limiteds, Street Stocks, etc.) and I haven’t talked to you, let me hear from you, too.
Happy birthday
Among the late-May birthdays are: Tony Stewart (42 on May 20), Joey Logano (23 on May 24), former Cup car owner Bud Moore (78 on Saturday), former Cup driver Ken Schrader (58 on Wednesday) and Clint Bowyer (34 next Thursday).
Worth quoting
Jack Ingram, the HMS track champion in 1968 and 1971: “(Hickory Motor Speedway) was a hot bed for big-name drivers, a lot of (future) hall-of-fame drivers. It seemed that Hickory was the place to be to make a name for yourself, and it helped me along.”
Trivia answer
Andy Loden won Hickory’s Late Model titles from 2006 through 2009, and Andy Mercer was the Late Model champion in 2009 and 2010.

Tom Gillispie, the co-author of “Then Junior Said to Jeff…,” writes about racing at Hickory Motor Speedway for HDR Sports. He can be reached at

No comments: