"Second place is just the first-place loser." - Dale Earnhardt Sr.
Thursday, February 13, 2014
Dick Trickle, a fun guy (from 2013)
I didn’t write about Dick’s death. It was added in editing, and I’ve cut that
NOTEBOOK: Trickle was a fun guy to be around
May 22, 2013 9:31 pm | Updated: 9:34 pm, Wed May 22, 2013.
BY TOM GILLISPIE
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.
An Andy won five
straight Late Model championships at Hickory. Who were they, and when were they
• 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.
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
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 email@example.com.
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.
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).
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
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