Dick Trickle, a retired NASCAR driver, died on Thursday of an apparent self-inflected gunshot wound in North Carolina. He was 71.

A dispatcher in Lincoln County received a call earlier in the day in which the caller, believed to be Trickle, stated, “there would be a dead body and it would be his,” according to a news release by the country sheriff’s office. When the authorities tried to call the number back, there was no answer, reported CNN.

Emergency personnel were sent out to Boger City’s Forest Lawn Cemetary, and there they found a prone body lying near Trickles' pickup truck.

During his 31 years of racing, Trickle made quite a name for himself, winning two Nationwide Series races and earning 15 top-five finishes in NASCAR’s premier Sprint Cup series. Prior to breaking through as a NASCAR driver in 1989, Trickle had won over 1,200 stock car races.

Due in part to his unique name, sports commentators on ESPN enjoyed giving him shout outs during NASCAR races. Former SportsCenter co-anchor Keith Olbermann tweeted, "no sports figure [Dan Patrick and] I had fun with took it more graciously. In fact, gratefully."

On Thursday, upon learning the news of the death of one of NASCAR’s biggest personalities, NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France described Trickle in a statement as "a legend in the short-track racing community, particularly in his home state of Wisconsin, and he was a true fan favorite."

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