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Retired race car driver Trickle dead in apparent suicide: police

WINSTON-SALEM, North Carolina (Reuters) - Retired race car driver Richard "Dick" Trickle died on Thursday from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound at a North Carolina cemetery, sheriff's officials said.

Trickle, 71, was found lying near his pickup after a man believed to be him called the Lincoln County Communications Center to say "there would be a dead body and it would be his," according to the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office.

Workers tried to call the phone number back, but got no answer. Emergency responders found Trickle dead at the Forest Lawn Cemetery in Boger City, the sheriff's office said.

Trickle, a native of Wisconsin, had lived in North Carolina since the early 1990s. His skill as a short-track driver earned him the title of "Winningest Stock Driver in America," with more than 1,200 wins during his 40-year career.

He was named Rookie of the Year in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series in 1989. He never won a Sprint Cup race, but posted 36 top-10 finishes in 303 races.

(Reporting by Colleen Jenkins, editing by G Crosse)

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