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Dick Trickle
Born: October 27, 1941    Home: Wisconsin Rapids, WI

This page is devoted to a NASCAR driver with over 1,200 feature wins throughout the United States in All Pro, ASA, ARTGO, ARCA, IMCA, MASCAR, NASCAR, USAC, and CWRA. This guy has won more races than any other driver in NASCAR. Trickle began racing in 1958 at Stratford Speedway in Central Wisconsin by winning his first event. In 1984, Trickle won the ASA Championship, and he won it again in 1985. He has finished runner up in the ASA Championship 9 times in his career. In 1977, Trickle won the ARTGO Series Championship. He won the title again in 1979, 1980, 1983, 1984, 1985, and 1987. All told, he won 63 events and 9 championships with the series. NASCAR bought the ARTGO Series in 1998 and renamed it the NASCAR RE/MAX Challenge Series. Then in 1989 began driving as a reserve driver for Bobby Allison, and he won the NASCAR Winston Cup Series Rookie of the Year title at age 48. They call him a legend.

"Not yet, when I'm gone I'll be a legend, right now I'm just very good at what I do." Dick Trickle

Born October 27, 1941 in Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin, Dick Trickle is a veteran of several thousand late model events. A master of his trade, chassis designer and engine builder, fabricater, welder and, oh yeah, driver. Before moving to North Carolina in 1990, Dick and Darlene owned and operated their own race team in Wisconsin, sponsored by SUPERAMERICA gas stations — a division of Ashland Oil, Pabst Brewing Co., Miller High Life Co., Adolph Coors Co. — Coors Light brand, A & W Root Beer and many others. With three kids (Victoria, Tod & Chad), he now lives in Iron Station, North Carolina and runs an occasional race at the short tracks where he cut his racing teeth. Dick started racing in 1958 on Wisconsin dirt tracks. In 1972, he won 67 short track feature races in a single season.

His first experience in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series came in 1970 at age 28 when he ran 2 events. He made a handful of starts in the series from 1970-1986. He took the pole position in 1990 at Dover Downs. His best finish in the series came in 1997 at Bristol Motor Speedway where he finished 3rd. He won the 1990 NASCAR Winston Open at Charlotte gaining him a starting position for the 1990 NASCAR Winston Invitational event. From 1970 to 2002, he started 303 NASCAR Winston Cup Series Events. He had 15 top five finishes, 36 top ten finishes, and one pole.

Finished '95 season 25th in points standing but doubling his previous career best earnings. Qualified top eight at seven races, including fourths at Mountain Dew Southern 500 and NAPA 500 in final race of year. Only top-10 finish was 10th at Pocono. In 1996, drove in 16 races for three different owners, finishing in the top 10 only once. Joined Junie Donlavey as substitute for Mike Wallace for 17 races after substituting for injured driver Loy Allen. In 1997, he finished third at Bristol and fifth at Rockingham in second half of season. Failed to qualify three times and skipped road course races, or he might have done better than 31st in points. But was voted 4th most popular driver by fans of the NASCAR Winston Cup series.

In 1998, he scored second NASCAR Busch series win at Darlington Raceway and earned 8th NASCAR Busch pole position at the Atlanta Motor Speedway. He was voted 4th most populat driver by fans of the Winston Cup series. In 2000, his 31st year in the NASCAR Winston Cup series - he competed with Joe Bessey Motorsports and AJ Foyt Racing (one event with Dave Marcis Racing but DNQ). He classified 51st overall in the championship.

 

Trickle had a bit more success in the NASCAR Busch Grand National Series. He made his first Busch event in 1984 at The Milwaukee Mile where he captured the Bud Pole and finished third. In 1997, he won at Hickory. He won again in 1998 at Darlington. Between 1984 and 2001, he started 158 NASCAR Busch Series Events. He had 2 wins, 24 top five finishes, 42 top ten finishes, and 7 poles. In 1991, Trickle won the Atlanta ARCA 500k, and from 1991-2004 he served as an IROC test driver.

Dick Trickle is perhaps one of the most colorful characters in the sport. During his time in NASCAR, Dick was famous for having a cigarette lighter in his racecars, and having his full-face helmet drilled so that a cigarette would fit in front of his mouth thru the helmet allowing him to smoke during caution laps.

Trickles 'Trickles':
"I did it for a living, made a career out of it, but now I've turned it into somewhat of a hobby."
"I don't race a lot, half a dozen (races) a year maybe."
"I play with my tractors and live somewhat of a family life and just try to enjoy trying to retire sooner or later." "Racing is in my blood, I can't quite get out of it yet."

What is Trickle doing these days? Trickle and his wife Darlene live on 8 acres in Iron Mountain, NC. Racing is now his "hobby”. After a racing career that has spanned more than 40 years, you'll pardon Dick Trickle if he wants to back off a bit.

Dick Trickle was known as the "Purple Knight" with his purple Mustang

Where is ... Dick Trickle?    By Rick Houston, Special to NASCAR.COM June 22, 2007

Dick Trickle probably lost count of the races he'd run -- and won -- a long time ago. There was a time when Trickle was constantly in motion, always headed to another green flag somewhere. He hadn't yet made a full-time move to the uppermost levels of NASCAR. Why? Because he didn't have to, that's why. He was doing far too well and making good money right where he happened to be.

"Someone once told me, 'If you'd come down here 20, 25 years ago, you'd be a Dale Earnhardt, Waltrip or whatever.' I said, 'I wouldn't give up the last 25 years for nothing.'"    Dick Trickle

There had been Cup starts for Trickle as far back as 1970, but never a complete season. It wasn't until 1989 he finally made such a jump. Mike Alexander stepped out of his Stavola Brothers Racing Buick after the Daytona 500, still recuperating from head injuries he'd suffered in the offseason Snowball Derby in Pensacola, Fla. The ride was Trickle's, and he would go on to capture the rookie of the year title. At the age of 48.

Today, the Trickle homestead sits on 8.5 acres in North Carolina. He's got a shop in which he works and stores his "toys." If wood is needed for a fire in the winter, Trickle cuts the tree down himself. If the neighbors need help, he'll help them. Two of his children live on the property. He helped his son, Chad, finish the basement. From the sound of things, it was a major project.

Trickle's grandson recently finished up a year at college, and Grandpa made sure the trailer to haul his belongings home was hooked up and in proper working order. He does a handful of appearances here and there. There's more.

Most, if not all, the equipment from his short-track days is still there. Trickle still races a few times a year, but very rarely does Trickle let anyone else to do the work for him. Plans call for Trickle to run the famous Slinger Nationals in July. Trickle has raced that race on the Wisconsin quarter-mile track for 26 years, and won it four times.

Just last year, he qualified second and was in the hunt for the win until an accident with five laps to go in the race took him out of contention.

This is how busy Dick Trickle is. He's as busy as he wants to be. To be quite honest, that would appear to be a gracious plenty. "I'm not [as busy], but it seems like it," Trickle said. "I ran a full Winston Cup schedule, the full Busch schedule, except for two or three races that I couldn't possibly run, tested IROC cars, run about half a dozen short-track races and still did a fair amount of work around the acreage at home here.

"Now, I don't do any of the top three [NASCAR divisions] and somehow, I keep busy. It must be because I used to run ... and now I walk. What I really do is what I want to do, and I don't do what I don't want to. I like to feel that I've earned it. I've worked real hard in life, and had some success."

When it comes down to it, Trickle has taken the time to stop and smell the roses -- literally, evidently. "My goal was to, from now on, have a stress-free life and enjoy the flowers," Trickle said. "Enjoying yourself doesn't mean you don't do nothing."

Life is much different for Trickle now than when he raced countless times at countless tracks across the country. He can afford to take a breath every now and then today, because he wouldn't -- or couldn't -- do so then. Trickle began racing in and around a town in Wisconsin called, of all things, Rudolph. "I was fortunate, because it's a long way from Rudolph, Wis. to Daytona, I know that," Trickle said. "But I made it."

Technically, nearly 1,500 miles separate the two. For Trickle, though, the towns are separated by more than mere distance. The stories Trickle could tell about life on the road racing would be amazing to hear, and even more countless than the number of races he actually ran.

"I owned and operated my own team until I went to Winston Cup in '89, for 27, 28 ... 30 ... years," Trickle said. "I had as many as nine people working for me. We had a big operation for a short-track crew, and we raced all the way from Canada to Florida, the ones that paid the most. We didn't go for the easy ones. We went for the tough ones.

"I enjoyed it then. Now and then it was stressful because sometimes the checkbook wouldn't balance. There was no guarantee in racing. Although I had some decent sponsors, I never quite had a big enough sponsor for everything that went out."

An average year for Trickle was somewhere in the neighborhood of 100 races, and as many as 114 or so with a bare minimum of 85. He enjoyed the people, the experience of being on the road and preparing his own equipment for wherever the next race happened to be. He enjoyed driving. He enjoyed being a racer, period. Being a racer is who he was ... and still is today. "You don't realize how much you enjoy breathing until you don't breathe," Trickle said.

After moving to the Cup level for good in 1989, Trickle raced the circuit full time for the better part of a decade. He finished third four times over the years, his best-ever Cup result, twice at Martinsville, once at Dover and another time in Bristol. He was also a regular Busch Series competitor, and to this day, he is the oldest winner in the history of the division. Trickle set the mark with a 1997 win at Hickory, and then extended it the next year at Darlington. He was a month shy of his 57th birthday.

He would race Cup for the Stavola Brothers, Cale Yarborough, Rahmoc, Bud Moore, Tri-Star and Junie Donlavey, among others. Trickle's last full-time season came in 1998, and after that, he ran only a few Cup races a year through 2002, when he drove his last three Cup events for fellow Wisconsin native Dave Marcis.

Most of the country never got to see Trickle as a young man, not that he slowed down much as an older one. Still, it seems interesting to ponder what might have been. For the rest of us, that is. Not for Trickle. He's content with his career, from start to finish.

"I could barely look over the fence ... I was busy," Trickle said. "I raced snowmobiles in the winter, to the point where I got a factory ride with Yamaha in the '70s. So between racing cars all summer and snowmobiles in the winter, I wasn't looking to go anywhere. I was busy.

"I was making a living. I wasn't getting rich. Someone once told me, 'If you'd come down here 20, 25 years ago, you'd be a Dale Earnhardt, Waltrip or whatever.' I said, 'I wouldn't give up the last 25 years for nothing. I've had the greatest time any man could have winning, driving and competing.'

"I had a new challenge when I went to Cup. I had a refreshing life, from 48 to 60. I was excited. I was pumped up. I enjoyed it. I got a second lease on life."

By Rick Houston, Special to NASCAR.COM June 22, 2007

Dick Trickle's Biography - Timeline

1996

Midway through the 1996 season, he was named to replace Mike Wallace as the driver of the #90 Heilig-Meyers Ford Thunderbird on a race to race basis, but team owner Junie Donlavey kept Trickle as his replacement for the remainder of the '96 season. Despite poor finishes, Trickle had strong runs with the new team. Earlier in the season, he took over for Loy Allen, who was injured after a terrible accident at the GM Goodwrench 400. Trickle ran the #19 Healthsource Thunderbird for nine races. He qualified the #63 Purina Thunderbird at the Daytona 500, but finished 43rd after the engine blew in the first few laps of the race. Highest starting spot for the year was at the Miller 500, where he qualified second. Highest finish for the year is 8th at the Food City 500.

Also in the 1996 season, he joined Shoemaker Racing for the remaining 23 races of the Busch Series. The #64 Dura Lube Chevrolet finished 12th in the standings while posting 10 top tens and 4 top fives this season despite running in just 23 of the 26 races. He won the pole for his first Busch race of the season. In the Red Dog 300, he finished second to Mark Martin. In the previous week, he started in the back of the field to finish fourth. Bad luck, however, still followed Trickle. He was in first place with just three laps remaining at Milwaukee until he spun attempting to pass a lapped car.

1997

IROC Test DriverIt seems as though Dick Trickle's stock was rising as the 1997 season is running. Throughout the early part of the season, he has had some strong runs, such as the Winston 500, where he ran up front most of the race and had a strong 15th place finish. After the low point in the season, where he failed to qualify for the Brickyard 400, he qualified and raced much better than any part of the season. He promised that the team was going to start performing much better and he was right. From the DeVilbiss 400 at Michigan to the MBNA 400 at Dover, Trickle has qualified in the top ten, 5 out of 6 races. In the race in which he didn't start in the top ten, he was second fastest in the second round of qualifying. That speed would have started him in the top ten. His best finish of the year is 3rd, at the Goody's 500 in Bristol and his best qualifying effort is 4th, where he started 3 times. Despite being 55 years old, Dick Trickle is showing no signs of quitting any time soon.

In addition to his Winston Cup ride, Dick drove in the Busch Grand National Series with the #64 Dura Lube team. At the Las Vegas 300, Trickle finished second. A short track, Hickory Motor Speedway, provided Dick with his first BGN win of his career at the Galaxy Foods 300. Being involved in both the Winston Cup and Busch Grand National divisions has made Trickle pull double duty by racing in two locations in one weekend. Despite running full time in the Winston Cup Series, he only missed a few races. Between Trickle and Jim Sauter, Shoemaker Racing finished 11th in the owners points.

1998

The 1998 season started with high hopes and ended with bitter disappointment for Dick Trickle's #90 Heilig-Meyers Ford team. For the first time, Junie Donlavey set up a deal where Trickle will be sharing information with Ricky Rudd. This partnership was hoped to counteract the advantage that multicar teams have had for the past few years, but as it turned out, both drivers had extremely mediocre season.   Tommy Baldwin returned to the team as the crew chief, but left just before the end of the season. He was very much responsible for the success that Trickle had in qualifying and racing at the end of the 1997 season and the beginning of the 1998 season. In the early part of the year, Trickle had continued the trend where he has strong qualifying efforts and was on pace to have his best and most consistent season of his NASCAR career, but that seemed to go away when Baldwin left and Heilig-Meyers announced that they would no longer be the sponsor for #90 team.  Trickle's best run of the season was his performance in the Primestar 500 in Atlanta where he qualified 3rd and finished 6th.

Trickle, once again, ran in the Busch Grand National Division of NASCAR with Shoemaker Racing. The big change, however, is that Schneider Trucking became the sponsor. The plan was to run in as many races as he can and to have Curtis Markham drive in those races he can not run in. Earlier in the season, Curtis Markham also substituted for Trickle in a qualifying effort. The season started slowly for the #64 team, but has started regaining their form in the middle of the year. Once again, Trickle broke a record for being the oldest driver to win a BGN race when he took the checkered flag at the
Dura Lube/Bi-Lo 200 in Darlington.
 

1999

This year was one of uncertainly for Dick Trickle.  In the Winston Cup series, he started the year running the #13 Bill Elliot owned Ford Taurus at the Bud Shootout Qualifier race and made a failed attempt to qualify for the Daytona 500.  After that, he became a free agent.  Just before the Darlington race, he was signed to run with Joe Falk's #91 team after the team fired their previous driver.  He qualified the car and ran a respectable 26th, but failed to qualify for the PrimeStar 500 in Texas.  After several more weeks in the car, he too was replaced.  Later on, he was signed to run the #41 car, but did not last long there either. 

2000

Dick Trickle has signed with Jimmy Spencer to run the #5 Schneider National Chevrolet for the 2000 season.  After a successful end to the season last year, Trickle is going to try to make a run at a top 5 Busch Series finish.  His Winston Cup plans are uncertain as of this time.

In the Busch Grand National Division, Trickle teamed with Jimmy Spencer to run the #5 Schneider Trucking Chevy.  The season started off horribly for Trickle and the team.  In the first 6 races, he has missed two, although he missed the first race because rain wiped out qualifications.  Even the races he has made, he was not been able to finish consistently.  The luck changed starting with the MBNA Platinum 200 where he won the pole and finished a strong 5th for his first and only top 5 of the season.  Consistency took over after that race, though and started slowly moving up the points standings.  With 3 additional top 10 finishes and a slew of top 20 finishes, Trickle finished the year a respectable 11th in the points standings.

Other

In 1995, he drove for the Bud Moore team and Quality Care in '95 after spending '94 with Dean Myers. The #15 Quality Care Thunderbird finished a disappointing '95 season 25th in points standing but doubled his previous career best earnings. Qualified top eight at seven races, including fourths at Mountain Dew Southern 500 and NAPA 500 in final race of year. Only top-10 finish was 10th at Pocono.

Legendary midwest short-track racer. Has more than 1,200 feature race wins. Two-time ASA champion, nine-time runner-up. Competed in first race in 1959. Nine-time Artgo champion in Mid-West Series. Replaced Mike Alexander in 1989 with Stavola Bros. Alexander was replacing Bobby Alllison. Won 1989 Winston Cup Rookie of the Year at age 48 (After he became a grandfather!).

First NASCAR pole came in 55th attempt, 1990 Budweiser 500 at Dover. Best career finish, third, five times (most recently at the Goody's 500 in Bristol, 1997). First Winston Cup race in own car, at 1970 Daytona 500. Won 1990 Winston Open. Career-best 15th in '89 Winston Cup standings. $244,806 in '94 winnings, finished 34th in '94 Winston Cup standings.

Nephew Chris passed away earlier this year from injuries sustained in a drive by shooting in Las Vegas. Chris was a highly regarded young stock car driver who ran in the winter heats as well as other series. He was well respected and one of the most popular drivers in racing. The entire racing community is saddened by this tragedy.

While Dick Trickle has become known primarily because of the weekly comments coming from ESPN anchor Dan Patrick, real race fans can appreciate Trickle for his style of driving as well as his dedication to the sport.

 

     

   

   Racing with Bobby Dotter  Another of the 1200 wins

Dick Trickle Grand National / Winston Cup Statistics

Year Age Races Win T5 T10 Pole Laps Led Earnings Rank AvSt AvFn Miles
1970 28 2 of 48 0 0 0 0 176 0 1,415   29.0 21.5 440.0
1973 31 1 of 28 0 1 1 0 327 2 3,385 81 8.0 5.0 490.5
1974 32 3 of 30 0 0 3 0 1201 0 10,828 47 27.3 7.3 1568.2
1975 33 1 of 30 0 0 0 0 3 0 1,705 113 27.0 36.0 7.5
1976 34 1 of 30 0 0 0 0 142 0 1,225 105 15.0 32.0 213.0
1977 35 1 of 30 0 0 0 0 141 0 1,100 99 31.0 29.0 211.5
1978 36 1 of 30 0 0 0 0 24 0 910 109 30.0 39.0 36.0
1984 42 1 of 30 0 0 0 0 53 0 7,500 87 21.0 36.0 132.5
1985 43 3 of 28 0 0 1 0 452 0 8,650 58 29.0 26.7 777.5
1986 44 2 of 29 0 0 0 0 676 0 19,175 55 24.0 16.0 975.2
1989 47 28 of 29 0 6 9 0 8604 80 343,728 15 19.7 17.5 10128.7
1990 48 29 of 29 0 2 4 1 8311 82 350,990 22 14.5 21.9 9926.7
1991 49 14 of 29 0 0 1 0 3650 0 129,125 35 22.6 24.5 4274.0
1992 50 29 of 29 0 3 9 0 8259 5 429,521 20 19.1 19.3 9882.5
1993 51 26 of 30 0 1 2 0 7003 3 244,065 30 26.8 26.0 8375.6
1994 52 25 of 31 0 0 1 0 6422 1 244,806 34 25.5 27.5 7107.2
1995 53 31 of 31 0 0 1 0 8941 5 694,920 25 18.0 23.5 11095.1
1996 54 26 of 31 0 0 1 0 6694 2 404,927 36 21.5 27.1 8352.6
1997 55 28 of 32 0 2 2 0 8476 0 656,189 31 21.2 23.2 10901.6
1998 56 32 of 33 0 0 1 0 8671 4 1,208,771 29 25.6 26.6 11433.7
1999 57 9 of 34 0 0 0 0 2357 0 275,364 47 28.7 34.8 2328.2
2000 58 6 of 34 0 0 0 0 1807 0 233,865 51 28.2 30.8 2468.5
2001 59 1 of 36 0 0 0 0 389 0 33,850 65 7.0 33.0 395.6
2002 60 3 of 36 0 0 0 0 587 0 136,830 66 38.0 42.0 571.5
24 years 303 0 15 36 1 83366 184 5,442,844   22.0 24.2 102093.4

Busch Series Statistics

Year Age Races Win T5 T10 Pole Laps Led Earnings Rank AvSt AvFn Miles
1984 42 1 of 29 0 1 1 1 199 0 3,000 69 1.0 3.0 199.0
1990 48 3 of 31 0 1 2 1 462 115 27,225 62 8.0 10.7 655.0
1991 49 9 of 31 0 4 4 0 1386 0 33,270 37 21.6 17.0 1305.0
1992 50 3 of 31 0 1 2 0 494 0 14,404 56 18.7 12.3 578.2
1994 52 5 of 28 0 2 2 0 602 0 18,340 53 12.2 19.8 568.0
1996 54 23 of 26 0 4 10 1 4259 121 163,489 12 19.6 15.7 4124.5
1997 55 28 of 30 1 7 8 2 4883 119 311,339 14 9.8 18.8 5251.1
1998 56 23 of 31 1 3 6 1 3531 70 191,395 22 12.4 19.9 3889.9
1999 57 30 of 32 0 1 4 1 5503 215 462,915 11 24.6 19.7 6021.1
2000 58 32 of 32 0 0 3 0 5967 7 452,425 22 27.9 25.2 6536.1
2001 59 1 of 33 0 0 0 0 53 0 13,665 132 35.0 38.0 79.5
11 years 158 2 24 42 7 27339 647 1,691,467   19.1 19.6 29207.4
 


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