Former NASCAR driver Dick Trickle took his own life yesterday.  He was 71 years old.

Born Richard "Dick" Trickle on October 27, 1941, Dick participated in more than an estimated 2,200 races, logging one million laps and is believed to have won 1,200 feature races. Dick was billed as the winningest short track driver in history.

Dick won the 1989 NASCAR Rookie of the Year award in what was then called the Winston Cup, now known as the Sprint Cup.

Dick died yesterday from an apparent self-inflicted gun shot wound.The incident occurred at 12:02PM at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Boger City, North Carolina. Reports say that the Lincoln County Communications Center received a call, apparently from Dick saying that "there would be a dead body and it would be his."Police attempted to call his phone back but there was no response.  Dick was found dead beside his pickup truck.

In a statement yesterday, NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France described Trickle as "a legend in the short-track racing community, particularly in his home state of Wisconsin, and he was a true fan favorite."