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."
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
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.
'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.
"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.
was known as the "Purple Knight" with his purple Mustang
Where is ... Dick Trickle?
By Rick Houston, Special to
June 22, 2007
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.'"
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
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
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
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
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
"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
Trickle's Biography - Timeline
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
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.
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
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 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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
Trickle Grand National / Winston Cup Statistics
Nascar Nextel Cup Series Tickets
Copyright © 2003
by Roland Via. All rights reserved. Revised:
06/08/12 08:11:23 -0400.
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