Dick Trickle, the 71-year-old NASCAR legend who died Thursday
, is heard in a recently released 911 call calmly telling the operator his intention before apparently taking his own life.
After providing his name and location within Forest Lawn Cemetery, which is located approximately 40 miles northwest of Charlotte, Trickle tells the operator: "There's gonna be a dead body . . . It's a suicide."
The operator then asks if he is there.
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"I'm here. I'm the one," Trickle replies. "It will be in the back by a Ford pickup."
The operator attempts to intervene, telling Trickle to wait and that help is on the way at which point the recording goes silent.
TMZ reports that Trickle's body was discovered exactly where he said it would be
in the 911 call.
On Thursday, the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office told reporters that Trickle died of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, the Associated Press reported.
Authorities reportedly attempted to call the number back, but no one answered. Foul play is not suspected.
Though he never won a Cup race, Trickle was an extremely popular driver enjoying an almost cult-like status before his death due to his larger-than-life personality and his penchant for fun.
In 1989, Trickle was named Rookie of the Year in the Winston Cup series, now the Sprint Cup series, at the age of 48 - the oldest driver in the Cup's history to do so.
"Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of Dick Trickle on his passing today," NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France said. "Dick was a legend in the short-track racing community, particularly in his home state of Wisconsin, and he was a true fan favorite. Personalities like Dick Trickle helped shape our sport. He will be missed."
Trickle's death was felt across the NASCAR community.
"He made such an impression on people . . . that everyone wanted to know when Dick was coming back," fellow NASCAR driver Geoff Bodine said. "They loved him."
Trickle is survived by his wife of nearly 53 years, Darlene, their sons Todd and Chad and daughter Shannon.
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