Remembering A Great Race Car Driverby Christopher Neal May 18, 2013 0 comments
We were all saddened this week to hear about the passing of one of the legends of the racing world. Former ASA, NASCAR driver and short track superstar Dick Trickle took that final checkered flag on Tuesday. Even though we hadn’t heard his name much lately he was never far from our thoughts and he will be sorely missed. Dick raced NASCAR Sprint Cup, won a few races in the Nationwide Series but he was most well known as the winningest short track racer in history. There is no accurate record but the estimates are that he earned over 1000 short track victories in his career.
It’s almost shameful how most of the media has been reporting this tragic loss. In the title of their articles or in the first 2 sentences the reference the fact that Trickle’s death was suicide or from a self inflicted wound. Does it really make any difference? A racing legend is gone, what is the point in attaching the stigma of suicide to it. His family will suffer enough without the constant public reminder that he took his own life. I guess we have become so much of a tabloid society that it’s not just enough to acknowledge the loss but we have to know all the graphic details.
Have we become so obsessed with gory details or secret inside knowledge that we can’t just let someone pass on with dignity? The stories are printed with things in the title or first few lines that are designed to excite you and grab your attention. They want you to read further and spend more time on the page. Shouldn’t it be enough to read that a great race car driver and great man like Dick Trickle has passed away? Does the method of his death really need to be at the beginning of the story?
Sadly most people won’t take the time to read the rest of the story. The part about how his is considered to be the greatest short track racer of all times. Or how he didn’t start his NASCAR career until he was in his 40s but still managed to run over 300 races and win a couple of Nationwides. About how he mentored drivers like Kenney Wallace and Mark Martin. If how he died had to be said why couldn’t it have been stuck at the end of the story?
In the next few days there will be more stories about the lives he touched and the things he did but thanks to those first few reports how he died will be foremost in peoples minds. Lets try to put all that aside and remember him for the man he was. The racer, the legend, a man who in no small part helped shape this sport we love, the one and only Dick Trickle. Godspeed Dick, you will be missed both on and off the track.