Richard "Dick" Trickle has died of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, as first reported by WBTV in North Carolina.
The Lincoln County Sheriff's Office told WBTV that the retired racing legend died shortly after noon on Thursday.
According to police, Trickle, 71, apparently called The Lincoln County Communications Center and told them “there would be a dead body and it would be his.” Officials told WBTV and MyFOX8 that Trickle's body was found at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Boger City, N.C.
First responders to the scene discovered Trickle's body near his pick-up truck, according to Fox Sports.
"He called in,'' Lt. Tim Johnson of the Lincoln County detective department told ESPN.com. "It's not the first time we've had these. It's always a sad situation ... even sadder for the family.''
Johnson says foul play is not suspected, according to The Associated Press.
Trickle made 303 starts in NASCAR's Cup Series, per The Sporting News, and is reported to have won more than 1,200 short track races.
NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France issued a statement via Twitter:
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of Dick Trickle on his passing today. 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.”
France was joined by many members of the racing community in expressing their sorrow at the reports of Trickle's passing.