Ex-NASCAR driver Dick Trickle is dead at 71

This picture taken in 1993 shows Dick Trickle sitting in his car before the start of a NASCAR race.

Ex-NASCAR driver Dick Trickle appears to have killed himself moments after calling police from a cemetery to warn them “there would be a dead body and it would be his.”

Police in North Carolina said they received the phone call at midday on Thursday. It had been placed from the Forest Lawn Cemetery in Boger City, about 40 miles northwest of Charlotte.

When emergency personnel arrived at the scene, they found Trickle’s body lying near his pickup.

WBTV reported Trickle's granddaughter, Nicole Bowman, was buried in the same cemetery. The 16-year-old was killed in a car accident in 2001. 

Trickle, 71, had died from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. There is no suspicion of foul play.

Fox Sports said Trickle made 303 Sprint Cup starts during a career spanning more than three decades, but he never won a race. His best finish was a third. 

His unusual surname and jovial personality, however, made him one of NASCAR’s most popular drivers, SBNation reported.