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"If Trickle has really and truly won 2,000 races it would mean 64 wins a year for 31 years. Not a chance, not even counting heat races, semi's, trophy dashes and races to the restroom."


Dick Trickle

Don't get me wrong, Dick Trickle is a God of short track racing. No-one has had more impact and it is doubtful anyone has ever won more. That said though, I have a problem with some of the statistics that are tossed around about his career. I remember how in the late '80's when Trickle headed south people used to say that he had won over 1,000 times and everyone seemed to accept that number, but now there are claims that people quit counting at 1,200 and there have been as many as 2,000 victories. I'm sorry, I just don't buy that. I've been having trouble with the claim of 1,000 for a couple of decades now.

Assume for a moment that he has won more than 1,200 times, then consider this:

He has won precisely 4 times since he was the 1989 Winston Cup Rookie of the Year. (Two Busch races and a Winston Open Qualifier) and an ARCA win in 1991. There is no mention of any other wins in that time period on the Dick Trickle Fan Club site. So, prior to 1989 his win total was at least 1,197.

Now for the wins in major touring series:

32 ASA wins
68 ARTGO Challenge Series wins
6 AllPro wins
2 Southwest Tour wins
2 USAC wins

Only a handful of these wins came after 1989. So the win total before Dick headed south for good would have to be at least 1,190. Possible, but not very likely.

For the record, Dick Trickle has always been one of my favourite drivers. When the ASA show came to Cayuga every year if a local racer couldn't win I pulled for the White Knight in his Coors Light or SuperAmerica firebirds. If you have any real statistics you can share with me that would justify these win totals, please send them along and I will post them. If they are true, race fans need to see it.

Each of these fabulous images is drawn on a computer by Don Melford. You need to visit his page to see the larger versions and the rest of his work. 

Dick Trickle, the White Knight

The Purple Knight just never caught on but SuperAmerica became known

The only Trickle winner in 13 years

Dick Trickles Pabst Breweries Firebird

Dick Trickle started racing in 1958 so he would have had to average just over 38 races per year for 31 years in order to meet this total. Am I the only one who finds this hard to believe?. Sure, he ran 120 races a year for 10 or 15 years but he did not do it for 30 years and even if he did it would be better than a 33% win average for 3 decades. Not.



It seems that I am not the only one to ask this question. I recently received emails from someone who wishes to remain nameless but nevertheless convinced me that he is a former employee of a series Dick ran in for years and a longtime, dedicated  midwest race fan. He has researched, reviewed and  cross checked the results from more than 2200 events covering the bulk of Trickles short track career at virtually every track in Wisconsin. The results show that between 1958 and 1971 he won only 184 events in Wisconsin. Throw in 25-30 more out of state wins and you are still at only 214 wins to 1971 so:

  • 214 wins prior to 1971
  • 3 wins since 1989
  • That means that in the 18 years between 1971 and 1989 he won 983 times, or an average of just under 55 races per season

"The original statement about Trickle's 1000 wins came in a 1974 program article where a friend/crewman said, "I bet Dick has won a thousand races so far." It was not based in fact in any way, shape or form. By 1997, when Dick was running NASCAR WC full-time some writer in Winston Cup Scene arbitrarily took it upon himself to raise the number to 1,200."


H.E. Johnmeyer of www.tricklefan.com had this to say:

From a recent interview of Kennseth in SI: SI: Dave Marcis, Dick Trickle and the late Alan Kulwicki are all from Wisconsin. Why has the state produced so many good NASCAR drivers?

 Kenseth: The racing in Wisconsin is a little bit different than it is in the south. When you qualify for a race in Wisconsin, you start in the back of the pack. So you have to learn how to pass cars and work traffic all the time. Another reason Wisconsin turns out good drivers is that there is a big variety of tracks up there and there are races every night from Wednesday to Sunday. Monday and Tuesday are the only nights there's not a track within a four-hour drive that you can race at.

That's an awful lot of racin; sure you don't want to change your mind?

Nope - That's still not proof. Show me the stats