Longtime NASCAR driver Dick Trickle was found dead of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head in a North Carolina cemetery.

He had called the Lincoln County sheriff’s office emergency number and told them there would be a dead body and it would be him. He was found next to his truck.

Trickle raced in NASCAR’s top series full time for nearly 10 years. He was the Cup Rookie of the Year in 1989. He never won a Cup race but had 15 Top 10’s and finished third five times. In what is now the Nationwide Series he had two victories in 158 starts.

But in some of the lower NASCAR series he was a legend. He had over 1,200 wins in short tracks throughout the Midwest.

There was shock throughout the sport with drivers who competed against him expressing their sorrow. NASCAR Hall of Famer Rusty Wallace said he owed much of his early success to Trickle. Kenny Wallace said Trickle taught him some valuable lessons. Mark Martin tweeted “he kicked butt everywhere he went.”

Dick Trickle was 71.