Dick Trickle, aside from having the greatest name in recent history, is a hero of NASCAR short-track racing. Born October 27, 1941, he made a name for himself in his hometown of Wisconsin Rapids, WI as a dedicated amateur racer, winning his first race at 18. Thirty years later, Dick won the NASCAR Winston Cup Rookie of the Year award to the cheers of thousands of dedicated fans.
There is some controversy as to how many wins Dick Trickle has actually earned. His reputation, like most drivers, preceeds him; his "official" website touts him as "America's Winningest Driver" with over 1,200 victories in North America. While this number seems a little steep, Dick Trickle certainly has made a name for himself among racing fans as a loyal, dedicated, and skilled driver.
After the Rookie of the Year award, Dick won the season's Winston Cup opener in 1990. It seemed to many that Dick Trickle was to have a glorious career in racing. His finishes implied otherwise. Not long after, his personal best fell to third place finish in the Winston series. In the Busch Grand National series, he placed in the top five at several 1997 races. By 2000, he was all but gone from the race track.
'Near as I can tell, Days of Thunder's Cole Trickle was just a weird coincidence. The movie premiered in 1989, a year before Dick Trickle's NASCAR debut, and starred a much younger driver in Tom Cruise. Hey, we can't all be in the movies.