Trickle, at age 58, is the dean of any series in which he competes. He's still got the fire. Last year he was 11th in points and finished once in the top-five and four times in the top-10. As hard as this is to believe, Trickle has been racing stock cars since 1958.
The old saying goes the third time is a charm. With that said, Schneider National and Dick Trickle plan to capitalize in their third year together in NASCAR's Busch Series.
The 2000 race season has the makings of something special for me and Schneider. I've been racing for a long time, but I'm just as excited about this upcoming season as I was about my first season in NASCAR. We struggled at the beginning of last season. We missed two races early in the season and had the worst luck I've had since moving to NASCAR. As a brand new race team, I think it would have been very easy for everyone on the team to pack it up and call it a year. But this team just worked harder; and by mid-season, we were running up-front, like I knew we would. We really have an opportunity to make things happen this season. The Busch Series is the most competitive in racing. Last year, we'll chalk up to learning, as it was a new team. This year, there's no excuses, and we plan on making a run at the title.
Part of the reason for Trickle's optimism and excitement is the momentum carried over from last season, his first with car owner Jimmy Spencer and Spencer Motor Ventures. After a very slow start, Trickle and the #5 Schneider Motorsports team finished strong and placed eleventh in the NASCAR Busch Series' point standings.
The 2000 season looks to be wide-open in the NASCAR Busch Series. Two-time defending champion Dale Earnhardt, Jr. and second place finisher Matt Kenseth have moved on to the Winston Cup Series, leaving a pool of about 10 contenders gunning for the title, including Trickle.
Trickle set for NASCAR With Spencer, SchneiderMooresville, N.C. (Jan. 17, 2000); NASCAR Online
Stock car veteran Dick Trickle will return to Jimmy Spencer's NASCAR Busch Series Grand National Division operation to contest the entire 32-race schedule in the No. 5 Schneider National Chevrolet for the second straight season. Spencer's entire crew returns for the NASCAR 2000 season - only Trickle's second full year in the NASCAR Busch Series — and they will again be led by veteran crew chief Bryan Shaffer. Shaffer has been Trickle's crew chief in the NASCAR Busch Series for the past four years.
Last season, cars prepared by Shaffer vaulted Trickle to an 11th place finish in the points, Trickle's best championship finish in a long NASCAR career. "During the off-season, we implemented some programs at Spencer Motor Ventures that we feel will elevate our No. 5 Schneider team to compete in the top-5," Spencer said. "For example, this year we are going to run Kevin Blank motors in our No. 5 car. Kevin has demonstrated to me a strong desire to work with Trickle in developing an engine program that fits his driving style. We have also implemented a conditioning and training program for our guys that we feel will produce 15- to 16-second pit stops, which is comparable to Winston Cup."
I'm excited about this season because of what this team accomplished last year and the improvements that Jimmy made in the last several months. When you can take a first-year team that missed two races and still finish 11th in the points in a series where only eight cars qualified for every race — and then keep these guys together — you're bound to be a front runner the second year.
Trickle has seven Bud Pole Awards and two victories in 125 career starts in the NASCAR Busch Series. The NASCAR 2000 season begins at Daytona International Speedway on Feb. 19 with the NAPA Auto Parts 300.
Trickle Bides His Time On Busch Series CircuitBy Dave Kallmann; of the Journal Sentinel staff; Last Updated: Feb. 14, 2000
Daytona Beach, Fla.
Unlike past Februarys, when he has run back and forth between the Daytona International Speedway garages, this time Dick Trickle is focusing all his energy on the Busch Series. Trickle, the 1989 Winston Cup rookie of the year, has competed in 292 races in NASCAR's premier division, making all but 15 of those starts in the past 11 seasons. Although Trickle has nothing on his plate yet to race in Winston Cup this season, he expects it won't be long before that situation changes.
It never fails, when things go bad, they call Dad.
Trickle has raced for 16 teams since moving south in 1989. His longest stint with one Cup team was 2 1/2 seasons, from mid-1996 through '98 with Junie Donlavey. Last year he made eight starts for three teams and attempted to qualify at Daytona with another. With no offers in the off-season, Trickle dedicated himself to running the full Busch Series schedule in Jimmy Spencer's No. 5 Schneider National Chevrolets. If a Cup owner comes calling, Trickle will answer, but that program would take a back seat to the Busch deal. Nonetheless, Trickle wouldn't be surprised to hear that call in the first couple months of the season.
You've got a lot of rookies over there, and it's a high level. As soon as they do a couple things wrong, or even if it ain't their fault but they're not going forward . . . the driver's usually the easiest thing to change.
Trickle, who has five third-place finishes in his career, said that at this point in his career he'd rather race with a first-class Busch team than a back-of-the-pack Cup organization.
I don't mind the load of running both cars. But if I can't get something decent on the Winston Cup side, I don't like to be just making circles.
Hello, Mr. Trickle?The Frontstretch; By Butch Bellah; March 17, 2000
Dick Trickle has been called on again. Another team has let a driver go and where is the first place they look? Somebody get Trickle on the phone! It seems that nobody wants to give Dick a full time opportunity, but where do they turn at the first sign of trouble?
Hey, see if that Trickle kid is available?
A.J. Foyt made that call this week after releasing Mike Bliss from the #14 ride. Foyt and Bliss had started the season anticipating a run for Rookie of the Year honors. Unfortunately, the team failed to qualify for three of the first four races and changes were made. And as we all know, those changes generally begin behind the steering wheel. Whether Bliss should have shouldered this load alone is debatable. The jump from the Craftsman Truck Series to Winston Cup is not an easy one. But nevertheless, he was released. Did Foyt call one of the "young guns" from the Busch series? Nope.
Since being named Rookie of the Year in 1989, Dick Trickle has had only a handful of seasons with full-time Winston Cup rides. And few, if any, of them have been with what you would call well-funded teams. Given the opportunity, the 58-year old Wisconsin native might show the series a thing or two. Instead, Dick gets the mid-season call to fill the drivers seat when things aren't going well. Could he possibly get a full-time Winston Cup ride? It looks like the answer is no. Dick won't get to be the starting pitcher, he'll be called on to relieve after the starter gets shelled. He's the back-up quarterback sent in to mop up when the starter is stinking up the place.
So for now Dick will go about his business cleaning up the mess. He'll continue to test for the IROC series, be a contender in the Busch series, and fill-in when the Winston Cup teams call. Because they know he's won over 1200 races in his career and will ride to their rescue when called upon. Even though he's never been to Victory Lane in Winston Cup his phone sure rings a lot this time of year.
Hello, Mr. Trickle?
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