Trickle down but not out By Brett Borden Dick Trickle has over 1,000 victories to his credit from his short-track racing days. He has 284 NASCAR Winston Cup Series and 94 NASCAR Busch Series Grand National Division starts in his career.
Trickle down but not out By Brett Borden
Dick Trickle has over 1,000 victories to his credit from his short-track racing days. He has 284 NASCAR Winston Cup Series and 94 NASCAR Busch Series Grand National Division starts in his career. He has two career wins in the NASCAR Busch Series and 36 top-10 finishes in NASCAR Winston Cup Series competition. What he doesn't have is a ride in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series for next year. Not yet, anyways.
"I just got up with (team owner) Junie Donlavey and right now he has no positive leads on sponsorship, and at this time I'm talking with other owners," Trickle said. "Nothing has happened exciting on my Winston Cup program for next year so I'm a free agent talking to some of the other owners and hopefully a sponsor down the road, because it seems like if you have a sponsor you are a much better driver. I don't have one in my back pocket. I'm more or less a free agent searching for a Winston Cup ride for next year."
It has been a tough row to hoe for the 57-year-old Trickle this year. He finished strong in 1997, with eight starts of 13th or better in the season's last 13 races, and five finishes of 14th or better, including a third at Bristol and a fifth at Rockingham.
But this year that finish didn't translate into continued success. He had just four top-10 qualifying efforts, and finished in that group just once. In a sport where multi-car teams have become the rule, not the exception, Trickle and Donlavey have been fighting with one hand tied behind their backs.
"There's no doubt there's an advantage to a multi-car team, because you can utilize 100 people instead of 20," Trickle said. "So now you've got 100 brains, 200 hands working together. And some of those people can be moved from one (team) to the other. The thing is, though, that teams don't come easily. You better get your first team in line before you worry about your second and third. And a lot of teams think if they can't get one team running to at least a certain level, to go to two teams at that time wouldn't be an advantage, because all you're doing is putting a load on everybody.
"It doesn't mean a one-car team can't be competitive, but what you run into in this business is time becomes an element. You get an hour and a half to two hours of practice, but you're in line with 42 other cars, and you end up spending a lot of that time waiting. If you put the right group of people together with proper financing behind them, it's still a free world and you can be competitive as a single-car team. But it works both ways. It's hard to keep intact the exact people you need. Teams win races, not individuals. A team has to work with the driver, because at one time or another, they hand everything to him."
You have to hand it to Trickle. He's a driver who earned his way into the NASCAR Winston Cup Series, competing against a lot of young drivers who haven't been in 1,000 races, let alone won that many. If he just gets the right opportunity, he can certainly pad that total with his first NASCAR Winston Cup Series victory.
Source: NASCAR Online