Original publication date: March 5th, 2005Trickle, who has been retired from the Nextel Cup since 2002, rallied from the back of the field to win his first Daytona 500, and first race in NASCAR’s premiere circuit.
“I’m just so excited,” shouted Dick, as he flung milk onto the faces of his crew in Victory Lane. “I just pushed and pushed and pushed and somehow I came clean as the winner.”
As Dick celebrated and showered his team in the white liquid, his crew chief commented on the race itself. “Well Dick was down and out tucked in the back there, but once he found some air, he was running as hard as anyone in the field. Then in the middle laps he was squeezed in tight, but he hammered away and pumped until he broke through. Then with the rest of the pack coming fast, he was able to stay up and hold them off until the checkered flag waved. It was unbelievable.”
Trickle’s win was also amazing considering the problems he had in the car during the race. “Dick’s oil pressure went through the roof, and midway through the race, he was shooting searing hot oil all over the car.” Dick’s discharge dripped onto the track, and led to a 10 lap caution after Jeff Gordon slipped in it and hit the wall. “I was really worried that we’d blown our chance to win,” said Trickle.
Gordon was unhappy. “I can’t believe NASCAR didn’t check for oil until I slipped in it. Dick’s [expletive] was all on my visor and everything. I mean, an oil spill is one thing, but this was just too much to swallow.”
The second caution of the race came at lap 110, when the fabled “Big One” hit Daytona, causing a 10 car wreck that took out favorites like Jeremy Mayfield, Michael Waltrip, and Tony Stewart. Said Dick, “That one nearly stood up and bit me. I darn near slammed right into [Kurt] Busch, and that’s something nobody wants to see.”
Trickle also had a mild bout of food poisoning. “Dick was sick. He was spewing into a bag all race and we were giving him new bags at every pit stop. We had to keep him very hydrated or else Dick would have just…dried up. It’s amazing that Dick didn’t get bent out of shape at all this weekend. He walked the straight and narrow despite not rising to the occasion in qualifying.”
Trickle’s Car, sponsored by Pfizer, was able to get the equipment it needed to compete in the race. It supplied him with enough funds to get adequate engines, and wind tunnel time to prepare.“Yeah, once we got hooked up with the Viagra team, we had all we needed to keep up the intensity. It’s difficult to go that long and hot for 3 and a half hours, but with their help, it was a snap,” gushed Dick.
Other drivers were amazed at Trickle’s run today. “Well darn, I had Dick in my rear [view mirror] all day today,” said Jimmie Johnson. “ Every time I turned around, Dick was all over me.” Dale Earnhardt Jr, who finished in 2nd, was just as impressed. “Daddy used to tell me, ‘Jr, you watch out for that Dick. You stay away from Dick,’ and now I know why. He just slapped us around out there. I can’t understand why he never won a Nextel Race until now.” Rusty Wallace, who will retire after this season, failed in his last bid to win a Daytona 500, the one jewel missing on his career. “I’m real disappointed not to win the 500, but Dick worked hard. He earned his win, and I guess he proved that you can never be too old to blow through that barrier and win at Daytona. Yeah, Dick’s the cock of the walk today.”
Hours after the confetti had fallen and the last bit of milky white goodness burbled over his closed fist, Trickle sat down with CTC. Unlike his younger, harder days as a racer, Dick had softened with age. “This whole race was just a dream come true. I mean, I won the biggest race of them all!”
And then Dick wept.