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Retired NASCAR driver Dick Trickle, 71, died from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound in Boger City, North Carolina Thursday afternoon, according to police.

Trickle's love for racing began in earnest in his hometown of Wisconsin Rapids, WI, at the age of 16 when he bought a 1950 Ford. In his decades-spanning career, Trickle logged an estimated 2,200 races more than one million laps.

Trickle's NASCAR career was highlighted by being the oldest driver to win Rookie of the Year at age 48 and a penchant for smoking cigarettes mid-race.

Trickle's lack of NASCAR accomplishments didn't seem phase him, as evidenced in this light-hearted 1997 commercial highlighting his success (or lack thereof).

For all those who criticize President Obama for being too left, this video proves he sure likes to turn that way.

Three-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson had the gas to get to the White House on Wednesday, where President Barack Obama honored the 2008 winner as well as auto racing.

"NASCAR is a uniquely American sport," Obama said beneath the South Portico, flanked by nine of the 12 drivers who competed last year for NASCAR's top prize. Three drivers had scheduling conflicts and could not attend.

By "uniquely American," we can only assume he's speaking to the poor mileage the stock cars get. And mullets.

In a race on Sunday, Johnson gambled on fuel but ran out of gas while leading with two laps to go. Instead of winning, he finished 33rd. It was the third time this season that Johnson has run out of gas, but that wasn't a problem on Wednesday.

Johnson's No. 48 Chevrolet was parked on the White House driveway, with the glittery Sprint Cup perched on a table nearby.

Come to think of it, maybe he was still out of gas as it had to be pushed into position there.

Obama joked that he wanted to take it for a spin, but the Secret Service wouldn't allow it. And his adviser said with the nasty health care debate going on in the country a few turns to the center and right would be more advisable, ruling out a NASCAR track experience.

With the NASCAR dad wooing underway, we can assume the hockey mom lobby will be taking slap shots on the South Lawn next?