Nascar racing legend Dick Trickle was "very down" in the days leading up to his suicide on Thursday (16May13) after struggling with severe chest pains, according to his brother.

The retired driver died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, aged 71, and his sibling, Chuck, admits the star had been desperate to find a solution for his health misery after experiencing pain just below his left breast.

He even went as far as to visit doctors twice a day in a bid to find the cause of his ailment - to no avail.

Chuck Trickle tells the Las Vegas Review Journal, "He was very down... He more or less said he didn't know how much longer he could take the pain."

However, he admits it's been tough coming to terms with DICk's actions: "(His death is) a shock to me... it's real hard to think about."

Trickle reportedly left a suicide note at the Forest Lawn Cemetery in North Carolina, where he took his own life after alerting local police to his tragic plans.