Bobby East, a three-time USAC national champion who raced in NASCAR for several years in the late 2000s, died Wednesday afternoon after being stabbed at a Los Angeles-area gas station. He was 37 years old.
According to a report by mynewsla.com, East was refueling at a gas station around 5:45 p.m. local time when he had discussions with a homeless man who was known to frequent the Westminster area, and the man then stabbed East in the chest. Officers were dispatched to the gas station and East was rushed to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Police searched for the passenger – Trent William Millsap, 27, who RACER said had an outstanding parole warrant – and received reports Friday that Millsap was at an Anaheim-area apartment. A SWAT team was dispatched to the scene with a search warrant and a shootout took place between Millsap and authorities. The ensuing shooting left Millsap dead and a police dog wounded with a single, non-life-threatening gunshot wound.
The son of USAC Hall of Fame car builder Bob East, Bobby East enjoyed his greatest racing success in USAC while briefly racing in NASCAR for several years in the 2000s. According to Speed Sport, East became the youngest driver to win a USAC Midget race at age 16 in 2001, and he won the USAC Midget Championship three years later in 2004.
East then moved on to what was then the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, running the entire 2006 season for Wood Brothers Racing. East has made 31 career starts in the Truck Series, scoring a best finish of eighth twice. He also made 11 career starts in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, most of which came during the 2007 season for Brewco Motorsports.
After making his last NASCAR start in 2008, East returned to USAC competition and built his racing legacy there, winning two Silver Crown championships in 2012 and 2013. East has 48 career national wins and is one of the few selected pilots in USAC history. have victories on dirt and pavement tracks in all three national divisions (Silver Crown, Sprint Cars and Midgets).
Prior to Millsap’s death, authorities had asked anyone with information about the stabbing to call police at (714) 548-3212. Orange County Crime Stoppers accepts anonymous reports at (855)-TIP-OCCS.