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Former NASCAR Driver Murdered at California Gas Station

SMG News Wire

Bobby East, a former NASCAR driver, was fatally stabbed at a Los Angeles-area gas station while the suspect is still at-large and considered armed and dangerous, according to police.

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The 37-year-old three-time US Auto Club champ was killed Wednesday while fueling up in Westminster Wednesday.

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The Westminster Police Department is searching for Trent William Millsap, 27, who allegedly murdered East at a 76 gas station and fled before police arrived.

“The victim was found on the ground suffering from a serious stab wound to the chest area,” police said in a statement. “Officers attempted life saving measures until OCFA paramedics arrived and transported the victim to a local trauma center, where the victim succumbed to his injury.”

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Millsap, a homeless man, also has an outstanding parole warrant and should be considered armed and dangerous, according to officials. He allegedly stabbed another man before killing East.

USAC Media released the following news about East:

Born in Torrance, Calif., but making his home throughout his racing career in Brownsburg, Ind., East captured 56 career USAC-sanctioned feature victories, 48 of them in national divisions.

In all, East racked up three USAC national driving titles, starting in 2004 with the USAC National Midgets and twice more with back-to-back USAC Silver Crown championships in 2012 and 2013.

The son of Janice and famed USAC Hall of Fame car builder Bob East, Bobby was an immediate success in his USAC career.  His first career triumph with the USAC National Midgets in 2001 at Schererville, Indiana’s Illiana Motor Speedway made Bobby the youngest USAC national feature winner ever at the time, at the age of 16.  His three winning performances in 2001 made him the winningest USAC National Midget Rookie in more than a quarter century.  Ultimately, he was rewarded as the series’ Rookie of the Year.

His racing career is summed up by Wikipedia below:

In 2001, East became the youngest driver at 16 years old to win a feature USAC National Midget event[3] at the Illiana Motor Speedway in Schererville, Indiana.

East competed full-time in the USAC National Midget Series where he was the champion in 2004 driving the Steve Lewis Racing No. 9. The car’s chassis was built by his father, Bob East, who is legendary short-track car builder of midgets, sprints, and silver crown machines. The title gave him the distinction of being the youngest national champion in the series’ history at age 19.

East was the most victorious driver during the 2004 USAC season with 15 victories among the series’ three divisions. He wound up in victory lane seven times in national midgets, five times in national sprint cars, and once each in the Silver Crown, Western States Sprint Car, and Speedrome Regional Midget Series during the season. The highlights of the season were winning the Hut Hundred and the Turkey Night Grand Prix.

East then moved on to racing stock cars. He first attempted to qualify for three races in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series in Roush Racing’s No. 33 Ford, but failed to qualify for two of those races. In the one where he did qualify (at Phoenix), he wrecked late in that event and finished 30th. Additionally, he drove the No. 21 for Wood Brothers/JTG Racing at the Homstead season-finale, but failed to qualify for that race, too. Also that year, East made his ARCA Re/Max Series debut, where he competed at Talladega in October 2005, driving the No. 29 Ford for K Automotive Racing. A few weeks later, he made his NASCAR Busch Series debut at Memphis in the No. 46 for ST Motorsports and had a solid race, finishing 17th.

In 2006, East competed nearly full-time in the same truck, where he was teammates in the team’s driver development program with fellow rookie Marcos Ambrose, who drove the team’s No. 20 truck. East would finish the year 23rd in points despite missing the first two races of the season.

In 2007, East ran part-time in the Busch Series with Brewco Motorsports, splitting time in the team’s No. 27, No. 37 and No. 43 cars. During the season, Brewco became Baker Curb Racing after a change in ownership.

East returned to the Truck Series part-time in 2008, reuniting with Roush to driving their No. 09 Zaxby’s Ford F-150. This included him winning the pole for the race at IRP. Roush also tasked East with qualifying Cup Series Carl Edwards’ Nationwide (formerly Busch) Series No. 60 car for the race at Memphis, the same track he made his debut at three years earlier. However, East was not able to qualify very high in the field, placing 34th, although Edwards would go on to win the race after making his way through the field to the front, taking the lead on lap 69 and staying there for the rest of the race. This effort would end up being East’s last outing in NASCAR.

He does not have a spouse or children.

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