Former Nascar driver and three-time US Auto Club national champion Bobby East passed away last week after being stabbed in a southern California service station. 

According to a news release, when the Westminster Police Department got on the scene on Wednesday, July 13, they discovered East laying on the ground and “suffering from a significant knife wound to the chest.” Before local paramedics arrived to take East to a nearby trauma centre, where he later passed away from his injuries, the police had tried to save his life.

Robert John East of San Dimas was named as the victim of the Wednesday stabbing at a 76 gas station in a statement released by the Westminster Police Department on Saturday. Trent William Millsap, the stabbing suspect, was reportedly shot and died in Anaheim on Friday while police attempted to take him into custody, according to the statement.

The stabbing was not motivated, according to police, and both fatalities are still under investigation. They claimed that when they got to the gas station just before six o’clock in the evening, East was bleeding from a stab wound. After being transported, he passed away at the University of California, Irvine Medical Center.

East won the 2004 USAC National Midgets championship as well as the Silver Crown titles in 2012 and 2013. His father was a well-known short-track car maker. He won 56 features that were sanctioned by USAC, 48 of them in national divisions.

“Nascar is saddened to learn of the tragic death of Bobby East,” Nascar said in a statement. “We extend our deepest and heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of Bobby, a true racer.”

“Very sad to hear of the tragic incident involving Legend USAC driver Bobby East. He was one heck of a wheelman,” tweeted former Truck Series champion Todd Bodine.

“The news of this murder is Tragic and wrong. He and his family were true racers,” RFK owner Brad Keselowski wrote via Twitter after news of the late racer’s death broke. “Prayers for justice and peace.”

Over the course of his career, East raced for teams including Tony Stewart Racing and RFK Racing.

His mother Janice East, father Bob East, a USAC Hall of Fame car builder, and sisters Amy and Alison survive the two-time USAC Silver Crown champion. For her part, Janice published a heart emoji with the USAC’s obituary on Facebook on Saturday after confirming her son’s loss.

According to Westminster police, 27-year-old Millsap was wanted for an unrelated parole violation while already on parole for an armed robbery.

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