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Tributes are flooding social media in the wake of the tragic news that former NASCAR driver Bobby East was fatally stabbed at a petrol station in California last week.
Police found East on the ground suffering from a "serious chest wound" after the attack on Wednesday, before transporting him to a nearby trauma centre, where he was pronounced dead.
The motorsport icon was only 37.
“The victim was found on the ground suffering from a serious stab wound to the chest area," Westminster Police Department (WPD) said in a statement.
“Officers attempted life saving measures until OCFA paramedics arrived and transported the victim to a local trauma centre, where the victim succumbed to his injury.”
WPD named Trent William Millsap, who fled the scene before police arrived, as the suspect in East's killing.
The suspect - a drifter who had an outstanding parole warrant and was considered armed and dangerous - was tracked down to an apartment complex on Friday, where he was shot dead in an incident involving a SWAT team.
The Orange County District Attorney is investigating the officer-involved shooting.
East was a three-time United States Auto Club (USAC) National Champion driver in USAC Silver Crown and Midgets.
"East was phenomenal in USAC National Sprint Cars as well, most notably on pavement tracks," the USAC said in a Friday statement.
"He tallied 15 wins in the series, with the first coming in 2003 at Ohio’s Mansfield Motorsports Speedway. He also prevailed at the Milwaukee Mile in 2005 in what remains as the last USAC Sprint Car race held on a one-mile track."
East was born in California and later moved to Indiana to pursue his racing career, according to USAC.
"Bobby was an immediate success in his USAC career," the auto club said in its press release.
"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.
Motorsport world rocked by Bobby East's death
News of East's death has rocked the motorsport world, with fans paying tribute to the iconic driver on social media.
Our team is incredibly sad to learn today’s news about Bobby East.
Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and loved ones. pic.twitter.com/rLh5iE81wd
— RFK Racing (@RFKracing) July 16, 2022
There was a stretch where Bobby East was so dominant at IRP, that everyone knew showing up you were racing for second. One of the best to ever do it on pavement.
Thoughts are with Bob, Janice, and the rest of the East family. #RaceInPeace
— Jacob Wilson (@JacobWilson07) July 16, 2022
Nascar driver Bobby East was stabbed to death by a homeless man who was out on parole! At a gas station no less! I am praying 🙏 for his family fans and team. RIP Bobby you will be missed dearly! 😢
— Jenny Berenson (@BerensonJenny) July 16, 2022
NASCAR star Bobby East fatally stabbed at California gas station. How sad is this. Disgusting and very disturbing. Rip Bobby. Condolences to his family https://t.co/rPEBrNVLCu
— celine (@donegalceline) July 16, 2022
Very sad to hear of the tragic incident involving Legend USAC driver Bobby East. He was one heck of a wheelman. Thoughts and prayers to his family
— Todd Bodine (Official) (@Team_Onion) July 16, 2022
Rip Bobby East, what a senseless and tragic death.
— Glenn💎 (@GlennWins) July 16, 2022
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