Bobby East, a three-time US Auto Club national champion driver, has died after being stabbed at a Southern California service station at the age of 37.
The Westminster Police Department issued a statement on Saturday identifying Robert John East of San Dimas as having been stabbed in the chest at a 76 gas station on Wednesday.
The statement added the stabbing suspect, Trent William Millsap, 27, was shot and killed in Anaheim on Friday as officers tried to arrest him.
Police say they have no motive for the stabbing and the investigation into both deaths is ongoing.
Millsap was on parole for armed robbery and had an outstanding warrant for his arrest for an unrelated parole violation, authorities said.
They said they arrived at the gas station shortly before 6pm to find Mr East suffering from a stab wound. He was taken to University of California, Irvine Medical Centre, where he died.
East, whose father was a noted short-track car builder, won USAC’s National Midgets title in 2004 and Silver Crown championships in 2012 and 2013. He had 56 USAC-sanctioned feature victories, 48 of them in national divisions.
He was just 16 in 2001 when he became the youngest driver to win a feature USAC National Midget race. He won 15 USAC races in 2004 and had a short Nascar career.
He made 11 career starts in what is now Nascar’s Xfinity Series and had two top-10 finishes in 31 career Truck Series races.
In a statement Nascar said it was “saddened to learn of the tragic death of Bobby East”.
It added: “We extend our deepest and heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of Bobby, a true racer.”
Former Truck Series champion Todd Bodine also paid tribute, tweeting: “Very sad to hear of the tragic incident involving Legend USAC driver Bobby East. He was one heck of a wheelman.”