Born: June 5, 1939 Died:
January 15, 1978
Home: Van Nuys, CA
Lacey "Sonny" Easley is best known for competing in the
NASCAR Winston West Series and a handful of Winston Cup Series events.
Easley tallied nine Winston
West victories over his career, including a victory in the first stock
car race ever held at the Laguna Seca Raceway road course. He finished
2nd in Winston West points on two different occasions, in 1973 and 1975.
In 19 career Cup starts, Easley
had a best finish of 5th place at the January 16, 1977 Winston Western
500 at Riverside International Raceway.
During practice for a NASCAR
modified sportsman race at Riverside on January 15, 1978, Easley was
killed when his 1968 Camaro slid across the track into a trailer and
pickup truck near pit road. A pit crew member for Tiny Keith, Douglas
Grunst, was also killed in the incident.
Easley was a 2003 inductee into
the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame.
Easley was a fierce competitor. I know, because I saw his tenacity first
hand. He was one of the combatants in the best road course race I ever
witnessed. He and Chuck Bown battled lap after lap around the twisting
track in Monterey, California, in 1973. When the dust had settled,
Easley was headed to victory lane.
Sonny notched eight other series wins in his short career. He finished
second in the championship standings for the NASCAR Winston West Series
in 1973 season, fifth in 1974, and second in 1975. Unfortunately, the
racing world lost Sonny in January of 1978 in an accident during
practice session for a sportsman race at Riverside International
Raceway. He was just 39 years of age. To quote from Jack McCoy’s book,
“Racing’s Real McCoy,” “This popular, hard-driving, Southern-talking
Virginia native had won nine Winston West events in his young career and
was destined for further stardom.” It was not to be.