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Lynwood Lacey "Sonny" Easley
Born: June 5, 1939      Died: January 15, 1978
Home: Van Nuys, CA

Lynwood 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.

Sonny 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.

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Accident date: 15.Jan.1978
Californians Sonny Easley from Van Nuys and Douglas Grunst from La Crescenta were killed during a Sunday practice session om Riverside International Raceway's 2.62 mile track for the next Saturday's NASCAR modified sportsman race. During a yellow-flag caution period Easley's 1968 Camaro hooked a wheel in a muddy corner and slid sideways across the track into a trailer and pickup truck parked on an access road to the pit area. Grunst, a pit crew member for Tiny Keith's entry, was crushed between the parked vehicles. Easley was fatally injured by debris from the crash.

Sonny Easley finished second in the championship standings for the NASCAR Winston West Series in the 1973 season, fifth in 1974, and second in 1975.

Winston Cup DRIVER Statistics

Year Age Races Win T5 T10 Pole Laps Led Earnings Rank AvSt AvFn
1972 33 1 of 31 0 0 0 0 35 0 670 113 36.0 31.0
1973 34 2 of 28 0 0 0 0 144 0 2,015 90 13.0 27.0
1974 35 3 of 30 0 0 1 0 415 0 4,800 61 15.3 15.0
1975 36 3 of 30 0 0 0 0 136 2 2,405 66 18.7 30.0
1976 37 7 of 30 0 0 2 0 1861 0 11,290 38 21.0 17.7
1977 38 3 of 30 0 1 2 0 360 0 9,490 51 16.7 12.7
6 years 19 0 1 5 0 2951 2 30,670   19.0 20.1


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