East won three American Championships and was a full-time competitor in the NASCAR Truck Series 2006.
After being stabbed, NASCAR's long-running late 2000s series was killed Wednesday afternoon.
Last was filling his tank at a station around 5:45 p.m.
The man then stabbed East in his chest.
Officers were dispatched to the gas station, and East was taken to a local hospital.
Police were looking for the transient, Trent William Millsap, 27 years old.
Millsap was killed in the shootout, and one officer dog was injured by the single.
Bobby East was the son of Bob East, a USAC Hall of Fame car builder. He enjoyed his greatest racing success.
East, who was 16 years old at the time, became the youngest driver ever to win a USAC midget race.
East moved on to the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. East ran the entire 2006 season for Wood Brothers Racing.
East had 31 Truck Series career starts, with the best finish in eighth place on two occasions.
He also had 11 career starts in NASCAR Xfinity Series.
East went back to USAC and continued his racing legacy.
Two Silver Crown titles in 2012 and 2013. East won 48 national championships all-time.
Before Millsap's death, authorities asked anyone with information about the stabbing to contact police at (714) 5548-3212.