The job of reporting bad news isn't an easy one. Usually, the only saving grace is that the bulletins we must disseminate in this business are pretty trivial and tame by comparison. There are times, though, when the worst kind of info crosses our desks, and the task of conveying it becomes a solemn responsibility, no matter how sad or painful it is.
Earl Laskey passed away on December 1, 2006. Since the late '90s, Laskey has made a place for himself in the sport compact community as engine builder/crew chief for pro drag racer and son Mike, and has also helped establish the family business/race shop Laskey Racing in Anaheim, Calif. As anyone who knew him can tell you, though (and he knew many), his influence extended far beyond those he worked with on a daily basis.
Laskey began earning his wrenching stripes as a pre-teen tinkering on bikes and karts and developed a love for the drag strip in '50s-era Chevys and Fords. All through the 1960s and '70s he honed those racing skills on famous, long-gone tracks like Lions in Wilmington and the Orange County International Raceway. We hear he even set a number of ET and speed records in his day.
He ended up leaving the strip for a couple of decades, only to return as his son's number 1 supporter. The 2 also founded the shop they run, and all indications at this point are that Mike will carry on with both the race team and shop. While it is heartening to hear that the younger Laskey will forge on, the loss of his father is an immeasurable one to the import racing scene. HT offers its deepest sympathies to the Laskeys and their loved ones in this difficult time.