The Eighties were a wonderful time of excess. Drugs & money flowed freely in some circles. IMSA sports car racing was at its peak of cool. At the middle of much of the excitement in the racing world was a guy named Randy Lanier. Sports car racer turned Indy hot shoe, what many people did not know was that Lanier’s racing was funded by his rampant drug smuggling adventures.
The gig was up when authorities caught up with the racer and threw him in the slammer for life. It sounds incredible now, a life sentence for smuggling weed. Last year, someone somewhere came to their senses and Lanier was released after 26 years behind bars.
Incredibly, the racer did what real racers do: he went racing!
It wasn’t quite that simple, but Lanier tells his fascinating tale in a recent story at Road & Track. It is a must read for any real racing fan.
For those of you who would rather see a bit of video, Jalopnik’s Patrick George caught up with Lanier at Mid-Ohio, where the ex-con was racing in the AER season finale.
Lanier’s story seems to have been created specifically for Hollywood, so much so that there has to be a movie in the works somewhere.