A Champion on the Track and a Kingpin Off It
Randy Lanier, once hailed as a rising star in motor racing, lived a double life as a race driver and a drug smuggler. He went from winning Rookie of the Year at the 1986 Indy500 to being sentenced to life in prison just a year later.
From Rural Virginia to the World of Motorsport
Born in rural Virginia, Lanier's passion for racing was ignited when he heard a live broadcast of the Indy500 on the radio. Despite an unconventional path, he fulfilled his dream in 1986 and raced in the prestigious event.
From Cannabis Lover to Drug Kingpin
After moving to Florida in the 1960s, Lanier's love for cannabis turned into a money-making scheme. He began smuggling the drug from the Bahamas and eventually expanded his operation to South America, amassing a fortune.
A Recipe for Success On and Off the Track
Lanier's racing career took off once he founded his own team, Blue Thunder, and joined the IMSA racing scene. With the help of his co-driver, he beat legendary drivers to win the IMSA GT Championship in 1984.
Friendship over Fame
Despite the opportunity to join a factory team, Lanier turned it down to stay loyal to his friends and keep Blue Thunder together.
A Life of Excess
Lanier's secret life caught up with him when authorities closed in on his drug empire. He was sentenced to life in prison in 1987. Throughout his racing career, he indulged in champagne and cocaine-fueled parties.
A Presidential Pardon and a New Mission
After spending 27 years in prison, Lanier was released thanks to a presidential pardon. He turned to yoga and became an advocate for cannabis legalization, establishing a charity to help those imprisoned for cannabis-related charges.
Randy Lanier's story is one of highs and lows, from the thrill of racing to the depths of a criminal empire. Now a free man, he is dedicated to helping others and fighting for the legalization of cannabis.