Eric McClure | Biography

Quick Information

  • Full Name Eric Wayne McClure
  • Occupation Professional Stock Car Racing Driver and Team Owner
  • Nationality American
  • Birthplace Chilhowie, Virginia, USA
  • Birth Date December 11, 1978
  • Death Date May 2, 2021
  • Age At Death 42
American Former NASCAR Driver and Team Owner

Eric McClure | Biography

Died on 2 May 2021 at 42 years

Eric McClure started his racing career from the NASCAR Cup Series. His first race was in 2004 for the Morgan-McClure Motorsports at Talladega Superspeedway, where he made two cup starts. Followed by that, in 2005, he raced for Raabe Racing Enterprises at Las Vegas, with one cup start.

Eric McClure was a former professional stock car racer and team owner.

Who is Eric McClure?

McClure was an American former NASCAR driver and an owner of the team initially known as Martin-McClure Racing (MMR). He was from a racing family. His uncle Larry McClure was one of the owners of the infamous Morgan-McClure Motorsports, which had won three Daytona-500 races. He joined the sports racing arena in 2004, starting at the NASCAR Cup Series in Talladega Superspeedway and 2005 Raabe Racing Enterprises at Las Vegas 2005.

After 2006, he was sponsored by the Reynolds Consumer Product Brands, like Hefty and Reynolds Wrap. He raced for the NASCAR Xfinity Series from 2006 to 2016. The highlights of his career at the 2013 Daytona 2013 Xfinity Series season opener, ending at the 8th position for TriStar Motorsports group owned by Mark Smith. He had completed 288 races in 14 seasons of the Xfinity race.

In 2012, he encountered a severe crash at the Talladega Superspeedway where his car dove into a wall after a 16 car pile-up. The accident left irreparable damage to his body; he encountered multiple crashes after the Talladega pile-up. Later, he was diagnosed with renal failure in 2013, lung infection, and musculoskeletal disorder in 2019. He passed away in May 2021 at 42.   

Early Life

Eric Wayne McClure was born on 11 December 1978 in Chilhowie, Virginia. He went to Emory and Henry College.

McClure’s uncle was one of the owners of the Morgan-McClure Motorsports team. The team had three Daytona 500 wins and was based in Abingdon, Virginia. He grew up watching Richard Petty, and Cale Yarborough drives and win during the 1984 NASCAR Cup Series. He reminisced, “I’ll never forget Richard Petty and Cale Yarborough, on the weekend, Richard won his 200th race, spending time with me when I was four years old in the garage area. My family was just fledging and just trying to get started. I remember those were my dad’s heroes.”

Career Beginnings

McClure started his racing career from the NASCAR Cup Series. His first race was in 2004 for the Morgan-McClure Motorsports at Talladega Superspeedway, where he made two cup starts. Followed by that, in 2005, he raced for Raabe Racing Enterprises at Las Vegas, with one cup start.

Then he was sponsored by Reynolds Consumer Product Brands, like Hefty and Reynolds Wrap, in 2006. He then raced for the Xfinity Series as a driver for 288 races making up 14 seasons. His highlighted race was at the Daytona 2013 Xfinity Series season opener for TriStar Motorsports group owned by Mark Smith. He had finished the race in the 8th position.

McClure connoted that race as an unforgettable moment of his career. “For me, this is the best day of my life professionally. We’ve raced for a lot of years, never had a whole lot to show for it statistically, but we raced up front all day, survived, had a great day and I’ll never forget it,” he stated. McClure raced for the Xfinity series until 2016. His last race was for JD Motorsports in the Daytona Season opener, where he finished in the 30th position.

Team Ownership

In April 2016, McClure announced the launch of his new team. He partnered up with another NASCAR Xfinity Series Driver, Hal Martin, along with Charlie and Don Henderson, the owners of the Abingdon race team. The team was titled Martin-McClure Racing (MMR).

MMR was started with two drivers in the K&N East Series race at Bristol. The first racer was Chad Finchum from Knoxville Short Track on Reynolds Wrap sponsored No. 39 Toyota. Followed by veteran Caleb Holman, who previously drove at the Abingdon Truck Series, was hosted by Food Country, and drove No. 75 Toyota.

McClure was from the family of owners, as his uncle co-owned the Morgan-McClure Motorsports (MMR), so he thought it was a logical step in his career. He stated, “I enjoy the challenge of competing. I think that’s vital to the way that I’m geared, and I felt that ownership was the next logical step. But it’s only rewarding if you enjoy the people that you work with. We want high-quality people here.”

Later, the team’s title was changed to ARCA Menards East Series; he left the team after the 2018 domestic violence charges.

Car Accidents

While racing at the NASCAR Xfinity Series, McClure encountered severe accidents. In 2012, his car on high speed had hit a wall during the Talladega 16 car pile-up. As a result, he suffered from a concussion and internal bruises; he was also left with lingering side effects, which caused him problems in the future too. He also had to omit four races after that. However, he returned to end the race. He finished on the 16th position driving for the Road America Race.

In 2013, he revealed the trauma he and his family went through after the accident, “I am a better person because of what happened. I could talk for two hours about how this has really impacted our lives, but it’s way too much drama unless people have gone through something traumatic. It was huge for our family. It just uprooted everything we were used to. It made us think about career steps, family steps, what we need to focus on. When people go through things, it affects them differently and not everyone can relate to that situation, but for me, it’s just still surreal.”

Then in 2013, he was diagnosed with acute renal failure, which got him hospitalized. Followed by that, in 2015, he had another accident at the Kentucky Speedway; he suffered from a concussion from that crash.

Personal Life

McClure was married to Miranda McClure from 2004 to 2018. In 2018, he was arrested for domestic violence abuse after a physical altercation with Miranda. She claimed McClure had physically abused her in front of their children, after which their 9-year-old daughter called the authorities.

McClure was released from detention on a $2500 bond and was scheduled to appear in Juvenile Domestic Relations Court in February 2018. From the beginning, he claimed no contest against Miranda’s claims. Then he was charged with misdemeanor domestic violence and was ordered; 12 months of active probation, mental health counseling, substance abuse counseling, and any other recommended counseling by the court. Followed by that incident, they were estranged and eventually got a divorce. The couple shared seven daughters.


McClure passed away on 2 May 2021 at 42 years. His death was confirmed by NASCAR officials and his family. During the time of his death, he was engaged to Keira Brinegar Tibbs, who later shared a statement on his death quoting, “Eric, I will love you until my last breath.... please wait for me until then. I love you more.”

Initially, the family had not revealed the cause of the death until the autopsy result. The autopsy report was forwarded to the medical examiner’s office of the Virginia Department of Forensic Science in Roanoke. Before his death in 2019, McClure had become a regular victim of his health issues. He had a lung infection and a severe musculoskeletal condition.

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