Former NASCAR driver Eric McClure dies at 42

Eric McClure, driver of the #24 Reynolds Wrap Toyota, stands in the garage area during qualifying for the NASCAR XFINITY Series Kansas Lottery 300 at Kansas Speedway on October 17, 2015 in Kansas City, Kansas.
Eric McClure made over 275 starts in the Xfinity Series. (Getty Images)

Former NASCAR driver Eric McClure has died. He was 42 years old.

A cause of death was not given for McClure, who raced in NASCAR from 2003-2016. Most of his starts came in NASCAR’s second-tier Xfinity Series. He raced in 288 races over 14 seasons and scored the only top-10 finish of his career in 2013 in the season-opening race at Daytona. McClure finished eighth in that race a year after finishing a career-best 16th in the points standings.

McClure made three Cup Series starts, one in each of 2004, 2005 and 2006. Two of those races came at Talladega and his best Cup finish was a 26th in 2004.

NASCAR said in a statement that it was saddened by McClure’s death and extended its condolences to his family. McClure had seven children with his ex-wife Miranda and was the nephew of longtime NASCAR Cup Series team owner Larry McClure. The McClure family said in a statement that they appreciated people's prayers and support.

Larry was a co-owner of Morgan-McClure Motorsports with Tim Morgan and the team competed full-time in the Cup Series from 1983-2007. The No. 4 Morgan-McClure car won 14 races including three Daytona 500s. Ernie Irvan won the 1991 Daytona 500 while driving for the team and Sterling Marlin won back-to-back Daytona 500s in 1994 and 1995.

McClure missed six races in 2012 after he suffered a concussion in a vicious crash at Talladega when his car hit the inside wall at a terrible angle and at a high rate of speed. McClure said in 2015 that the crash "changed" him and told the website Frontstretch that "physically, I’m not the same. I’m not the same person I was at certain aspects, not just the arthritis but just some things are different.”

McClure's last NASCAR race came in the 2016 season-opening Xfinity Series race at Daytona. In 2018, McClure was arrested for domestic abuse after one of his daughters called the police; Miranda said that Eric choked and hit her in front of their kids. McClure was convicted on a charge of misdemeanor domestic violence and ultimately pled no contest after a lengthy appeals process. As part of his no-contest plea, McClure was ordered to complete 12 months of probation and undergo a mental health assessment among other provisions.

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