Eric McClure, who competed in 291 NASCAR National Series events between 2003 and 2016, has passed away at the age of 42.
McClure’s fiancé Keira Brinegar Tibbs shared the incredibly sad news in a Facebook post on Sunday morning.
McClure’s family released an official statement on Sunday afternoon, which read:
“The family of Eric Wayne McClure, former NASCAR driver, announces with great sorrow his passing on Sunday, May 2, 2021. They would like to thank everyone for their prayers and support during this very difficult time.”
McClure was a hard-working underdog racer through the entirety of his NASCAR career. Over 288 starts in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, the Virginia-native only scored one top-10 finish, but he grew a passionate fan base by always giving it his all for lower tier teams.
McClure also grew brand recognition through his long-time sponsorship partnership with Hefty. McClure’s final race in NASCAR came in the 2016 season-opening NASCAR Xfinity Series race for JD Motorsports in the No. 0 entry.
McClure had attempted a comeback to NASCAR for 2021, which never materialized.
McClure leaves behind seven daughters from a previous marriage, and he was seen in a Facebook video on Saturday playing around with his fiancé’s daughter.
NASCAR released a statement via Twitter expressing their condolences for McClure’s family and friends:
We are saddened to learn of the passing of former driver and owner Eric McClure. NASCAR extends its deepest condolences to Eric’s family and friends. pic.twitter.com/378S81SPx2
— NASCAR (@NASCAR) May 2, 2021
Several other names in the NASCAR garage have started to post their thoughts of McClure, including Tommy Joe Martins, who says he always had the support of McClure over the years.
Sad news. Eric was always so supportive of me & @TeamMartins. I had the pleasure of racing against him in 2014 & he continued to support my career as a @RacingUnderdogs ever since. RIP. https://t.co/JqRwmjjttF
— Tommy Joe Martins (@TommyJoeMartins) May 2, 2021
Jimmy Means, who McClure drove for during a portion of his NASCAR Xfinity Series career also sent his thoughts and prayers to McClure’s family and called McClure a fine young man.
Our thoughts & prayers are with Miranda & the girls.. Keira his fiancé & the McClure family during this time. Eric was a fine man with whom I had the pleasure of working with during his NASCAR career. RIP My friend. https://t.co/xWkuJe02Sb
— Jimmy Means Racing (@MeansRacing52) May 2, 2021
Our thoughts are with Kiera Brinegar Tibbs and the entire McClure family during these extremely sad times.