The NASCAR world is in mourning after one of its prominent drivers passed away suddenly on Sunday (May 2) at the young age of 42.
Eric McClure made three career starts in the NASCAR Cup Series and raced 288 times in 14 years in the NASCAR Xfinity Cup Series. Prior to his final race in 2016, McClure and Hal Martin formed Martin-McClure Racing in 2015.
On Sunday morning (May 2), emergency services were called to McClure’s house in Virginia, where they found his body. The Washington County, Virginia Sheriff’s Department confirmed his death to CNN. A cause of death has not been reported yet, but the publications reports that his “body was sent to Virginia Department of Forensic Science in Roanoke for an autopsy.”
His family released the following stated to the Associated Press:
“The family of Eric Wayne McClure, former NASCAR driver, announces with great sorrow his passing on Sunday. They would like to thank everyone for their prayers and support during this very difficult time.”
His death comes as a shock to most, considering he was active on social media on Saturday (May 1), tweeting about sending his fiancé, Keira Brinegar, a SnapChat, which he called “chatfacesnap.”
Trying to send @keiralynn87 something on chatfacesnap thing. I think I#sent 5 messages as replies but didn’t disappear so idk if worked She’s doing a makeup session for client & I’m trying to wish good luck.@kelsey_schauf tried get me to do this in 2015 but I’d not even used IG
— Eric McClure (@ericmcclure) May 1, 2021
McClure and Brinegar announced their engagement on social media in September 2020 and have been together since at least October 2019, when the former driver called her the “light that comes in the darkness.”
It’s been a tough couple of years, but there is always light that comes in the darkness. This is what my happy looks like now..❤️@keiralynn87 #Godisgoosd#Isaiah43:19#newbeginnings pic.twitter.com/GhR87z2RGi
— Eric McClure (@ericmcclure) October 29, 2019
Just hours after news of his death broke, NASCAR released a statement.
“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,” they wrote in a social media statement.
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
McClue is survived by his seven daughters, Mabreigh, Maryleigh, Mirabella, Merritt, Myanna, Meraline, Melania, who he shares with his ex-wife Miranda. Our thoughts and prayers are with his daughters, his fiancé, his family, and friends during this time.