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Ex-NASCAR driver Eric McClure dies at 42

Eric McClure (24), shown during a race at Daytona International Speedway on Feb. 16, 2008, competed in 288 races over 14 seasons in the Xfinity Series. File Photo by Martin Fried/UPI
Eric McClure (24), shown during a race at Daytona International Speedway on Feb. 16, 2008, competed in 288 races over 14 seasons in the Xfinity Series. File Photo by Martin Fried/UPI | License Photo

May 2 (UPI) -- Former NASCAR driver and team owner Eric McClure, who made nearly 300 starts in the Xfinity Series, died Sunday, it was announced. He was 42.

No details were provided about his death. McClure, whose racing career was cut short by numerous health issues, had posted on social media as recently as Saturday.

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The Washington County (Virginia) Sheriff's Office said McClure's body was sent to Roanoke, Va., for an autopsy.

"We are saddened to learn of the passing of former driver and [team] owner Eric McClure," NASCAR said in a statement. "NASCAR extends its deepest condolences to Eric's family and friends."

McClure, the nephew of former Cup Series team owner Larry McClure, spent the majority of his career racing in the Xfinity Series, making 288 starts over 14 seasons. He also made three starts in the Cup Series.

He last competed in the national-series ranks in 2016. Later that year, he formed Martin-McClure Racing with another former driver, Hal Martin. The racing team competed in what is now called the ARCA Menards East Series.

"The family of Eric Wayne McClure, former NASCAR driver, announces with great sorrow his passing on Sunday," his family said in a statement. "They would like to thank everyone for their prayers and support during this very difficult time."

Eric McClure, a native of Chilhowie, Va., suffered at least two concussions in his career. He later said he was left with lingering headaches, vomiting, dizziness, nausea, sensitivity to light and bouts with depression and amnesia.

He said in 2013 he had been diagnosed with acute renal failure. In 2019, he said he was being treated for kidney failure in both kidneys.

McClure, who had seven children, pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor domestic violence charge against his now-estranged wife in October. He recently became engaged to Keira Brinegar.

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Betty White attends the media preview for the Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association's Beastly Ball fundraiser at the Los Angeles Zoo in Los Angeles on June 11, 2015. The actress died December 31. She was 99 years old. Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo

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