"The family of Eric Wayne McClure, former NASCAR driver, announces with great sorrow his passing on Sunday," his family said in a statement

By Maria Pasquini
May 02, 2021 04:15 PM
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Eric McClure, who made nearly 300 starts in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, has died. He was 42. 

His death was confirmed on Sunday by NASCAR as well as his family. 

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

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

His fiancée, Keira Brinegar Tibbs, also shared a statement on social media, writing, "Eric, I will love you until my last breath.... please wait for me until then. I love you more." 

Eric McClure
Eric McClure
| Credit: Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

No additional details about his death were given. McClure last posted on social media Saturday afternoon.

The Washington County Sheriff's Office told PEOPLE in a statement that his body was "sent to the Virginia Department of Forensic Science Medical Examiners Office in Roanoke for an autopsy."

McClure, whose last race was in 2016, spent the majority of his career in the Xfinity Series.

The nephew of former Cup team owner Larry McClure had his best finish in 2013, coming in eighth at the Xfinity Series season opener in Daytona

In 2013, McClure said he had been diagnosed with acute renal failure and in 2019, he said that he was being treated for kidney failure, according to the Associated Press. He also suffered multiple concussions throughout his professional career.

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Eric McClure
Eric McClure
| Credit: Scott Halleran/Getty Images

Following news of his death, members of the racing world shared a number of heartfelt tributes on social media.

"Really saddened and shocked to hear about Eric McClure. Praying for his family in this time. RIP Eric," wrote racer Jeremy Clements.

"Really saddened to hear about the loss of @ericmcclure today. Helped me get a start in NASCAR. Will always cherish our success & these memories. RIP friend," added Austin Cindric, who won the 2020 Xfinity Series championship.  

In 2020, McClure pleaded no contest to a 2018 misdemeanor domestic violence charge made against him by his estranged wife, according to the Roanoke Times

At the time, he was ordered to complete 12 months of supervised probation, attend anger management classes and undergo mental health and substance abuse assessments, the outlet reported. 

McClure is survived by his seven children.