The racing world said goodbye to one of their own this weekend, former NASCAR driver Eric McClure.
The 42-year-old died on Sunday, May 2. CNN reports that emergency services were called to his home in Virginia that morning, where they found his body. Washington County Sheriff Blake Andis told the network that Virginia Department of Forensic Science in Roanoke would be performing an autopsy.
No cause of death was given, but he had been struggling with severe health issues.
In 2019, he told The Bristol Herald Courier that he had been diagnosed with rhabdomyolysis, compartment syndrome, and was in “full renal failure.”
The Cleveland clinic says, “Rhabdomyolysis can be a life-threatening condition caused by muscle breakdown and muscle death. This dangerous muscle damage can result from overexertion, trauma, toxic substances or disease.” In addition, compartment syndrome is when “pressure rises in and around muscles. The pressure is painful and can be dangerous. Compartment syndrome can limit the flow of blood, oxygen, and nutrients to muscles and nerves. It can cause serious damage and possible death.”
McClure was put on dialysis and had to undergo multiple surgeries. At the time of the interview, things were looking up and his kidneys had started to heal.
NASCAR remembered Eric, posting, "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."
Eric was a father to seven children, and the organization also shared a message from his family that said, “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 fiancée Keira Brinegar Tibbs shared a heartbreaking message on Facebook: "Eric, I will love you until my last breath... please wait for me until then. I love you more."
Tibbs posted another message on Monday, writing, "How can he be gone... I love him so so much. Till the end of time I will love you Eric Wayne McClure."
Fellow NASCAR star Jeremy Clements shared his condolences, tweeting, "Praying for his family in this time. RIP Eric."
Austin Cindric posted, "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."
Eric raced with NASCAR from 2003 to 2016. He competed in the NASCAR Cup Series three times.