Eric McClure

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Former driver Eric McClure arrested, charged with assault and battery

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Former NASCAR Xfinity driver Eric McClure was arrested Sunday by the Smyth County (Virginia) Sheriff’s Office on a Class 1 misdemeanor charge of battery and assault, NBC Sports has confirmed.

An affidavit from the Smyth County Sheriff’s Office listed the victim as McClure’s wife, Miranda. The sheriff’s office responded to the couple’s home and arrested Eric McClure, 39. The couple has seven daughters. 

McClure, who was released on a $2,500 unsecured bond, is scheduled for arraignment on Feb. 21 in Juvenile Domestic Relations Court in Smyth County, Virginia.

NASCAR confirmed to NBC Sports that McClure is not currently a member.

McClure ran in 288 career Xfinity races, tying him with Matt Kenseth for 24th on the all-time list. McClure had one top-10 finish, an eighth-place result in the season-opening race at Daytona International Speedway in 2013.

McClure, who last raced in the series in 2016, also is co-owner of Martin-McClure Racing. The team competed last year in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East. The team did not compete in Sunday’s season opener at New Smyrna Speedway but stated on its Facebook page earlier Sunday that “we look forward to rejoining the #KNEast later in the season.’’

Martin-McClure Racing announced on its Facebook page Monday that McClure has taken an indefinite leave of absence effective immediately. Hal Martin will oversee all team operations.

The team also said in its statement: “We are committed to our team’s values of transparency, professionalism, and performance. Our highest priority is to maintain a family-centered atmosphere where everyone is safe and protected. We strive to ensure that any contrary actions are met with a prompt and appropriate response.”

McClure’s driving career was interrupted by injuries, including concussions. By Oct. 2012, he had suffered three concussions in less than two years in crashes, he told USA Today at the time. 

He missed five races after suffering a concussion and other injures in a crash at Talladega Superspeedway in May 2012. He also suffered a concussion at Bristol Motor Speedway in Aug. 2010 and did not race the following week. He suffered a concussion in a crash at Daytona in July 2011. He was cleared by a doctor and raced the following week.

McClure also suffers from Epstein-Barr. He told the Bristol Herald Courier last July that the virus first surfaced in Jan. 2012.

“You get used to taking Tylenol and ibuprofen, and you try to be careful around people and keep your hands sanitized but there’s no way to prevent it,” McClure told the Herald Courier. “You can get so tired and just sleep until your nights and days get reversed.

“There are days as the injection cycle comes to a close that in addition to fatigue I get emotional and really sad.”

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Austin Cindric set for handful of NASCAR K&N road course races

Cindric and Jade Buford. Photo courtesy of IMSA
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Austin Cindric, who’s competed in NASCAR’s Camping World Truck Series with Brad Keselowski Racing last year and has compiled a diverse resume through other forms of motorsport, will run two NASCAR K&N Pro Series East road races for Martin-McClure Racing.

Cindric, 17, will drive in this weekend’s Biscuitville 125 at Virginia International Raceway and also at Watkins Glen International later this year in the team’s No. 39 entry. 

While he has short track experience, this will mark his first NASCAR road course start. He tested at the track prior to the weekend.

“I am really excited to get to race at VIR. I had never driven a stock car on a road course until our test, and I had a blast!” Cindric said in a release from the team.

“The cars are a handful with the high horsepower and heavy weight, but they are quite enjoyable to drive.  I am very grateful of the opportunity to compete for Martin-McClure Racing, especially after their recent success. I look forward to what the weekend brings.”

Added team co-owner Eric McClure in a release: “We are so pleased to have Austin Cindric compete for us this season. His resume, particularly at his age, is impressive and he comes from a tremendous racing pedigree. He’s a quality young man as well, and we are looking forward to giving him the best chance for success at VIR.”

Cindric is the son of Team Penske president Tim Cindric.

Cindric’s primary program for 2016 is in the Pirelli World Challenge, where he competes in a K-PAX Racing McLaren 650S GT3 in the series’ GT class. He raced at VIR last year in the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge in a Ford Shelby GT350R-C, and finished ninth in the GS class after being caught up in an accident.

He’s also won races in the Red Bull GRC Lites division and scored podiums in the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda series, the first rung on the Mazda Road to Indy ladder.

Penalty and warning report for Xfinity, Truck Series from Daytona

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NASCAR has issued penalties and warnings following the first weekend of racing for both the Xfinity Series and Camping World Trucks Series.

Three written warnings were issued in the Xfinity Series. The No. 40 team of Derek White, who did not qualify for the Daytona opener, was given a warning for a rear lower coil spring mount that did not meet specifications. Warnings were given to the No. 99 of Chris Fontaine and No. 0 of Eric McClure for rear jack screws that did not meet specifications. Fontaine also failed to qualify.

In the Truck Series, a P2 penalty was given to the No. 41 team of Ben Rhodes for rear lower coil spring mounts not conforming to specifications. Crew chief Kevin Bellicourt has been fined $2,500 and placed on probation through Dec. 31. The team has been docked 10 owner and 10 driver points. Rhodes finished seventh in the season opener.

NASCAR also gave written warnings to the No. 05 of John Wes Townley, No. 22 of Austin Wayne Self, No. 58 of Ryan Reed and No. 59 of Korbin Forrister for truck trailing arms not meeting specifications.

Reed and Forrister did not qualify for the race.

Another written warning was given to the No. 23 of Spencer Gallagher for a triangular filler panel not meeting specifications.

JD Motorsports announces lineup for Xfinity Series

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JD Motorsports with Gary Keller announced Monday night that its three-car team will feature drivers Ross Chastain and Ryan Preece.

Preece will drive the No. 01 Chevrolet with Zach McGowan as crew chief. Chastain returns to drive the No. 4 car with backing from the watermelon industry. Brian Berry will be the crew chief.

Eric McClure joins the team to drive the No. 0 car for the Feb. 20 season opener at Daytona International Speedway. He’ll have Todd Myers as his crew chief with sponsorship from Reynolds Wrap. The team plans to field the No. 0 car all season and is pursuing driver/sponsor partnerships.

JD Motorsports also stated that Gary Cogswell will serve as a co-crew chief and key mechanic across all three teams.

“Everything is lining up well,” team owner Johnny Davis said in a team release. “We expect to have three strong teams when we get things started next month in Daytona. We should be astronomically better than last year. We’re better prepared, and we have more resources.”

Chastain finished 15th in points last season and scored four top-10 finishes for the team. His best finish was a ninth in the season-opening race at Daytona. Preece, who won a modified title in 2013, ran five Sprint Cup races last year.

15 Xfinity drivers topped the $1 million mark in earnings in 2015

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Between race winnings, special awards and earnings from the points fund, a total of 15 drivers earned over $1 million in the 2015 Xfinity Series, according to NASCAR officials.

Series champion Chris Buescher led the way with $1,894,800, followed by Regan Smith ($1,609,310), 2014 series champ Chase Elliott ($1,550,529), Daniel Suarez ($1,516,316), Ty Dillon ($1,434,768), Elliott Sadler ($1,213,855), Darrell “Bubba” Wallace Jr. ($1,212,362), Brian Scott ($1,201,584), Ryan Blaney ($1,189,380) and Brendan Gaughan ($1,150,435) rounded out the top 10.

Eleventh to 20th in earnings were Ryan Reed ($1,125,512), Ryan Sieg ($1,031,738), JJ Yeley ($1,030,567), Dakoda Armstrong ($1,019,977), Jeremy Clements ($1,011,520), Ross Chastain ($877,840), David Starr ($865,832), Joey Gase ($848,034), Blake Koch ($842,262) and Eric McClure ($836,201).

Three non-Xfinity regulars topped $1 million in earnings as well: Truck Series driver Erik Jones ($1,399,408) and Sprint Cup drivers Austin Dillon $1,271,379) and Kyle Busch ($1,095,389).

Buescher’s special awards included the Sunoco Diamond Performance Award, the Goodyear Tires Award, American Ethanol Award and Mobil 1 Driver of the Year Award.

Others receiving special awards included Busch ($54,500 as 3M Lap Leader and Duralast Brakes ‘Brake In The Race’ awards), Blaney ($20,000 as Mahle Clevite Engine Builder of the Year Award), Austin Dillon ($58,600 as Coors Light Pole Award) and Daniel Suarez ($15,000) as Sunoco Rookie of the Year Award.

A total of 117 drivers earned prize money this past season.

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