Saturday, February 01, 2014

McClure Poised For Daytona 500 Bid

Eric McClure will make a return to NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series this month, joining Front Row Motorsports for the season-opening Daytona 500 in a No. 35 Ford Fusion sponsored by longtime backers Hefty/Reynolds Wrap. 

FRM announced the one-race deal at the NASCAR Sprint Media Tour in Charlotte, N.C. last week, as the team discussed its expanding partner program and on-track performance growth. 

McClure is an 11-year veteran of NASCAR's Nationwide Series. He earned a career-best eighth-place finish at Daytona International Speedway last February in the Nationwide Series' season opener. The 35-year-old Chilhowie, Va., native also has three career Sprint Cup starts. The Daytona 500 will be his first Cup start for Front Row Motorsports. 

"This is an exciting time for me and certainly our sponsoring brands as well," said McClure. "In our sport, and for my family, there is nothing greater than the Daytona 500 and this opportunity will enhance our program in a unique way. Front Row and I have a history together; they have always represented their partners and ours in a professional manner. They are very strong on the superspeedways and I enjoy this type of racing more than any other. Racing in the Daytona 500 has always been a dream of mine and I look forward to getting to Daytona, working with this team, and trying to achieve this goal." 

Front Row Motorsports has recorded a win and six Top-10 finishes in restrictor-plate races over the past two seasons.  

"We know our cars are really strong at the plate races and we're making a lot of gains on the other tracks, too, and that's getting people's attention," said team owner Bob Jenkins. "Hefty and Reynolds are household names, and we're excited to represent such a respected company on our car with a veteran driver like Eric behind the wheel." 

McClure is attempting to turn the corner after an exhausting run of bad luck in recent seasons. He battled Epstein-Barr virus in 2011, and saw his Abingdon, VA home suffer severe tornado damage in April of that year. He was airlifted out of Talladega Superspeedway in May of 2012 after a violent NASCAR Nationwide Series crash left him with a concussion and internal bruising, and he was diagnosed with acute renal failure after being hospitalized with elevated creatinine levels in August of 2013.

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