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Larry McClure

"Larry McClure" redirects here. For the baseball player, see Larry McClure (baseball).
MorganMcClureRacingLogo
Owner(s) Tim Morgan
Larry McClure
Base Abingdon, Virginia, United States
Series Sprint Cup Series
Notable car numbers 4, 04
Notable drivers Mark Martin
Rick Wilson
Ernie Irvan
Sterling Marlin
Bobby Hamilton
Mike Skinner
Jimmy Spencer
Mike Wallace
Eric McClure
Scott Wimmer
Ward Burton
Manufacturer Pontiac
Chevrolet
Opened 1982
Closed 2012
Career
Race victories 14

Morgan-McClure Motorsports was an American auto racing team that competed in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series full-time until 2007 and it had been in operation for 27 years, starting in 1982. The team was most notable for running the #4 from 1983 to 2009.

History

Starting Out

Morgan-McClure Motorsports was owned by business partners Larry McClure and Tim Morgan. It began in 1983 when the two purchased a race car from G.C. Spencer. The car debuted at Talladega Superspeedway and was piloted by Connie Saylor. The car finished 40th after suffering engine failure. Mark Martin took over the driving duties later that year, and had one top-10 finish. In 1984, the team signed Folgers as a sponsor and began racing as car #4. Tommy Ellis ran twenty races that year for the team, with Lennie Pond and Joe Ruttman running the rest of the schedule. Ruttman drove sixteen races for them next season, notching one top-5 and four top-10 finishes. In 1986, MMM got Eastman Kodak sponsorship and signed Rick Wilson to handle the driving chores. Wilson got the team its first pole position at Bristol Motor Speedway in 1988, its first full season on the circuit. When Wilson announced he was leaving the team in 1989, the team was eighth in points.

The Prime Years

For the 1990 season, the team hired Phil Parsons, but after three races, Parsons was released in favor of Ernie Irvan. In his first race with the team, Irvan started 30th, and finished third. Two races later, Irvan won his first pole position at Bristol Motor Speedway. The team switched from Oldsmobile to Chevrolet in order to get more manufacturer support. Their first race after the switch was at Bristol, and Irvan picked up first career victory, as well as the first victory for MMM. The next season, Irvan won the Daytona 500 and The Bud at the Glen (The latter was marred by the death of popular veteran J. D. McDuffie). When the checkered flag fell at the end of the season, the team was fifth in points. The next season, Irvan won three races over a two month stretch, at Sears Point International Raceway, the Pepsi 400 at the Daytona International Speedway, and at Talladega Superspeedway, respectively. In 1993, Irvan won the pole twice, as well as a victory at Talladega. When Davey Allison died in an aircraft accident, Robert Yates asked Irvan to take his place. Irvan wanted out of his contract with MMM, and it ensued into an ugly lawsuit. Irvan was able to get out, but there were hurt feelings on both sides.

For the 1994 season, the team hired Sterling Marlin to drive. In his first race in the team, Marlin won the Daytona 500, beating out, ironically, Irvan. Marlin won the 500 the next year as well, in addition to two more races at Darlington Speedway and Talladega. In 1996, Marlin won two races, at Talladega and the Pepsi 400 at Daytona.

Struggles

After the team went winless with Marlin in [1]” in an article for the Bristol Herald Courier. After discussions with MMM and NASCAR, on August 18 Stewart announced that Ryan Newman would drive the #39 instead of a #4 car in 2009.

Rumors indicated that Morgan-McClure Motorsports would prepare a #4 Chevy to attempt the 2009 Daytona 500, but this did not happen. On April 11, 2009, the team made public their intentions to attempt the Aaron's 499 at Talladega Superspeedway with driver Eric McClure in the #4 Hefty/Walmart Chevy, however the team failed to qualify for the race. Scott Wimmer attempted to qualify the car at Bristol. Wimmer made the event, Morgan-McClure's first start since 2007. He finished 29th.

Since 2009, legal problems have prevented Morgan-McClure from actively competing. Larry McClure was charged with federal income tax fraud for not reporting $269,000 for cars used in the ARCA series. He was also forced to pay back $60,000 to Eastman-Kodak for falsifying an invoice. McClure spent eighteen months in jail and works at a family car dealership.

MMM returned to Sprint Cup at Bristol in August 2010, but Kevin Lepage failed to qualify for the race. The team has not attempted another race. The team closed its doors in 2012.

Driver History

Sources

  • The Official Website for MMM
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