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Bobby Unser, Eric McClure Pass Away

In sad news for US motorsport, IndyCar legend Bobby Unser and NASCAR racer Eric McClue have passed away.

Anyone with a long memory for American motorsport will surely have an opinion on racing legend Bobby Unser - head of the Unser racing dynasty in the United States that includes no less than six family members taking on the jewel in the crown event, the Indy 500.

Unser Snr. took three race victories in the Indy 500 during his long career, joining brother Al in winning the great American race (4) to become the only siblings in the history of the sport to have tasted victory at the US venue.

“Bobby brought so much to Team Penske during his time with our team, including a memorable victory in the 1981 Indianapolis 500. Beyond his many wins and accomplishments, Bobby was a true racer that raised the performance of everyone around him.
“He was also one of the most colourful characters in motorsports. Throughout his time as a driver, a commentator and an ambassador of our sport, Bobby’s stories and his passion for racing were legendary.
“Our thoughts and condolences are with Lisa, the Unser family and Bobby’s many friends and fans during this difficult time.”
Roger Penske

Bobby Unser enjoyed a career that spanned from 1955 to hanging his helmet up at the conclusion of the 1982 season. Despite stepping away from driving duties, Unser would remain active in the sport with his roles in TV punditry and development work for German brand, Audi.

As well as prominent performances in IndyCar, Unser also proved to be rather useful at the Pikes Peak Hillclimb event, taking top honours at the venue 10 times - the last victory in 1986 coming some 12 years after his previous appearance at great hillclimb venue.

Bobby Unser passed away peacefully in his sleep at the grand age of 87, and is survived by his wife, Lisa; sons Bobby Jr. and Robby; and daughters Cindy and Jeri.

Eric McClure.jpg

Eric McClure​

In other sad news, it has been announced that 42-year-old former NASCAR regular Eric McClure has passed away this week - the Virginia native having lost his life on May 2nd according to an announcement from the McClure family.

Not one of the biggest names in North American racing, McClure was a mainstay of the NASCAR scene for a number of years, clocking up xxx events between 2004 and 2016, split between the main NASCAR cup series and the second tier Xfinity championship.

“The family of Eric Wayne McClure, former NASCAR driver, announces with great sorrow his passing on Sunday, May 2, 2021,” stated an announcement from the McClure family. “They would like to thank everyone for their prayers and support during this very difficult time.”

Eric McClue leaves behind his seven daughters and fiancée, Keira.

RaceDepartment offers its sincere condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of both drivers in this difficult time.
About author
Paul Jeffrey
RaceDepartment Editor-in-Chief, occasional YouTuber, commentator and broadcaster, with a passion for motorsport on both the real and virtual racetrack.

Comments

I'm absolutely gutted to hear of Bobby passing away. What a legend! RIP to both of them.
 
My memories of Bobby Unser the racer and eventually commentator was an unassuming professional. I think he was a natural when it came to an Indy car and Indianapolis.
 
I remember family Unser from Indycar Racing 2 game, beauty and fun to drive Penske, so Unser is a Legend for me, sad news for motorsports here in Europe too, we know Unser is a name carved in gold on motorsports, my best wishes to family
 
Fond memories of my Dad taking me to see Bobby at Ontario Motor Speedway. I was 12 years old (1974)and he won. That day Mario and Bobby signed pictures I had of them (no idea where they've gone). RIP Bobby and Eric.
 
RIP Bobby, truly a legend.

I heard someone tell a great story about Bobby on a podcast. Apparently, back when he was still driving, he had a habit (some might say "strategy" lol) during Indy 500 month of visiting a local grocery store, putting a big ass turkey in his cart, and then walking up to a pretty single lady and giving her some kind of sob story along the lines of being a long way from home and really wishing he could have some turkey like momma used to make, but he didn't have an oven, yadda yadda yadda. Sometimes one of these ladies would take him up on it, invite him to her place, make him some turkey and then, if all went well, he would maybe get a little more than just a turkey dinner, if ya know what I'm saying.

I think I was 1/3 impressed, 1/3 disturbed, and 1/3 entertained. A pretty ingenious scheme if you think about it!
 
RIP uncle bobby. you will get to see jerry and marry again again and the racing gods will take care of you. you where my idol you inspired me to get in a vintage miller indycar and dirt midget car. a great man if audi had a hall of fame he would be in there. rest in speed my man.
 
Eric McClure... I am genuinely curious in regards to a potential autopsy there. He has had some serious injuries after crashing, leaving him with "lingering headaches, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, sensitivity to light, bouts of depression and forgetfulnes".

We remember Kubica in Canada, Grosjean in Bahrain, Wickens at Pocono. But the one crash that I have seen live, that I was sure ended in the worst possible way, but the driver survived was Eric McClure at Talladega in 2012. Pay attention to the #14 car, it's an insane hit!
 
RIP Bobby, truly a legend.

I heard someone tell a great story about Bobby on a podcast. Apparently, back when he was still driving, he had a habit (some might say "strategy" lol) during Indy 500 month of visiting a local grocery store, putting a big ass turkey in his cart, and then walking up to a pretty single lady and giving her some kind of sob story along the lines of being a long way from home and really wishing he could have some turkey like momma used to make, but he didn't have an oven, yadda yadda yadda. Sometimes one of these ladies would take him up on it, invite him to her place, make him some turkey and then, if all went well, he would maybe get a little more than just a turkey dinner, if ya know what I'm saying.

I think I was 1/3 impressed, 1/3 disturbed, and 1/3 entertained. A pretty ingenious scheme if you think about it!
This is the kind of crap you could get away with in the old days. A buddy of mine used to pull this kind of **** in college after the bars would close except it was a sob story about friends leaving him & he couldn't find his keys & could he get a ride home to use the phone (yes, zoomer dorks, we used to not have phones surgically attached to us, believe it or not).

RIP Big Bobby
 
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This is the kind of crap you could get away with in the old days. A buddy of mine used to pull this kind of **** in college after the bars would close except it was a sob story about friends leaving him & he couldn't find his keys & could he get a ride home to use the phone (yes, zoomer dorks, we used to not have phones surgically attached to us, believe it or not).

RIP Big Bobby
I used to work alongside a former sailor in the US Navy. He said during shore leaves, sailors would all run to the same bars to compete with renting the local ladies. He had a different strategy. He would wait til all the Hotties had been taken and then hang around til near closing. There would always be a less suitable lady left and he would offer to buy her breakfast. Usually, his reward was a full weekend of companionship rather than a quick bump & grind.
 
I used to work alongside a former sailor in the US Navy. He said during shore leaves, sailors would all run to the same bars to compete with renting the local ladies. He had a different strategy. He would wait til all the Hotties had been taken and then hang around til near closing. There would always be a less suitable lady left and he would offer to buy her breakfast. Usually, his reward was a full weekend of companionship rather than a quick bump & grind.

Firstly R.I.P. to these Racers. I just watched a documentary on him last night on Doughnut via YouTube. It made me misty eyed, not going to lie. I remeber watching Tomizawa-san die on track live on TV. That was the hardest thing I ever saw. Then it was Simonceli on track again. Even with all of the safety regulations the sport is still inherently dangerous.


To: @davehenrie

And they still all end up in the "Clap Line"

- AC1 (AW/SW) CHAVIRA, ISAAC - USN
 

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