Morgan–McClure Motorsports

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Morgan–McClure Motorsports
Owner(s)Tim Morgan
Larry McClure
BaseAbingdon, Virginia, United States
SeriesSprint Cup Series
Car numbers4, 04, 05, 14
Race driversMark Martin
Rick Wilson
Ernie Irvan
Sterling Marlin
Bobby Hamilton
Mike Skinner
Jimmy Spencer
Mike Wallace
Eric McClure
Scott Wimmer
Ward Burton
SponsorsEastman Kodak
Lucas Oil
AERO Exhaust
State Water Heaters
Kodak
ManufacturerPontiac
Chevrolet
Oldsmobile
Opened1982
Closed2012
Career
Debut1983 Winston 500
Latest race2009 Sharpie 500
Races competed703
Drivers' Championships0
Race victories14
Pole positions13

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 No. 4 from 1983 to 2009.

History[edit]

Starting out[edit]

Tommy Ellis in 1984

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. After firing Connie because they wanted a younger driver and after obtaining the rights to No. 4 & the car he drove for G. C. Spencer, 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 No. 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[edit]

1997 car at Pocono

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[edit]

The No. 4 car in 2007

After the team went winless with Marlin in 1997, finishing 25th in points, the team and driver decided to part ways. MMM hired two-time race winner Bobby Hamilton. Hamilton led 378 out of 500 laps and won from the pole at Martinsville Speedway and finished 10th in the final points standings. Soon, the team was not able repeat its success, and Hamilton left for Andy Petree Racing in 2001. He was replaced by Robby Gordon, but Gordon struggled in the ride and was released after just five races. Mike Skinner and Kevin Lepage shared the driving duties for two years without much success. In 2003, MMM switched to Pontiac. They lost their Kodak sponsorship in 2004, but MMM remained open, switching back to Chevrolet (almost being required to do so, as Pontiac had withdrawn from the Cup series at the end of 2003). Jimmy Spencer drove the car most of that year, and team co-owner Jerry McClure's son Eric drove another team car to finish 26th at Talladega Superspeedway. For 2005, the team signed Lucas Oil as a sponsor, and hired Mike Wallace to drive. Wallace was replaced by John Andretti, P. J. Jones, and Todd Bodine for some of the races in 2005. In 2006, Scott Wimmer was announced as the 2006 driver with new sponsorship from the Utah-based AERO Exhaust. Wimmer had an average start of 35th and average of finish 29th, no wins, top fives, or top tens. On October 3, 2006, Larry McClure announced that the team and Wimmer parted ways. They hired Todd Bodine to drive the next two races, Charlotte and Atlanta, until they could find a permanent replacement. The last three races the team hired veteran Ward Burton, who at the time had not driven in NEXTEL Cup in several years. On December 12, 2006, MMM announced they signed Burton to take full-time seat in 2007 with sponsorship from State Water Heaters. Burton was released before the last race of the 2007 season. Furthermore, Morgan–McClure Motorsports shut down weeks shy of the 2008 Daytona 500 due to financial problems, but had agreed to let Mike Wallace drive in the 2008 Daytona 500 if sponsorship was found. Sponsorship was found, but Larry McClure said that he was tired of just sliding by and would come back when major sponsorship could be secured. When Tony Stewart announced on August 14 that Ryan Newman would drive the No. 4 car in 2009, Morgan–McClure Motorsports protested. Tim Morgan stated, "There's some sweat and history in that number 4. We feel like it ours,[1]" in an article for the Bristol Herald Courier. After discussions with MMM and NASCAR, on August 18 Stewart announced that Newman would drive the No. 39 instead of a No. 4 car in 2009. In 2014 Stewart did acquire the No. 4 to use with driver Kevin Harvick, who replaced Newman and the No. 39 in the 2014 season.

Rumors indicated that Morgan–McClure Motorsports would prepare a No. 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 No. 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.[citation needed]

Driver history[edit]

Motorsports career results[edit]

NASCAR[edit]

(key) (Bold – Pole position awarded by qualifying time. Italics – Pole position earned by points standings or practice time. * – Most laps led.)

Car No. 4 results[edit]

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series results
Year Driver No. Make 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 Owners Pts
1983 Connie Saylor 4 Olds DAY RCH CAR ATL DAR NWS MAR TAL
40
NSV DOV BRI CLT RSD POC [N 1]
Mark Martin MCH
27
DAY
19
NSV POC MCH
18
BRI DAR
17
RCH DOV MAR NWS
Chevy TAL
10
CLT
33
CAR ATL RSD
1984 Lennie Pond DAY
13
RCH
20
CAR
25
ATL
39
[N 1]
Tommy Ellis BRI
28
NWS
29
DAR
23
MAR
29
TAL
13
NSV
14
DOV CLT
14
RSD POC MCH
38
DAY
14
NSV
11
POC
34
TAL
9
MCH
36
BRI
28
DAR
19
RCH
15
DOV
34
MAR
17
CLT
33
NWS
14
Joe Ruttman CAR
34
ATL
35
RSD
10
1985 DAY
17
RCH CAR
6
ATL
26
BRI
29
DAR
11
NWS MAR TAL
30
DOV CLT
7
RSD POC
35
MCH DAY
35
POC TAL
33
MCH BRI
13
DAR
9
RCH DOV
33
MAR NWS CLT
5
CAR
40
ATL
32
RSD [N 1]
1986 Rick Wilson Olds DAY
7
RCH CAR ATL
39
BRI
12
DAR
15
NWS MAR MCH
8
DAY
21
POC
10
TAL
11
GLN
23
MCH
40
BRI
26
DAR
28
RCH DOV
32
MAR NWS CLT
29
CAR ATL
14
RSD
40
[N 1]
Chevy TAL
8
DOV
Lake Speed Olds CLT
14
RSD POC
1987 Rick Wilson DAY
37
CAR RCH ATL
11
DAR
34
NWS BRI MAR TAL
20
CLT
30
DOV
29
POC RSD
14
MCH
30
DAY
30
POC
40
TAL
16
GLN
21
MCH
12
BRI
7
DAR
28
RCH DOV
27
MAR NWS CLT
30
CAR RSD
18
ATL
27
[N 1]
1988 DAY
15
RCH
DNQ
CAR
36
ATL
10
DAR
27
BRI
25
NWS
28
MAR
25
TAL
35
CLT
18*
DOV
7
RSD
33
POC
25
MCH
41
DAY
2
POC
13
TAL
4
GLN
12
MCH
9
BRI
23
DAR
38
RCH
33
DOV
24
MAR
16
CLT
25
NWS
20
CAR
22
PHO
29
ATL
17
[N 1]
1989 DAY
8
CAR
17
ATL
6
RCH
17
DAR
11
BRI
21
NWS
30
MAR
4
TAL
15
CLT
35
DOV
14
SON
8
POC
27
MCH
6
DAY
29
POC
25
TAL
5
GLN
8
MCH
32
BRI
27
DAR
11
RCH
22
DOV
19
MAR
18
CLT
41
NWS
29
CAR
13
PHO
40
ATL
18
[N 1]
1990 Phil Parsons DAY
42
RCH
26
CAR
14
[N 1]
Ernie Irvan ATL
3
DAR
32
BRI
16
NWS
16
MAR
15
TAL
4
CLT
5
DOV
7
SON
7
POC
17
MCH
2
DAY
33
POC
26
MAR
11
NWS
6
Chevy TAL
6
GLN
28
MCH
35
BRI
1
DAR
2
RCH
12
DOV
26
CLT
27
CAR
9
PHO
9
ATL
7
1991 DAY
1
RCH
27
CAR
6
ATL
14
DAR
7
BRI
2
NWS
10
MAR
15
TAL
32
CLT
7
DOV
4
SON
4
POC
6
MCH
5
DAY
5*
POC
7*
TAL
33
GLN
1*
MCH
7
BRI
18
DAR
2
RCH
4
DOV
28
MAR
4
NWS
33
CLT
30
CAR
31
PHO
6
ATL
2
[N 1]
1992 DAY
28
CAR
11
RCH
15
ATL
25
DAR
26
BRI
24
NWS
13
MAR
25
TAL
5
CLT
2
DOV
4
SON
1
POC
19
MCH
30
DAY
1*
POC
37
TAL
1
GLN
3*
MCH
4
BRI
28
DAR
25
RCH
11
DOV
11
MAR
27
NWS
6
CLT
6
CAR
2
PHO
34
ATL
29
[N 1]
1993 DAY
37
CAR
3
RCH
11
ATL
2
DAR
22
BRI
23
NWS
11
MAR
32
TAL
1
SON
2
CLT
5
DOV
32
POC
34
MCH
3
DAY
7
NHA
15
POC
31
TAL
2
GLN
15
MCH
32
BRI
26
[N 1]
Jeff Purvis DAR
26
RCH
16
DOV
13
MAR
17
NWS
25
Joe Nemechek CLT
25
CAR
23
Jimmy Hensley PHO
32
ATL
25
1994 Sterling Marlin DAY
1
CAR
2
RCH
19
ATL
25
DAR
34
BRI
8
NWS
17
MAR
27
TAL
8
SON
29
CLT
15
DOV
8
POC
38
MCH
34
DAY
28
NHA
10
POC
12
TAL
5
IND
14
GLN
26
MCH
34
BRI
6
DAR
5
RCH
13
DOV
30
MAR
7
NWS
31
CLT
36
CAR
14
PHO
3
ATL
40
14th 3443
1995 DAY
1*
CAR
12
RCH
5
ATL
7
DAR
1
BRI
9
NWS
7
MAR
13
TAL
39
SON
7
CLT
4
DOV
7
POC
4
MCH
7
DAY
2*
NHA
9
POC
18
TAL
1
IND
7
GLN
21
MCH
4
BRI
7
DAR
10
RCH
33
DOV
6
MAR
23
NWS
15
CLT
6
CAR
6
PHO
12
ATL
2
3rd 4361
1996 DAY
40
CAR
6
RCH
11
ATL
13
DAR
11
BRI
18
NWS
5
MAR
10
TAL
1*
SON
15
CLT
6
DOV
41
POC
11
MCH
3*
DAY
1*
NHA
29
POC
6
TAL
29
IND
39
GLN
11
MCH
33
BRI
18
DAR
8
RCH
21
DOV
17
MAR
31
NWS
11
CLT
4
CAR
13
PHO
27
ATL
15
8th 3682
1997 DAY
5
CAR
20
RCH
19
ATL
23
DAR
32
TEX
8
BRI
20
MAR
21
SON
26
TAL
39
CLT
40
DOV
10
POC
15
MCH
17
CAL
36
DAY
3
NHA
22
POC
20
IND
43
GLN
13
MCH
43
BRI
10
DAR
40
RCH
39
NHA
39
DOV
27
MAR
39
CLT
20
TAL
38
CAR
9
PHO
27
ATL
11
25th 2954
1998 Bobby Hamilton DAY
12
CAR
9
LVS
20
ATL
21
DAR
35
BRI
18
TEX
26
MAR
1*
TAL
30
CAL
27
CLT
20
DOV
17
RCH
16
MCH
38
POC
20
SON
2
NHA
15
POC
20
IND
20
GLN
13
MCH
20
BRI
11
NHA
34
DAR
23
RCH
6
DOV
10
MAR
14
CLT
4
TAL
15
DAY
21
PHO
21
CAR
6
ATL
6
10th 3786
1999 DAY
29
CAR
9
LVS
24
ATL
12
DAR
7
TEX
29
BRI
18
MAR
33
TAL
31
CAL
30
RCH
4
CLT
13
DOV
21
MCH
31
POC
10
SON
11
DAY
8
NHA
16
POC
17
IND
38
GLN
22
MCH
35
BRI
41
DAR
7
RCH
7
NHA
11
DOV
30
MAR
30
CLT
22
TAL
9
CAR
10
PHO
23
HOM
25
ATL
10
13th 3564
2000 DAY
43
CAR
40
LVS
34
ATL
13
DAR
7
BRI
15
TEX
16
MAR
18
TAL
43
CAL
18
RCH
31
CLT
34
DOV
27
MCH
43
POC
40
SON
16
DAY
36
NHA
22
POC
39
IND
40
GLN
16
MCH
14
BRI
34
DAR
22
RCH
38
NHA
35
DOV
25
MAR
35
CLT
34
TAL
36
CAR
9
PHO
43
HOM
31
ATL
16
32nd 2715
2001 Robby Gordon DAY
37
CAR
26
LVS
34
ATL
20
DAR
29
37th 2759
Kevin Lepage BRI
15
TEX
11
MAR
18
TAL
42
CAL
DNQ
RCH
27
CLT
35
DOV
24
MCH
31
POC
21
SON
43
DAY
31
CHI
34
NHA
30
POC
42
IND
DNQ
GLN
33
MCH
38
BRI
13
DAR
28
RCH
39
DOV
16
KAN
13
Bobby Hamilton Jr. CLT
33
TAL
14
PHO
38
CAR
17
HOM
35
ATL
15
NHA
37
Rich Bickle MAR
31
2002 Mike Skinner DAY
23
CAR
36
LVS
34
ATL
28
DAR
20
BRI
23
TEX
12
MAR
25
TAL
23
CAL
31
RCH
28
CLT
24
DOV
22
POC
37
MCH
30
SON
12
DAY
37
CHI
23
NHA
38
POC
29
IND
36
GLN
40
MCH
28
BRI
29
DAR
38
RCH
22
NHA
43
DOV
19
KAN
32
TAL
28
CLT
24
MAR
33
ATL
26
CAR
6
PHO
24
HOM
36
35th 2886
2003 Pontiac DAY
37
CAR
17
LVS
39
ATL
30
DAR
11
BRI
41
TEX
40
TAL
31
MAR
35
CAL
20
RCH
35
CLT
20
DOV
36
POC
34
MCH
DNQ
40th 2483
Johnny Miller SON
24
Stacy Compton DAY
33
MCH
DNQ
Johnny Sauter CHI
35
NHA
23
BRI
25
RCH
28
NHA
32
KAN
DNQ
Brett Bodine POC
DNQ
Robert Pressley IND
DNQ
P. J. Jones GLN
24
Kevin Lepage DAR
15
DOV
27
TAL
DNQ
CLT
21
MAR
35
ATL
14
PHO
23
CAR
42
HOM
18
2004 Chevy DAY
32
CAR
22
LVS
36
ATL
36
DAR
28
BRI
30
36th 2509
Jimmy Spencer TEX
29
MAR
38
TAL
20
CAL
38
RCH
41
CLT
29
DOV
17
POC
23
MCH
28
SON DAY
29
CHI
25
NHA
23
POC
23
IND
19
GLN
42
MCH
31
BRI
31
CAL
32
RCH
33
NHA
38
DOV
26
TAL
40
KAN
25
CLT
29
MAR
35
Mike Wallace ATL
DNQ
PHO
29
DAR
38
HOM
33
2005 DAY
41
CAL
25
LVS
24
ATL
40
BRI
34
MAR
23
TEX
25
PHO
27
TAL
28
DAR
24
RCH
29
CLT
16
DOV
28
POC
31
MCH
43
SON
QL
DAY
8
CHI
25
NHA
38
POC
29
IND
DNQ
BRI
17
RCH
14
NHA
22
DOV
22
TAL
19
KAN
35
CLT
43
MAR
35
ATL
DNQ
TEX
36
PHO
DNQ
36th 2640
P. J. Jones SON
32
GLN
42
John Andretti MCH
28
CAL
DNQ
Todd Bodine HOM
20
2006 Scott Wimmer DAY
DNQ
CAL
39
LVS
32
ATL
30
BRI
19
MAR
28
TEX
28
PHO
30
TAL
21
RCH
36
DAR
33
CLT
27
DOV
34
POC
DNQ
MCH
31
DAY
DNQ
CHI
34
NHA
20
POC
38
IND
20
GLN
25
MCH
DNQ
BRI
42
CAL
30
RCH
29
NHA
31
DOV
36
KAN
DNQ
39th 2340
P. J. Jones SON
36
Todd Bodine TAL
DNQ
CLT
19
ATL
42
Ward Burton MAR
26
TEX
25
PHO
28
HOM
DNQ
2007 DAY
DNQ
CAL
DNQ
LVS
43
ATL
DNQ
BRI
18
MAR
DNQ
TEX
DNQ
PHO
36
TAL
36
RCH
35
DAR
DNQ
CLT
DNQ
DOV
41
POC
33
MCH
DNQ
SON
DNQ
NHA
43
DAY
DNQ
CHI
41
IND
14
POC
43
GLN
DNQ
MCH
20
BRI
33
CAL
DNQ
RCH
DNQ
NHA
41
DOV
DNQ
KAN
DNQ
TAL
DNQ
CLT
43
MAR
38
ATL
DNQ
TEX
DNQ
PHO
DNQ
46th 1531
Todd Bodine HOM
DNQ
2009 Eric McClure 4 Chevy DAY CAL LVS ATL BRI MAR TEX PHO TAL
DNQ
RCH DAR CLT DOV POC MCH SON NHA DAY CHI IND POC GLN MCH 55th 135
Scott Wimmer BRI
29
ATL RCH NHA DOV
DNQ
KAN CAL CLT MAR TAL TEX PHO HOM
2010 Kevin Lepage DAY CAL LVS ATL BRI MAR PHO TEX TAL RCH DAR DOV CLT POC MCH SON NHA DAY CHI IND POC GLN MCH BRI
DNQ
ATL RCH NHA DOV KAN CAL CLT MAR TAL TEX PHO HOM 61st 25
Footnotes
  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k unknown

References[edit]

External links[edit]