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Morgan-McClure Motorsports

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Morgan-McClure Motorsports
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Morgan-McClure Motorsports is a NASCAR Cup Series team fielding the #4 Chevrolet owned by Tim Morgan and Larry McClure. Due to problems the team is currentley not comepeting this season. In 2007 they fielded the #4 State Water Heaters Chevrolet driven by Ward Burton, Burton competed in 16 out of 36 races with a best start of 13th at Dover and best finish of 14th at Indianapolis, he finished the season with 8 DNF's and was ultimatley let go at the end of the season. Larry McClure promissed a return midseason in 2008.

HistoryEdit

Starting OutEdit

Morgan-McClure Motorsports is 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 a make over, earning the Eastman Kodak sponsorship and signing up-and-comer 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 YearsEdit

For the 1990 season, the team hired Phil Parsons, who had won a race at Talladega Superspeedway in 1988. After three races, it was obvious that the team was not going to succeed and Parson was released in favor of Ernie Irvan, a young driver who had never competed with quality equipment at the NASCAR level. 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 1983 NASCAR Rookie of the Year 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.

StrugglesEdit

The team went winless with Marlin in 1997, finishing 25th in points. The team and driver decided to part ways. MMM hired two-time winner Bobby Hamilton. Hamilton led 378 out of 500 laps and won from the pole at Martinsville Speedway. They finished 10th in the final points standings. Sadly, the team could not 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 (NASCAR) 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 fron the Cup series at the end of 2003). Jimmy Spencer drove the car most of thet year, and 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 will drive the car with new sponsorship from the Utah-based AERO Exhaust. On October 3, 2006 MMM announced that they and Scott wimmer would split. MMM hired Todd Bodine to race the next two races. On Deceember 12, 2006, Morgan-Mclure announced Ward Burton will take a fulltime seat in 2007.

Past Drivers Edit

SourcesEdit

  • The Official Website for MMM
  • No Fear-Ernie Irvan's autobiography.

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