Andretti Autosport mechanic McClish succumbs to cancer

Image via Paul Webb/Danica Racing

Andretti Autosport mechanic McClish succumbs to cancer

IndyCar

Andretti Autosport mechanic McClish succumbs to cancer

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Corey McClish’s fight against Stage 4 lung cancer reached a saddening end on Saturday. Among the most respected employees within the Andretti Autosport family, McClish became a favorite of numerous drivers, including Dario Franchitti and Danica Patrick, as part of the team’s IndyCar pit crew.

In recent years, McClish’s mechanical duties at Andretti were transitioned to a shop-based role in Indianapolis where he excelled in overseeing the build of the team’s fleet of cars, and liaising between multiple groups. With the full support of his team, McClish spent most of 2020 undergoing regular chemotherapy and seeking treatment in Illinois amid IndyCar responsibilities.

More than $30,000 was raised by friends and the racing community to defray some of McClish’s medical and travel expenses. In the most recent medical update provided by his family, unfortunate news was shared as McClish’s oncologist reported the efforts to combat his lung cancer had been unsuccessful. The cancer had also metastasized.

“We are deeply saddened by the passing of Corey McClish,” Michael Andretti said. “Over his nearly 20 years with the team, Corey has served many roles within our family and became an integral part of our day to day morale. From the time of his diagnosis, he never stopped fighting and remained a true teammate — even when he was not at his strongest, his team spirit always carried him through. Our thoughts and prayers are with Corey’s family, friends, and all of our teammates.”

Andretti Autosport COO Rob Edwards, who joined the team in 2015, marveled at McClish’s warmth and excellence.

“He made me feel welcome and helped me find my feet at Andretti,” Edwards said. “When you think about central figures at a big team like Andretti, he was such a leader for everyone there. He never stopped learning, never stopped improving what we were doing, right up to the end. For the last year, right around Thanksgiving, right when the battle started for him, he was always concentrating on making the cars better, making us better. No matter what he was dealing with personally.”

An outpouring of love and appreciation was shared throughout Saturday, mostly from the mechanics, engineers and teammates who had the fortune of working with McClish. To those friends and allies, like Edwards, it’s a loss that hits especially hard.

“He was such a bridge between engineering, the sizable shop-based resources we’ve got, and the crews on the cars,” Edwards continued. “That was his personality, and 160 people — every single person — completely respected him and looked up to him. Guys like that don’t come along very often. Corey was the one who touched everyone. A lot of our success, like the pole this year at Indy, he was a big part of that during car builds by putting better processes in place, which made us a better racing team. We’ll miss him a lot as a team member, and I’ll miss him more as a friend.”

In addition to his family, McClish leaves behind a daughter who is in her first year of college.

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