Carlos Ray McClendon (click image to enlarge). Photo courtesy Offshore Powerboat Association.
Well-regarded and beloved by many in the offshore powerboat racing community, Pirate Offshore Racing team crew chief Carlos Ray McClendon died yesterday in Chattanooga, Tenn., after a protracted battle with brain cancer. He was 49 years old.
The Offshore Powerboat Association, the organization that sanctioned most of the races in which the Pirate Racing father-and-son duo of David and Travis Denham, also of Chattanooga, completed in the single-engine V-bottom Super Vee Light class, expressed condolences in a press release this morning.
McClendon was the longtime crew chief for the Pirate Offshore Racing team. Photo courtesy/copyright Dee Ungarten/Lucididee Fast Boats.
“Carlos was a man that was a big part of our racing family,” the release stated. “Carlos was so much to so many in OPA Racing. He appeared to be everywhere, he was not only there for David and Travis Denham, but was also there for any team that needed a helping hand. There was never a bad thing that could have been said about Carlos, he was a true gentleman with a heart of gold. Carlos will remain in our hearts forever.”
According to McClendon’s obituary in the Chattanoogan newspaper, he “is survived by his wife, Angela Levi McClendon; sons, Tucker Chase McClendon and Jacob “Jake” Mark Gilley; and daughter, Kaitlin Marie Gilley—all of Chattanooga.”