Kyle Larson is returning to racing this week. Larson, who is currently suspended by NASCAR for using a racial slur during an iRacing event, will compete in a World of Outlaws event at Knoxville Raceway in Iowa. The race, which is part of the dirt track series, will take place on Friday with no fans due to the coronavirus pandemic. According to Fox News, Larson owns a World of Outlaws team and often competes in the faces. World of Outlaws confirmed to NBC Sports that Larson is qualified to race.
Along with being suspended from NASCAR, Larson is also looked for a new team as he was fired by Chip Ganassi Racing. During the iRacing event, Larson used the n-word. He has since apologized for using the racial slur, but Chip Ganassi Racing replaced him with Matt Kenseth. "I just want to say I'm sorry," Larson said in a video posted to Twitter. "Last night, I made a mistake and said the word that should never ever be said. There's no excuse for that. I wasn't raised that way. It's just an awful thing to say. I feel very sorry for my family, my friends, my partners, the NASCAR community and, especially, the African American community."
"We are extremely disappointed by what Kyle said last night during an iRacing Event. The words that he chose to use are offensive and unacceptable," Chip Ganassi Racing said in a statement following the incident. "As of this moment, we are suspending Kyle without pay while we work through this situation with all appropriate parties." One of the NASCAR drivers that came to the aid of Larson is Bubba Wallace, who is the only African-American driver in the NASCAR Cup Series. He said the two talked about what happened, and Wallace forgave him.
"What Larson said was wrong, whether in private or public," Wallace said. "There is no gray area. I saw the incident the night it happened and within 5 minutes Kyle texted me. He called me the next morning as well. Finally, I called him back with a FaceTime to talk 'face to face,' and we had a good conversation, his apology was sincere. His emotions and pride were shattered. We discussed why he chose to use that language and I shared my thoughts.. I told him, it was too easy for him to use the word and that he has to do better and get it out of his vocabulary. There is no place for that work in this world. I am not mad at him, and I believe that he, along with most people deserve second chances, and deserve space to improve."