NASCAR: Exiled Kyle Larson Reportedly Drawing Interest Ahead of Free Agency

Stock car racing driver Kyle Larson remains away from the Cup Series after an indefinite suspension for using a racial slur during a virtual race, but he is dominating in the World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series. Whether or not Larson returns to NASCAR's top series is unknown, but he is reportedly drawing considerable interest from multiple teams. Forbes even reports that Larson is a "sought-after" free agent and that his winning streak in the World of Outlaws is simply a stopgap.

According to writer David Smith, Larson will most likely face offers to return to the Cup Series after the 2020 playoffs. Multiple figures have seemingly confirmed this with direct remarks or non-denials. Smith reports that two options are Stewart-Haas Racing and Richard Petty Motorsports — the team currently negotiating with Bubba Wallace. Additionally, Smith highlighted a "non-denial" by Mark Rushbrook, Ford's Global Director of Motorsports.

The interaction took place when Rushbrook conducted a virtual interview with FOX Sports' Bob Pockrass. The longtime motorsports reporter asked about the possibility of bringing Larson to a Ford for the 2021 season. "We're in the midst of silly season and what I can say is we are looking at all our options," Rushbrook responded while adding that Ford wants to win races the right way and be competitive on the track.

RPM owner Andrew Murstein, on the other hand, directly addressed the possibility of bringing Larson to the No. 43 Chevrolet Camaro if Wallace left for Chip Ganassi Racing or another team. "I would have a heart to heart with Kyle Larson to see if he’s worthy of a second chance," Murstein told Smith. "But the hope is that we end up with Bubba."

In Smith's article for Forbes, he highlighted Stewart-Haas as "uniquely positioned" to deal with any sponsor headaches associated with putting Larson in a car. He cited the team's willingness to put the Haas Automation name on cars across NASCAR and Formula 1. Although Smith also mentioned that SHR and Ford would have to provide something "more substantial" than a simple press release to show that Larson's hiring isn't an endorsement of racism.

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SHR currently fields four cars in the Cup Series. This includes Aric Almirola in the No. 10 Ford Mustang, Kevin Harvick in the No. 4, Clint Bowyer in the No. 14 and Cole Custer in the No. 41. Almirola is a free agent, but the expectation is that he returns to SHR in 2021. The No. 14 Mustang, on the other hand, is currently available.

Regardless of the destination, Larson cannot return to the Cup Series until he completes the required sensitivity training. Doing so will open the door for another potential job in NASCAR, but racing's governing body will have the final call. However, the expectation is that he returns to the Cup Series in 2021.