Driver Kyle Larson was suspended indefinitely by NASCAR after he used a racial slur during a virtual racing event on Sunday. He was also fired by Chip Ganassi Racing, which many believed marked the end of his racing career. That is reportedly not the case, however, as Larson has enrolled in sensitivity training with a focus on returning to NASCAR.
According to Adam Stern of the Sports Business Journal, sources close to Larson say that he is determined to make a return to NASCAR. The biggest step in this process will be completing the required sensitivity training. Doing so could potentially open the door for him to return to NASCAR, but the racing organization will have to make that final decision. A similar incident occurred with Xfinity Series driver Jeremy Clements, who said the same word to an MTV reporter. He underwent sensitivity training and ultimately missed two races.
Larson posted a video on his Twitter account Monday morning and apologized for his use of the racial slur. He said that there "was no excuse" and that he "wasn't raised that way." Larson apologized to his family, friends, partners, NASCAR and the black community.
Following his apology, Larson was fired by Ganassi Racing. Several sponsors also severed ties with him, including Chevrolet, Credit One Bank and McDonald's. He was also suspended indefinitely by the "iRacing" video game platform that has been filling the void left by the postponed NASCAR season.
Two of his sponsors, however, have not cut ties with Larson. Plan B Sales and Finley Farms, two brands associated with Larson's World of Outlaws team, both revealed that they will continue to support him. The dirt racing league also released a statement saying that Larson will be eligible to race after he completes a sensitivity course within 30 days of his infraction.0comments
"Given the nature of this infraction and Kyle's already public apology, he will be required to complete a sensitivity training course within 30 days of the date of the infraction," said World of Outlaws in a statement. "Kyle is an important and visible stakeholder in the World of Outlaws community as both Driver and Team Owner. Kyle has admitted to making a mistake, and it is our expectation that he will make every effort to represent the sport in a professional manner moving forward. Provided that Kyle completes the designated training in the allotted time, he will remain eligible to compete in all World of Outlaws sanctioned events."
The dirt racing league is currently on hold due to COVID-19, and the date of its return is undetermined. When this happens, Larson will be eligible to return. His racing team, Kyle Larson Racing, would have been allowed to continue competing regardless of the driver's status if the league was not postponed.