NASCAR Cup Series driver Kyle Larson is allowed to return to the championship at the start of 2021, eight months after he was suspended for using a racial slur during a virtual Eseries race.
Larson had his contract terminated by Chip Ganassi Racing and was suspended by NASCAR after he was heard using a racist insult during a friendly online event named “Monza Madness.”
But today NASCAR has officially reinstated his indefinite suspension with Larson having completed his mandated sensitivity training.
“NASCAR continues to prioritize diversity and inclusion across our sport,” read a NASCAR statement.
“Kyle Larson has fulfilled the requirements set by NASCAR and has taken several voluntary measurements to better educate himself so that he can use his platform to help bridge the divide in our country. Larson’s indefinite suspension has been lifted. Under the terms of his reinstatement, he will be cleared to return to all NASCAR racing activities effective January 1, 2021.”
Since his suspension, Larson has publicly apologized for the incident and has hired a diversity coach who has seen him participate in several talks with African-American athletes.
He has also returned to sprint car racing where he has scored countless victories, including equalling Bryan Clauson’s’ nine series titles in the USAC National Midget Indiana Midget Week.
“I’m truly grateful to everyone at NASCAR and appreciative of their process,” said Larson in a statement.
“The work I’ve done over the last six months has had a major impact on me. I will make the most of this opportunity and look forward to the future.”
Only one vacant seat remains for Larson in 2021, the spot at Hendrick Motorsport which is currently occupied by Jimmie Johnson.
Johnson will be moving to IndyCar with Chip Ganassi Racing next season and his legendary No.48 car will be taken over by Alex Bowman. Larson will then likely take the open No.88 slot.