NASCAR has suspended star driver Kyle Larson indefinitely after he dropped a racial slur Sunday on a livestream during a virtual race. His team, Chip Ganassi Racing, also suspended Larson without pay.
“I made a mistake and said the word that should never, ever be said,” Larson said. “There is 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.
“I understand the damage is probably unrepairable and I own up to that. But I just want to let you all know how sorry I am and I hope everybody is staying safe during these crazy times.”
iRacing also suspended Larson indefintely. He’s been ordered by NASCAR to complete a sensitivity training course before becoming eligible for reinstatement.
Making matters worse for Larson, he’s in a contract year. The seven-year veteran was expected to be the top driver available in a crowded free-agent field at the conclusion of this season.
Larson, 27, is half-Japanese and the only driver of Japanese descent to win a major NASCAR race. He owns six career Cup wins.
After using the slur, one of his fellow drivers alerted him, “Kyle, you’re talking to everyone, bud.”
Larson could be facing more fallout from his sponsors like McDonald’s and Credit One Bank.