NASCAR confirms Kyle Larson has applied for reinstatement

Was suspended in April

35w ago

NASCAR officials confirmed Friday that Kyle Larson applied for reinstatement earlier in the week.

Larson was suspended from NASCAR on Apr. 13 a day after he uttered a racial slur during an online race. Chip Ganassi Racing fired the 28-year-old driver the same day later hiring Matt Kenseth to replace him in the No. 42 Chevrolet.

NASCAR indicated that Larson needed to complete sensitivity training at NASCAR’s direction as a condition for his reinstatement.

Until Friday, Larson made few public statements about his suspension and what caused it. However, he has recently spoken out about the measures he has taken to educate himself about civil-rights issues, first in an interview with the Associated Press on Aug. 19, then in a personal essay published on his website Oct. 4.

“Anger came at me from all angles,” Larson wrote. “Being labeled a racist has hurt the most, but I brought that on myself. What I didn’t expect, though, were all the people who, despite their disappointment in what I did, made the choice to not give up on me. It motivates me to repay their faith by working harder, not giving up on myself, and making sure something positive comes from the harm I caused.”

His first televised interview on the subject came Friday morning on CBS This Morning.

In the interview, Larson says he has "definitely grown" and is working to change.

"I can fully understand why people would label me a racist," he told CBS News' James Brown in his first TV interview since the incident. "I know deep down I'm not a racist — I said a racist word."

"I know it's not my word to use. So, you know, I need to get it out of my vocabulary, and I have," Larson said.

Asked if he understood the meaning of the word and what it meant to him, Larson replied, "I guess I didn't think of how it… took African Americans, probably in their thoughts, took them back to, you know, slavery and things like that and injustice and stuff that they have had to work, you know, so hard to overcome."

Larson has six wins in the NASCAR Cup Series. During his suspension from NASCAR, he has spent time in sprint-car competition and has been a regular winner in dirt-track events

Driver Ross Chastain has been tapped to take over the No. 42 Chevrolet starting in 2021.

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Comments (6)

  • No one should lose a career over one word said in a moment of silliness. A word shouldn't have that much power; intent and context matters far more and it seems here like that was sidelined.

      8 months ago
  • Normally I have absolutely no remorse for someone who says something as heinous as he did, but I read his recent piece on how truly sorry he is and what he’s done in the meantime to educate himself on racial issues and interact directly with those he offended. I’m not one to judge whether he deserves a seat back automatically, but at least his story is more than just him flying under the radar until people forgot about what he did.

      8 months ago
  • He is public figure. They should never make racial remarks. he doesn’t deserve to be back. Not this early. Maybe after least year or two time out and after he makes whole lot more public apologies. These guys make millions of a year I am sure there are many new talents out there.

      8 months ago
    • He's also a human, and let the human who has never said or done a dumb, thoughtless thing cast the first stone. Exactly.

      Making more apologies only devalues the first one. Apologies aren't a type of penance, the more you do, the more it...

      Read more
        8 months ago
    • Things happen, he shouldn't lose his seat over a slight moment of not thinking. He's apologized and went way over the top of what most people would do. So we can move on from this. It is simply dumb to drag it out longer than it has been already.

        8 months ago