Chip Ganassi Racing Releases Kyle Larson After Driver Used Racial Slur During iRacing Event
Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images. Pictured: Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 McDonald’s Chevrolet
UPDATE: Two days after NASCAR driver Kyle Larson used a racial slur during an iRacing event, Chip Ganassi Racing has ended it’s relationship with driver of its No. 42 Cup Series car.
Here is the full statement from CGR, “After much consideration, Chip Ganassi Racing has determined that it will end its relationship with driver Kyle Larson. As we said before, the comments that Kyle made were both offensive and unacceptable especially given the values of our organization. As we continued to evaluate the situation with all the relevant parties, it became obvious that this was the only appropriate course of action to take.”
NASCAR and Chip Ganassi Racing (CGR) have suspended Kyle Larson indefinitely without pay after the driver used a racial slur during Sunday night’s “Monza Madness” iRacing event.
Larson was streaming the race on his personal Twitch handle when he said, “You can’t hear me?” appearing to try to communicate with his spotter. “Hey [N-word].”
Chevrolet, the sponsor of all CGR cars, announced it was suspending Larson on Monday afternoon, saying that it was “prepared to take additional action.”
McDonald’s terminated its relationship with Larson, as well.
It’s an ironic twist for Larson, who is the most successful driver that NASCAR discovered through its Drive for Diversity program. The program was founded in 2004 to attract minorities into the largely Caucasian sport. Larson, who is half Japanese, graduated from the program in 2012. He then won Rookie of the Year at every level he raced at (2012, 2013, 2014), including the Sprint Cup series six years ago.
Larson has finished in the top 10 in 101 NASCAR Cup races, which means he’s been among the best in 49% of his races at that level. He has won six races.
CGR, which owns the NASCAR Cup Series No. 42 car driver by Larson, released the following statement on Monday: “We are extremely disappointed by what Kyle said last night during an iRacing Event. The words that he chose to use are offensive and unacceptable. As of this moment we are suspending Kyle without pay while we work through this situation with all appropriate parties.”
NASCAR said in a statement, “NASCAR has made diversity and inclusion a priority and will not tolerate the type of language used by Kyle Larson during Sunday’s iRacing event. Our Member Conduct Guidelines are clear in this regard, and we will enforce these guidelines to maintain an inclusive environment for our entire industry and fan base.”
On Monday afternoon, Larson posted a video to his Twitter account apologizing for using the slur, saying, “Hey, I just want to say I’m sorry. You know, last night I made a mistake and said the word that should never, ever be said, and, you know, there’s no excuse for that.”
We’ll continue to update this article as more information becomes available.