NASCAR suspends Kyle Larson indefinitely for N-word comment

By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher

NASCAR has quickly made a ruling following the Kyle Larson incident on Sunday night. He has been suspended indefinitely by the governing body.

Larson used a racial slur during a live stream of an iRacing event on Easter Sunday. NASCAR has ruled that Larson has violated two rules in their rule book.

NASCAR Cup Series driver Kyle Larson driving during practice for the 61st annual Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway
NASCAR Cup Series driver Kyle Larson driving during practice for the 61st annual Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)

He violated Sections 12.1 (General Procedures) and 12.8 (NASCAR Member Conduct Guidelines) in their rule book. In addition, Larson must attend sensitivity training that will be directed by the governing body.

“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,” NASCAR said in a statement. “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.”

NASCAR made their decision a short time after Chip Ganassi Racing, his Cup Series team, issued a statement that he was suspended without pay. Their statement also said that they were working through the situation with him.

“We are extremely disappointed by what Kyle said last night during an iRacing event,” Chip Ganassi Racing said. “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.”

Larson was taking part in a Monza Madness event that was hosted by fellow NASCAR Cup Series driver Landon Cassill. This iRacing event was also hosted on a stream on eNASCAR.com.

In addition, there were more than 60 drivers in the event. Plus, many of these drivers had their own POV (point of view) streams.

During a video chat, it caught Larson allegedly saying the N-word. He apparently didn’t know he had a live-mic when he used the disrespectful word.

He said, ‘You can’t hear me? Hey n——.’ Rising NASCAR driver Anthony Alfredo responded, ‘Kyle, you’re talking to everyone, bud.’

Aron MacEachern also responded, ‘Yup, we heard that.’ Justin Botelho, who was hosting the stream when Larson’s negative word could be heard, said, ‘Oh damn, he did not just say that.’

In Section 12.8.1.f, NASCAR may review matters that include:

  • When and where the incident(s) occurred.
  • The perceivable or potential ramifications to others and/or to the sport.
  • Available empirical data.
  • Member’s past history.
  • Possible effects to fans, safety workers, crew members.
  • Any extenuating circumstances.
  • Was the explanation(s) plausible given the circumstances.
  • Was there an indication of genuine remorse or attempts to work things out with the other party(s) in a civil manner, and so on.

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