By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher
Former suspended NASCAR driver Kyle Larson has a new home. He has been announced as the latest driver for Hendrick Motorsports.
Larson will drive the No. 5 car for the team. With the No. 5 back in play, the team will not operate the No. 88 during the 2021 season.
He will work with Cliff Daniels. The crew chief is in his final few racers with Jimmie Johnson’s No. 48 Chevrolet.
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“Hendrick Motorsports is a championship organization that has set a high bar for performance and for how drivers represent the team and its partners,” Larson said in a team release. “My goal is to win races, be a great teammate, continue my personal efforts to grow and hold myself to that high standard personally and professionally. Making the absolute most of this platform and the opportunity in front of me is my focus. I know what’s expected of me and what I expect of myself, on and off the track.
“Mr. Hendrick is one of the people who extended a hand to me over the past six months. Our initial conversations were not about racing. He cares about me as a person and wants to see me succeed beyond driving. I can’t put into words how grateful I am for the commitment, the faith and the confidence from him and everyone at Hendrick Motorsports.”
Larson was reinstated by NASCAR several months after he used a racial slur on an iRacing event on Easter Sunday. He had to complete sensitivity training and be apart of a diversity program in eligible to come back to the sport.
The driver had been filling in, as he focused his attention on Sprint Car racing during his NASCAR suspension. However, he recently made the decision to shut down his Kyle Larson Racing due to the impacts from the coronavirus.
Larson joins a lineup at Hendrick Motorsports that includes Alex Bowman, William Byron, and Chase Elliott. Since he debuted in 2014, Larson has had six wins in 223 starts, which all came with Chip Ganassi Racing.
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“Kyle is unquestionably one of the most talented race car drivers in the world,” Hendrick Motorsports owner Rick Hendrick said. “He has championship-level ability and will be a significant addition to our on-track program. More importantly, I have full confidence that he understands our expectations and will be a tremendous ambassador for our team, our partners and NASCAR. Kyle and I have had many, many conversations leading up to today’s announcement.
“I’m confident about what’s in his heart and his desire to be a champion in all aspects of his life and career. Kyle has done important work over the past six months and Hendrick Motorsports is going to support those continued efforts. I’m excited about our roster of young talent. We have a team that is built to win races and compete for championships for years to come.”
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