Kyle Larson Suspended Indefinitely By NASCAR For Using Racial Slur During iRacing Event

Kyle Larson (Photo: Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)

NASCAR suspended Chip Ganassi Racing Cup Series driver Kyle Larson indefinitely Monday following his utterance of a racial slur on a live stream during an iRacing event on Sunday night.

NASCAR cited Sections 12.1 (General Procedures) and 12.8 (NASCAR Member Conduct Guidelines) of their rulebook in handing down the penalty to Larson.

Larson is mandated to attend sensitivity training overseen by NASCAR.

“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,” read a NASCAR 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.”

Larson posted a video apology on Monday.

In the video Larson said: “Hey, I just want to say I’m sorry. Last night I made a mistake and said the word that should never, ever be said. There’s 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. Thank you.”

Chip Ganassi Racing officials said in a statement Monday that Larson had been suspended without pay.

“We are extremely disappointed by what Kyle said last night during an iRacing Event,” the statement from Chip Ganassi Racing read. “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.”

Section 12.8.1.e in the NASCAR Rule Book states: “Member actions that could result in a fine and/or indefinite suspension, or termination: Public statement and/or communication that criticizes, ridicules, or otherwise disparages another person based upon that person’s race, color, creed, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, religion, age, or handicapping condition.”


  1. Come on man you’re not putting that toothpaste back in the tube no matter how much sensitivity training you give the guy. It’s damage control. It s a white mans sport with Southern roots with an abundance of every type of intolerance. Probably more passive and congenial bigots then full blown racists but the force is still strong.
    This guy didn’t say what he said in a vacuum. He said it because it’s acceptable shop chatter among his peers in the racing community. He just was the dumb one that forgot momentarily he wasn’t alone in his sim rig in his rumpus room.
    Way to go NASCAR. You’re breaking through on the sim race roll out and now this. Reach for your gun, fire, draw….ouch that smarts.
    Sensitivity training is good damage control but a 6 second delay would have been smarter.

  2. I like Kyle Larson, and was very surprised he said what he did. I think both NASCAR and Ganassi have taken appropriate action.

  3. Appropriate action? No way. This is just the beginning. He will officially be fired by week’s end. This is a sponsor driven sport. He is unemployable now. You watch, no sponsor will be associated with Chip Ganassi as long as Kyle works there. His time at the highest levels of Nascar is over for a long time. Maybe forever. Replacement driver to be named later.

    This SIM racing has been a disaster for the drivers thus far. Game Over!

  4. Perhaps Trump will sponsor Larson.

  5. Don’t be so quick to put all the institutional blame on “the racing community.” (Southern, white, etc.)

    What music (term used loosely) does practically everyone under the age of 30 listen to? Rap.
    What word — even more than “the” or “a” — is used the most in almost all popular rap songs? Yeah, “that” one.

    I don’t think many rappers are part of the racing community, so again, don’t be so quick to put all the blame on the racing community.

    When “that word” is streamed into your head via earbuds a thousand times each day, it shouldn’t be a shock when it comes out someone’s mouth.

    Not necessarily saying Larson listens to rap, just pointing out that if “that word” needs to disappear from use (and I strongly feel that it should), maybe let’s start with the gangsta thugs “artists” who use it as a noun, verb, adjective, comma, period, and badge of honor. Their hypocrisy is apalling.

  6. Andrew B.
    This is isn’t a decision about society, it’s a decision about a private sanctioning body (NASCAR), an employer (Chip Ganassi Racing) and financial supporters (McDonald’s, Credit One Bank and Chevrolet). Those entities expect to be represented at a certain level. Kyle Larson is not a musician, he doesn’t work in the music industry and he has nothing to do with it. Just because something is considered acceptable behavior in one industry doesn’t mean then it should be accepted across the board.

  7. This world has turned into a bunch of PC candy asses. Yes what he said was wrong in public but come on. There has been many drivers slips on network tv for years, Things happen. But this will get blown into something bigger because there is nothing better for the media to carry on about.

  8. Hope he does .doesnt everyone deserve a second chance?. .dareal your a tool anyways .😂

  9. Andrew B., I never would have expected you to be a fan of and listen to that much genuine rap music to speak about the subject with such authority.

  10. TPC,
    What part did the media play in any of this? The media had nothing to do with this. The media wasn’t covering the event Kyle Larson participated when he said what he said. Barely any media even reported anything before he was suspended by NASCAR. Killing the messenger is already an ignorant, cop-out in most instances, but when you’re blaming the media for something happening that they basically didn’t even cover you’re really reaching. After NASCAR and Chip Ganassi Racing chose to suspend Larson indefinitely (before barely any media covered the story), McDonald’s and Credit One Bank then decided to cut ties. Those companies expect a certain level of representation of their companies for the support they offer in return. I can assure the decisions made today by McDonald’s and Credit One Bank had nothing to do with any media coverage and everything to do with the what Kyle Larson said. Stop looking for excuses for Kyle Larson. He messed up and it cost him a lot, maybe his career. But he did it with his own decision, the media had nothing to do with it.

  11. See what Andrew did there? It was the thing of beauty. Essentially blaming the black community that uses the word to describe people of their own race in Rap. Considered a form of urban poetry that most old white guys don’t understand and are intolerant of. Then by inference absolving the white guy that used it against a black guy. It’s the classic white bigot obfuscation and Andrew pulled if off quite well.

  12. Doug,
    It’s an argument that so many people try to make that is simply senseless in this particular area of controversy. I mean, you can sit with your buddies and debate it all day and that’s fine. But in this instance it’s not about anyone’s personal opinion of whether the word is acceptable or not or whether it’s sometimes acceptable by some people so it should make it more acceptable for other people. In THIS instance it’s about how NASCAR, Chip Ganassi, Chevrolet, McDonald’s and Credit One Bank expect to be represented. So it doesn’t matter if 10,000 rappers used the word in 10 million songs. If McDonald’s doesn’t want to be associated with the word and Credit One Bank doesn’t want to be associated with the word, that’s all that matters. This is not some referendum on societal acceptance of a word, it’s about how the people who pay the bills to let Kyle Larson race expect to be represented publicly.

  13. That is definitely a perspective Mr. Courchesne that encompasses the interests of NASCAR and it’s sponsors that you by trade would be most in tune with. However it doesn’t comprise the entirety of the argument against why Andrews logic was flawed and in my view opportunistically bigoted.
    I don’t see a debate at all about how white people perceive the use of the word by the black community. It’s none of our business. Personally I’m not in favor but I know I don’t understand the culture or motivations and in the end it’s up to them to decide how they refer to each other.. It is our concern when a dumb white guy uses it to refer to a person of another race in an environment that is predominately white .In my view it transcends sanctioning bodies, sponsors and their expectations.
    So far in this thread we’ve already seen the black guys use it deflection and it’s the news media’s fault deflection. I’m betting we’re just getting started on the scapegoating.
    Then again I may be just be out for blood because I know a guy that would fit nicely into that ride. A great driver with a dreamy smile, is pleasant most of the time and hopefully doesn’t view people of other races with such contempt. His name, Ryan Preece.

  14. Andrew B., you are talking about a derivative of “butwhataboutism”. It’s still stupid.

    Just because someone else does something stupid does not make it allowable by anyone else. It’s just plain ol’ hypocrisy.

    You think McDonald’s and Credit One want to be known as the sponsor of a NASCAR driver that uses that language? NASCAR is doing all it can to shed that history and reputation.

    Kyle might be able to find some sponsors like the KKK, Skinheads, Aryan Nation and other fine people from the other side.

  15. You guys are missing my point entirely (not unexpected, BTW).
    If you think I am trying to justify or excuse Larson’s use of the word, you probably need to revisit 5th grade reading comprehension. What he did was flatly inexcusable. His sponsors, team and sanctioning body were right to do what they’ve done.
    My points were:
    1) It should be inexcusable to use that word in ANY context. By anyone. Under any circumstances. Those of you who think I’m saying “he should be able to do it because others do it” are one hundred and eighty degrees WRONG. I am saying exactly the OPPOSITE.
    2) Don’t be so quick to blame the stereotypical redneck, southern, NASCAR KKK mentality (as Doug was so quick to do in the very first post in this discussion) as the sole or primary reason for this horrible action. The fact is, most young people today listen primarily to rap music that glorifies the use of the word. And no, dareal, I don’t listen to it, but I spend enough time around people under 30 (apparently, more than you do) to be exposed to the garbage, because it is quite prevalent. And if “10,000 rappers use it in 10 million songs,” and that’s what the youth of America listens to, it shouldn’t be a surprise when one of them uses that word.
    Go back and read my previous post and tell me where I:
    (a) excuse Larson for saying what he said
    (b) say that it should be okay to say it.
    I didn’t.
    Connect your brains for hitting “Post Comment” (or writing follow-up op-eds).

  16. The notion that most young people listen to rap music and that all rap music is riddled with the N word and therefore young people are being programmed to use it causally is a non starter. It’s just not true.

  17. ‘While he was checking his microphone, Larson said, “You can’t hear me? Hey (n—–).”‘

    True I do believe stock car racing from the Cup series to our local tracks is riddled with bigots including myself. I have stereotyped the racing community and made the mistake of calling Larson dumb for what he said and the intelligence to hide your bigotry shouldn’t have come into it at all. The ideal is for it not to be in your heart in the first place. To not even have to calculate you’re on the air but never have it floating around in your head.

  18. I believe TPC may have expressed the most common feeling that will be expressed on the topic.
    “Yes what he said was wrong in public but come on.”
    Wrong in public. Implying it’s OK when you’re hanging around with young white buddies.

  19. Shawn It is on every major news outlet, You have what 3 or 4 articles on it, And it will continue to get beaten to death in the media. So if the media did not drive this they will now for a long time. Yes what he did was wrong, Reprimand the guy make him do the training that Nascar requires and go on, Worse things have been said in a race and have been ignored. But this Pc world we live in will not let things rest.

  20. Somebody get Andrew B. a bigger shovel, or bulldozer, he needs to dig deeper faster.

    Andrew B. wrote, “And if “10,000 rappers use it in 10 million songs,” and that’s what the youth of America listens to, it shouldn’t be a surprise when one of them uses that word.”

    BOOM! 💥

    Andrew, you are reminding me of when Trump tried to deny it was him on the Entertainment Tonight video talking about grabbing genitalia.

    Andrew, read what you wrote, very carefully.

    The simple fact that you brought up the rap genre, and that the WORD is used there, was your attempt at explaining, justifying it, distracting, diverting, and placing blame elsewhere. But right there in your post that was to clarify things you have said that because the youth of America is exposed to the rap genre, it shouldn’t be a surprise when one of them uses that word. You just indicted the rap genre. Do you think you totally exonerated Kyle Larson?

    What words the rap culture uses or does not use has NOTHING to do with the use of those words outside of that genre.

    The words are the words and who uses them do so at their own risk.

  21. Andrew B., gaslighting doesn’t work on everyone.

  22. Wikipedia:
    “Larson’s mother is Japanese American and her parents spent time in a Japanese internment camp”.

    Whoa, the ultimate racial profiling in his family.
    That apology was a missed opportunity. He should have built his family history into the narrative as a lesson he should have learned but forgot. He could have built out the fact he is the product of a multi racial family. Perhaps been the target of racial slurs himself growing up. It could have showed he has depth and the ability to put it all in a context that many can relate to and provides a teachable moment that could have helped mitigate the damage. Instead it was gee, sorry, I’m screwed.

  23. Andrew B. says

    Doug wrote:
    “The notion that most young people listen to rap music and that all rap music is riddled with the N word and therefore young people are being programmed to use it causally is a non starter. It’s just not true.”

    In your opinion.
    My experience says otherwise. So be it.

  24. Andrew B. says

    DRGF, have you ever heard of an unpleasant surprise?
    Saying that “it shouldn’t be a surprise” when someone does something doesn’t mean the same thing as “it’s okay” that they did it. Sheesh. You really need to get over yourself. You put about as much thought into most of your posts as the man you obsessively hate (Trump).
    Once more — and I’ll type it really slowly for you this time, try to keep up:
    What Larson said = VERY BAD. No excuse.
    No one should be saying it.
    No one means no one.

    That’s my whole point. If you can’t follow that, I give up.

  25. Andrew B., you read like Trump sounded when he was discussing the Charlottesville road rage killing by the white supremacist when he said there were good people on both sides.

    You brought up the rap genre, and that was a clear attempt at diversion, distraction, gaslighting, obfuscation, redirection, assigning blame, etc. Didn’t work.

    No way a person in Kyle’s position should have done anything like that. His behavior is controlled by a professional code of conduct and a very lucrative contract. Did he think he was too big to have to abide by the rules?

    I’m always surprised when I hear of stuff like this. It should have stopped long ago. We just can’t seem to help ourselves sometimes. This is what happens.

  26. It’s the I know what I know response. There really is no refuting it if the person has a closed mind. Uncle Buck is at the Thanksgiving dinner table, says all younger people listen to rap, that every other word is the n word so if they mimic it it’s to be expected. He knows it’s a fact….case closed.
    The strongest argument I can find on the internet is Rap/Hip Hop in recent years has become more popular then rock as a music genre at 25%. However it includes R&B in the survey and this old fart listens to R&B. Otherwise I can find no place that remotely substantiates the notion the RAP/Hip Hop overwhelming dominates young peoples music choice where rock, country, metal and pop also rack up high numbers.
    With regard to Kyle Larson he has done a number of music videos that in no way reflect an interest in RAP like this one.

    With regard to RAP/Hip Hop the shear number of sub categories that have sprung up is mind boggling. I haven’t listened to them all or listened to any actually but it’s fairly safe to say that the n word is not the basis for all the different varieties.
    I’m not going to insult this forum by referring to my impressions and suggest they represent a truth for a generation I am not familiar with nor a music genre I don’t listen to. I did however respect what you said Andrew, looked into it and still think your assumption is ridiculous and the way you used it opportunistically bigoted based on a vague stereotype.
    Not to mention he lives in country music territory for Pete’s sake.

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