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NASCAR reinstates Kyle Larson more than six months after suspension for use of racial slur

Larson had been fired by Chip Ganassi Racing for his use of a racial slur on a live stream during a virtual race.
Credit: AP Images
Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 Credit One/DC Solar Chevrolet, looks on in the garage area during practice for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Championship Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. (Photo by Sarah Crabill/Getty Images)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — NASCAR officials reinstated Kyle Larson on Monday, more than six months after his suspension for his use of a racial slur during an iRacing event.

Larson had been fired by Chip Ganassi Racing for his use of a racial slur on a live stream during a virtual race.

Larson was suspended indefinitely by NASCAR for the incident and all of his major sponsors, including McDonald's, Credit One Bank and Chevrolet ended their partnership with Larson. Chip Ganassi Racing suspended Larson without pay before deciding to part ways. 

“NASCAR continues to prioritize diversity and inclusion across our sport,” the sanctioning body said in an official statement. “Kyle Larson has fulfilled the requirements set by NASCAR, and has taken several voluntary measures, to better educate himself so that he can use his platform to help bridge the divide in our country. Larson’s indefinite suspension has been lifted. Under the terms of his reinstatement, he will be cleared to return to all NASCAR racing activities effective January 1, 2021.”

RELATED: Bubba Wallace responds to Kyle Larson's racial slur controversy

The team issued the following statement when the incident occurred:  

"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."

Larson was competing in an iRacing event when he appeared to lose communication on his headset with his spotter. He said during a check of his microphone “you can’t hear me?” That was followed by the N-word. 

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Larson is half Japanese and his grandparents spent time in an interment camp in California.