NASCAR Driver Kyle Larson Signs With Hendrick Motorsports After Being Suspended For Using N-Word

NASCAR driver Kyle Larson, who was let go earlier this year following his use of the N-word during a virtual race, has signed with a new team, TMZ reported.

Back in April, as TMZ reported at the time, NASCAR had suspended races due to the coronavirus pandemic, just as the severity of the problem was beginning to be understood in the United States. Without a real car to drive, Larson participated in an iRacing event -- racing via video gaming. The event was streamed live to thousands of people on Twitch.

During the virtual race, the driver was apparently having issues communicating with other players and dropped an N-bomb in frustration.

"You can't hear me? Hey, n****," Larson said.

Other participants in the event called him out for his use of the slur.

"Kyle, you're talking to everyone, bud," said fellow driver Anthony Alfredo.

The backlash was immediate. Within hours, Larson's team, Chip Ganassi Racing, suspended him. Two of his major sponsors, McDonald's and Credit One Bank, dropped him.

Larson later apologized, saying he didn't know his microphone was on. For a while, it looked like his racing career was over.

nascar driver kyle larson at phoenix
Getty Images | Christian Petersen

However, as reported by The Inquisitr earlier this month, NASCAR reinstated him, giving him the green light to return to the track beginning January 1, 2021, provided he meet certain conditions.

On Wednesday, Hendrick Motorsports announced that Larson has joined their team. Team owner Rick Hendrick said that he'd had "many, many" conversations with Larson about the expectations he has of him, on and off the track, and that he believes his new employee is up to the challenge.

"I'm confident about what's in his heart and his desire to be a champion in all aspects of his life and career," he said.

In his own statement, Larson noted that his new employer had been speaking to him over the past six months. At first, they didn't talk about racing, but rather his success off the track.

Now that he's employed again, Larson said that he hopes to live up to the high standards that have been set for him.

"Hendrick Motorsports is a championship organization that has set a high bar for performance and for how its drivers represent the team and its partners. 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," he said.