DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — NASCAR officials have announced that Kyle Larson has been reinstated and will be cleared to return to NASCAR competition beginning on Jan. 1.
Larson was suspended by NASCAR and fired by Chip Ganassi Racing in April after using a racial slur during an iRacing live stream.
“NASCAR continues to prioritize diversity and inclusion across our sport,” NASCAR officials said in a 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 Jan. 1, 2021.”
According to NASCAR.com’s report, the terms of Larson’s reinstatement included speaking engagements that will be spread out through 2023. He’ll also be required to take additional training and engagement classes while continuing to work with the Urban Youth Racing School and Rev Racing.
The lifting of Larson’s suspension opens the door for him to return to the NASCAR Cup Series. He is rumored to be a frontrunner for the open seat in the fourth car at Hendrick Motorsports.
“I’m truly grateful to everyone at NASCAR and appreciative of their process,” Larson said in a statement. “The work I’ve done over the last six months has had a major impact on me. I will make the most of this opportunity and look forward to the future.”
Under the terms of Larson’s suspension, he was required to participate in sensitivity training in order to earn reinstatement. He didn’t stop there.
During an August interview with the Associated Press, Larson said he visited with retired soccer player Tony Sanneh and volunteered at The Sanneh Foundation in Minnesota in the weeks before the passing of George Floyd. He later visited the place where Floyd died with Sanneh while also touring parts of the city that were damaged by the protests that followed Floyd’s death.
Larson has also continued to work with a group called the Urban Youth Racing School in Philadelphia, Pa., an organization that helps minorities advance in motorsports. He’s also worked with a personal diversity coach.
He also published an essay on his website on Oct. 4 addressing the situation and detail his efforts to atone for his actions.
The 28-year-old California native spoke about his suspension during an interview that was broadcast Oct. 16 on CBS This Morning, saying, “I know deep down I’m not a racist. I said a racist word and I can fully understand why people would label me a racist.”
Larson has kept busy while away from NASCAR, competing weekly on dirt tracks across the country in a variety of race cars. He has earned 42 victories in sprint cars, midgets, late models and Silver Crown cars this year.