By Luis Torres, Staff Writer
Six-time NASCAR Cup Series winner Kyle Larson has been suspended by NASCAR, Chip Ganassi Racing and iRacing indefinitely Monday after using a racial slur the night prior.
During Sunday’s iRacing event called the “Monza Madness,” Larson was caught saying the n-word that was heard on various Twitch channels, notably on NTT IndyCar Series driver Conor Daly’s and race winner Justin Botelho’s stream.
Before NASCAR issued a penalty that violated Section 12.81.e in the NASCAR Rule Book, CGR issued a statement that they’ll be suspending Larson without pay.
“We are extremely disappointed by what Kyle said last night during an iRacing Event. 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.”
NASCAR followed suit and stated that they won’t tolerate Larson’s language as he’ll be required to attend sensitivity training as directed by the sanctioning body.
“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.
“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.”
Following Larson’s suspension, he tweeted an apology and owes up to his irreversible actions from Sunday night’s event:
— Kyle Larson (@KyleLarsonRacin) April 13, 2020
iRacing have also suspended Larson from their service as he’s the first notable NASCAR driver to be suspended indefinitely for a similar incident since current Xfinity Series driver Jeremy Clements in 2013.
“iRacing considers itself to be a welcome and inclusive community for racing enthusiasts all around the world. We have strict policies against offensive behavior and language,” a statement iRacing released nearly an hour after Larson’s apology video. “Kyle Larson’s language last night during a streamed online race was both offensive and inappropriate, and in violation of our sporting code. As such, Kyle Larson has been suspended indefinitely from the iRacing service.”
In the wake of this incident, one of Larson’s main sponsors (Credit One Bank) have come out with a statement and support the suspension that ultimately resulted in cutting ties with him.
“Credit One Bank denounces the highly offensive language used by Kyle Larson during Sunday’s iRacing event. We support the quick actions taken by NASCAR and the Chip Ganassi Racing Team to suspend Kyle indefinitely.
“In addition to the quick actions taken by NASCAR and Chip Ganassi Racing, Credit One Bank is terminating its sponsorship of Kyle Larson.”
The eNASCAR iRacing Pro Series Invitational returns after an off-week Sunday, April 19 as they’ll be racing the virtual Richmond Raceway.