© Mike Dinovo-USA TODAY Sports
NASCAR has indefinitely suspended driver Kyle Larson after he used a racial slur during an online driving simulation Sunday night.
Larson was competing in a simulation of the Autodromo Nazionale Monza in Italy with other professional drivers. Unsure that other drivers and listeners could hear him, he used the slur to test his audio.
— A.J. Perez (@byajperez) April 13, 2020
Chip Ganassi Racing has suspended Larson without pay following the event. Larson will also have to attend sensitivity training as directed by NASCAR.
“We are extremely disappointed by what Kyle said last night during an iRacing Event,” Chip Ganassi Racing said in a statement. “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.”
Monday morning the Northern California native issued an apology video on his personal Twitter feed.
“There’s no excuse for that,” Larson said. “I wasn’t raised that way. It’s just an awful thing to say and I feel very sorry to my friends, my family, the NASCAR community and especially the African American community.”
— Kyle Larson (@KyleLarsonRacin) April 13, 2020
Larson, 27, was born in Elk Grove, California.
He is a 2012 graduate of NASCAR’s Drive for Diversity program, a group designed to attract minorities and females to the sport. Larson was the first person of Japanese descent to win a Sprint Cup race when he captured the checkered flag at the Pure Michigan 400 in 2016.
Larson was tied for eighth in the NASCAR Cup Series standings before all activities were suspended because of COVID-19.