Chip Ganassi Racing has fired Kyle Larson after the driver was caught using a racial slur Sunday night while on the iRacing platform.
Larson said the N-word over his in-game communication, which was broadcast live for drivers and viewers to hear. The Ganassi organization initially suspended Larson without pay on Monday as sponsors began terminating their relationship with the driver.
“After much consideration, Chip Ganassi Racing has determined that it will end its relationship with driver Kyle Larson,” said a team statement. “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.”
Credit One Bank, McDonald’s, and Clover/First Data all announced they were ending their relationship with Larson on Monday. Those three companies had sponsored the No. 42 Chevrolet in all 36 points races last season.
Chevrolet has also cut Larson from its roster of factory drivers.
“As previously stated, Chevrolet does not tolerate the inappropriate behavior exhibited by Kyle Larson,” it said in a statement on Tuesday. “As a result, Chevrolet is immediately terminating its relationship with Mr. Larson.”
Larson began his pavement career in 2012 and was signed by Chip Ganassi Racing to start his NASCAR national series career. After making four starts in the Truck Series in ’12, Larson competed in the NASCAR Xfinity Series full-time in 2013 while also making his NASCAR Cup Series debut with the company that same season, and became a full-time Cup driver the following year.
In 223 starts, all with Ganassi, he has six career wins. Larson made the playoffs the last four years, and finished a career-best sixth in points last season. Through the first four races of this season, Larson had earned three top-10 finishes.
A versatile driver with a background on dirt, Larson has been viewed as a future star of the sport. The 27-year-old was a potential free agent after this season, and his name had been linked to opportunities with the likes of Rick Hendrick, who will have an open seat when Jimmie Johnson retires.
Larson has been indefinitely suspended from NASCAR competition and will be required to complete sensitivity training before returning to the track, should he land a new ride.