Kyle Larson seems open to a NASCAR return. But would a team owner be open to hiring Larson?
Larson, who was fired from his ride at Chip Ganassi Racing in April after he used a racial slur during a virtual race, told MRN’s “Winged Nation” in an interview published Tuesday that he would “love an opportunity if it came” to race in NASCAR again. But he also said that he hadn’t heard from anyone about a ride in NASCAR for the 2021 season as he’s been busy racing sprint cars.
“There’s a lot to weigh and stuff, and there’s nothing really that’s come up, either, so I haven’t had to make too many tough decisions or anything like that,” Larson said on the show. “But definitely if the opportunity was there, I would love to give it a shot to get back and prove to the NASCAR world that I am a great race car driver, and I know if I got the right opportunity, I could go win a lot of races like I am right now.”
Larson has been racing dirt sprint cars since his firing and has been incredibly successful. Larson has been running in multiple series including the World of Outlaws, where he has four wins in 11 starts.
Larson has been able to continue his sprint car career because he has his own sprint car team. If he wanted to return to NASCAR, he would need to find an owner willing to hire him after his racial slur use. And, most importantly, he would need to have a corporate sponsor willing to spend millions of dollars to finance Larson’s second chance.
“But I understand kind of how the world is right now and with the mistake I made, that it’s going to be really tough to get another opportunity,” Larson continued. “But even if that opportunity comes, it’s more than just about racing a race car at this point. So we’ll see, but I would definitely love the opportunity.”
Larson was set to be the most coveted free agent entering the 2021 NASCAR season before he was fired by CGR after sponsors McDonald’s and Credit One Bank disassociated themselves with him. Larson was seen as a contender to replace Jimmie Johnson in the No. 48 at Hendrick Motorsports or head to a team like Stewart-Haas Racing if he didn’t stay with Chip Ganassi Racing.
Before he was fired, Larson was suspended by both NASCAR and the team. As part of his NASCAR suspension, Larson would need to complete sensitivity training to be fully reinstated by the sanctioning body, though the sensitivity training he did to be reinstated by the World of Outlaws reportedly fulfills his NASCAR training requirement.
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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.
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