Kyle Larson

In+this+July+27%2C+2019%2C+Kyle+Larson+climbs+into+his+car+for+a+practice+session+for+the+NASCAR+Cup+Series+auto+race+in+Long+Pond%2C+Pa.+Kyle+Larson+was+fired+Tuesday%2C+April+14%2C+2020%2C+by+Chip+Ganassi+Racing%2C+a+day+after+nearly+every+one+of+his+sponsors+dropped+the+star+driver+for+using+a+racial+slur+during+a+live+stream+of+a+virtual+race.+

AP

In this July 27, 2019, Kyle Larson climbs into his car for a practice session for the NASCAR Cup Series auto race in Long Pond, Pa. Kyle Larson was fired Tuesday, April 14, 2020, by Chip Ganassi Racing, a day after nearly every one of his sponsors dropped the star driver for using a racial slur during a live stream of a virtual race.

Rylan Ferguson, Staff Writer

Kyle Larson has come back to NASCAR after being fired last year for saying a racial slur at an iRacing event sponsored by NASCAR. Some things to know about Kyle Larson is according to NASCAR.com, Kyle Larson was born on “July 31, st 1992” also the NASCAR official website says, “Kyle Larson drives the No. 5 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet full time in the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series season. He previously drove the No. 42 for Chip Ganassi Racing before the team parted ways with the driver in April 2020. Larson is a seven-time Cup race winner and qualified for the NASCAR Playoffs in 2016-2019. His first win for Hendrick Motorsports came in March 2021 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Over a year ago, he got fired for saying a racial slur, but I believe it is good to give him a second chance because he didn’t mean to say that, though what he said was wrong. I don’t think his punishment was fair. He shouldn’t have lost his job over something wrong, he said once, because it wasn’t intended at anyone. At the time, Kyle Larson was on the NASCAR Diversity team, and he was part of Japanese descent; this can be backed up by The New York Times, who states, “Larson’s father is white, and his mother is Japanese-American. His maternal grandparents were put in an internment camp during World War II.” According to The New York Times, “Larson spent 2012 in the Drive for Diversity program, getting opportunities on minor league circuits. “The program helped me get some track time and helped out Chip financially by providing me with a place to race,” Larson said. He got a full-time ride on NASCAR’s main circuit in 2014, at age 20, and won rookie of the year.” So, I think he doesn’t deserve to go back as one of the faces in the NASCAR diversity program since he already ruined that image to go back into the NASCAR diversity program.
You may also be wondering why Kyle Larson is racing again, and that is easy to answer. In NASCAR, there are teams like Rick Hendrick Motorsports, and they have a set of drivers. Those set of drivers have an owner, and since they’re on the same team, they have the same owner. It’s just like any other league where they have teams of more than one person and the same car. This means that no one on the Hendrick team can drive a Toyota or a Ford since Chevrolet sponsors them, and this information will be important later. But one of the reasons Rick Hendrick Motorsports wanted Kyle Larson to drive for them in 2021, according to WNCT 9, a local news channel that is located in Greenville NC, “Rick Hendrick signed Larson late last year in an attempt to give Larson a second chance. The driver was expected to be NASCAR’s top 2020 free agent but lost his job and all his sponsors”.
One of the reasons Rick Hedrick, the owner of Rick Hendrick Motorsports, signed him because he wanted to give Kyle Larson a second chance. WNCT 9 a local news channel that is located in Greenville NC said “Rick Hendrick signed Larson late last year in an attempt to give Larson a second chance. The driver was expected to be NASCAR’s top 2020 free agent but lost his job and all his sponsors”. Rick Hendrick has made it clear that he is a guy who believes in second chances, which is why he believes Kyle Larson deserves a second chance. Another reason why Rick Hendrick wanted to sign Kyle Larson and get him back to racing is that according to the Cape Cod Times, “If Kyle Larson had been a true free agent available to the highest bidder, Rick Hendrick doubts he would have entered the game. Hendrick had passed on Jeff Gordon’s advice years earlier to sign Larson out of sprint cars. It was Chip Ganassi who took the risk and spent the money to develop Larson into a NASCAR star. Hendrick recognized he’d whiffed but didn’t want to outspend Ganassi to land the driver.” So, Hendrick Motorsports had been eying Kyle Larson for years.
For me personally, I think it is terrific that Rick Hendrick Motorsports is giving Kyle Larson a second chance, and Kyle is proving that he deserved a second chance with his first win of the season for him at Las Vegas Motor Speedway last week. Surprisingly, the race was only the second of the season, and there are still many races for Kyle Larson to conquer as the season goes on. Still, many people disagree and believe that Kyle Larson didn’t deserve a second chance because what he said was wrong and uncalled for. One student, Essence Gaynor ( 12) said, “I think it is inappropriate for large teams and organizations to support someone who has made racial comments, so I believe he deserved to be let go. I’m hoping that Kyle Larson has reflected since that time and educated himself on how harmful it is to talk down on another race.” I agree that his actions were terrible, but I do think he deserved a second chance. Whether you agree with me or not, that is for you to decide.