Kyle Larson apologizes for racial slur in iRacing video: ‘The damage is probably unrepairable’

Amid his indefinite suspension from NASCAR, iRacing and his own Cup Series race team Chip Ganassi Racing, driver Kyle Larson on Monday issued an apology for the racial slur he used Sunday while competing in an iRacing event.

Larson, 27, was heard staying the N-word during a live stream of the virtual race.

“I just want to say I’m sorry,” Larson said in a video posted to his Twitter account. “Last night I made a mistake and said the word that should never, ever be said, and there’s no excuse for that. I wasn’t raised that way. You know, it’s just an awful thing to say.

“I feel very sorry for my family, my friends, my partners, the NASCAR community, and especially the African-American community. I understand the damage is probably unrepairable. And I own up to that. But I just wanted to let you all know how sorry I am. And I hope everybody is staying safe during these crazy times. Thank you.”

During the iRacing event Sunday, which was not part of the official NASCAR iRacing series that is running in place of live Cup Series races that are postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, Larson spoke the slur thinking he was speaking only to his spotter and not realizing he was speaking to the entire group of drivers on the online simulation. Larson said, “You can’t hear me? Hey, n—.”

Credit One Bank, one of Larson’s two primary Cup Series sponsors (McDonald’s is the other), issued a statement on the matter Monday.

NASCAR’s behavior policy states that “NASCAR Members shall not make or cause to be made a public statement and/or communication that criticizes, ridicules, or otherwise disparages another person based upon that person’s race, color, creed, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, religion, race, or handicapping situation.

“Member actions that could result in a fine and/or indefinite suspension, or termination: 1. Public statement and/pr communication that criticizes, ridicules, or otherwise disparages another person based upon that person’s race, color, creed, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, religion, race, or handicapping situation.”

Larson, who has been racing in the Cup Series since 2013, has six career wins in NASCAR’s top circuit. He also has 12 NASCAR Xfinity Series wins and a pair of NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series wins. His contract at CGR is set to expire after the 2020 season.

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