Chip Ganassi Racing suspends Kyle Larson without pay

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NASCAR stated Monday that it is investigating a racial slur Kyle Larson made during an iRacing event Sunday night, and Chip Ganassi Racing stated it had suspended Larson without pay.”

NASCAR stated: “NASCAR is aware of insensitive language used by a driver during an iRacing event on Sunday, and is currently gathering more information.”

Chip Ganassi Racing stated: “We are extremely disappointed by what Kyle said last night during an iRacing Event.  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.”

MORE: Kyle Larson issues apology

Larson was participating in the Monza Madness iRacing exhibition race Sunday night. Video from another competitor’s twitch stream caught the slur from Larson across the audio channel where drivers can talk to all competitors. When a driver speaks on that channel, their name appears on each driver’s screen.

In the video, Larson, who has Japanese-American heritage, said: “You can’t hear me? Hey (racial slur).”

Xfinity driver Anthony Alfredo then said: “Kyle, you’re talking to everyone, bud.”

Aron MacEachern said: “Yep, we heard that.”

IndyCar driver Conor Daly said: “Yikes.”

Daly lost sponsorship from Lily Diabetes for the 2018 Xfinity race at Road America after a racial slur made by his father in the 1980s surfaced.

NASCAR suspended Jeremy Clements in 2013 for us a racial slur in a conversation with a reporter. Clements missed two races and had to complete sensitivity training.

NASCAR’s Code of Conduct (Section 12.8.a) states that:

“NASCAR membership is a privilege. With that privilege comes certain benefits, responsibilities and obligations. Correct and proper conduct, both on and off the race track, is part of a Member’s responsibilities. A Member’s actions can reflect upon the sport as a whole and on other NASCAR Members. Ideally, NASCAR Members are role models for the many fans who follow this sport, regardless of the type of license a Member may hold, or the specific Series in which a Member may participate. Therefore, NASCAR views a Member’s conduct, both on and off the race track, which might constitute a behavioral Rules violation under this Rule Book with great importance.”

The Cup Rule Book states in Section 12.8.1.e that a member’s action that could result in a fine and/or indefinite suspension, or termination:

“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, age, or handicapping condition.”

The Cup Rule Book states in Section 12.8.1.f factors that NASCAR may consider when reviewing a matter might include:

  • When and where the incident(s) occurred.
  • The perceivable or potential ramifications to others and/or to the sport.
  • Available empirical data.
  • Member’s past history.
  • Possible effects to fans, safety workers, crew members.
  • Any extenuating circumstances.
  • Was the explanation(s) plausible given the circumstances.
  • Was there an indication of genuine remorse or attempts to work things out with the other party(s) in a civil manner, and so on.