NASCAR’s lone African-American driver addresses Kyle Larson’s racial slur

Bubba Wallace, Richard Petty Motorsports, NASCAR (Photo by Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images)
Bubba Wallace, Richard Petty Motorsports, NASCAR (Photo by Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images) /

Bubba Wallace, the lone African-American NASCAR Cup Series driver, addressed Kyle Larson’s use of a racial slur in a statement he shared on social media.

Kyle Larson is now the former driver of the #42 Chevrolet for Chip Ganassi Racing’s NASCAR Cup Series team after using a racial slur during an iRacing event at virtual Autodromo Nazionale Monza on the evening of Easter Sunday.

The 27-year-old Elk Grove, California native, in an attempt to get the attention of his spotter, nonchalantly used the N-word while the race was being live streamed on Twitch.

After that, he was suspended by both Chip Ganassi Racing and NASCAR. But one thing led to another, and after multiple sponsors cut ties with him, Chip Ganassi Racing had no other option but to cut ties with him as well, unless they wanted to lose millions of dollars in sponsorship from several of their most prominent partners.

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So they fired him.

At first, the sport’s drivers were silent about the matter, until Team Penske’s Joey Logano spoke out about it (when asked) earlier this week. But given the word Larson used, many fans were interested in what one driver in particular thought about the matter.

That one driver is Richard Petty Motorsports’ Bubba Wallace, the lone African-American driver in the Cup Series.

The 26-year-old Mobile, Alabama native addressed the issue in a statement that he published on social media. He stated that he didn’t want to get involved in the matter, but that he had been involved from the start — as in within five minutes of that six-letter word coming out of Larson’s mouth in a second-nature kind of way.

Wallace stated that he truly believes Larson, who issued a public apology before Chip Ganassi Racing released him, is sorry for what he said and that the two drivers had a “good conversation” about his language. That said, he admitted that Larson’s racial slur left him “confused and angry”.

Here is what Wallace had to say.

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Kyle Larson’s future in NASCAR is anything but certain at this point, if it even exists. There are reports stating that he wants to get back as soon as possible and that he has already enrolled in the sensitivity training that NASCAR has mandated he complete before he can be reinstated following his indefinite suspension, but there is no guarantee that a team will sign him, despite the fact that one landing spot in particular has been rumored.