NASCAR: 10 drivers who won’t be back with their 2020 teams

Jimmie Johnson, Hendrick Motorsports, NASCAR -Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Jimmie Johnson, Hendrick Motorsports, NASCAR -Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /
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Kyle Larson, NASCAR
Kyle Larson, Chip Ganassi Racing, NASCAR – Mandatory Credit: Mike Dinovo-USA TODAY Sports /

Drivers moving on after 2020: Kyle Larson

Anybody remember this guy, the guy who entered the 2020 season as the top pending free agent on the market?

Kyle Larson has not competed in a NASCAR Cup Series race since Sunday, March 8 when he wheeled his #42 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet to a season-best fourth place finish at Phoenix Raceway in what was the 2020 season’s fourth race of the year.

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So yes, it has now been more than 11 months since Larson has driven a stock car.

Larson was fired by Chip Ganassi Racing during the 10-week hiatus caused by the coronavirus pandemic after several sponsors cut ties with him over his use of a racial slur during a virtual racing event on iRacing, and he was replaced by Matt Kenseth for the remaining 32 races on the schedule. Chip Ganassi Racing turned to Ross Chastain to drive the #42 Chevrolet in 2021.

But Larson is set to get another chance, as he is set to replace seven-time champion Jimmie Johnson at Hendrick Motorsports.

Larson is set to drive the #5 Chevrolet, a number which hasn’t been used since Kasey Kahne drove it in 2017, as Alex Bowman was shifted over from the #88 Chevrolet to the #48 Chevrolet and the #88 Chevrolet was renumbered to the #5 Chevrolet.

Rick Hendrick wanted to sign Larson for 2021 even before the 2020 season began, given his status as a driver in a contract year. He got his wish, albeit with a few twists and turns along the way.

Next. Top 10 NASCAR drivers of all-time. dark

The 63rd annual Daytona 500 is scheduled to get the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series season underway on Sunday, February 14 at Daytona International Speedway, with live coverage set to be provided by Fox beginning at 2:30 p.m. ET.