Almost a month after Kyle Larson’s use of the N-word during an iRacing event cost him his NASCAR Cup Series ride with Chip Ganassi Racing and his primary sponsors, the 27-year-old driver will return to racing Friday.
According to NBC Sports, Larson will race when the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series returns May 8 at Knoxville Raceway in Knoxville, Iowa. Retired NASCAR driver Kasey Kahne will also race at Knoxville for the sprint car team he owns.
Larson remains indefinitely suspended by NASCAR, but a World of Outlaws spokesman told NBC Sports that Larson had completed the sensitivity training required for his return to dirt racing.
As for Larson’s return to stock car racing, NASCAR told Racer Magazine’s Kelly Crandall it “will not have anything to communicate until we announce his reinstatement at a later date.”
Friday night’s sprint car race will broadcast live on DIRTVision, but spectators will not be allowed at Knoxville Raceway.
Larson, who also was suspended indefinitely by iRacing for his use of the racial slur, apologized for his use of the word in a video he tweeted the next day.
“Kyle is an important and visible stakeholder in the World of Outlaws community as both a driver and team owner,” the World of Outlaws said in a statement on April 14. “Kyle has admitted to making a mistake and it is our expectation that he will make every effort to represent the sport in a professional manner moving forward. Provided that Kyle completes the designated training in the allotted time, he will remain eligible to compete in all World of Outlaws sanctioned events.”
The virtual race in which Larson uttered the N-word was not an official NASCAR iRacing event, which have been replacing the live NASCAR Cup Series races that have been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.