Kyle Larson, who is 27-years-old, half-Japanese, and old enough to know better, calmly uttered the N-word while doing a virtual race last night on Twitch. The most charitable reading is that he didn’t know his voice was being broadcast to the world, but, come on, man.
Here is video of the incident, which was on Twitch and eNASCAR.com:
According to TMZ, that’s driver NASCAR Xfinity Series driver Anthony Alfredo who says, “Kyle, you’re talking to everyone, bud,” followed later by IndyCar driver Conor Daly who says, “Yikes!” (Conor Daly’s dad has his own reported history with the n-word.)
From USA Today:
Larson, of Chip Ganassi Racing in NASCAR’s Cup Series, was competing in an iRacing event when he seemed to lose communication on his headset with his spotter. During the microphone check, Larson could be heard saying the slur. “You can’t hear me?” he said on the livestream. “Hey, (expletive).”
Larson is a graduate of NASCAR’s “Drive For Diversity” program, and is the only person of Japanese descent to ever win a NASCAR race, first taking the checkered flag in Michigan in 2016.
There was no word from Larson or Chip Ganassi Racing Monday morning. Larson is in the final year of his contract with the team.
NASCAR had this to say, via The Sporting News:
NASCAR in a statement Monday said it is “aware of insensitive language used by a driver during an iRacing event on Sunday, and is currently gathering more information.”
Update, 11:55 a.m.: Larson has been suspended and Chip Ganassi Racing has released a statement.