Kyle Larson, the NASCAR driver who used a racial slur during a virtual race on Easter Sunday, has been fired from his team.
Tuesday, Chip Ganassi Racing released a new statement after previously condemning the racer’s “offensive and unacceptable” comments by suspending him without pay.
"After much consideration, Chip Ganassi Racing has determined that it will end its relationship with driver Kyle Larson," the company said. "As we said before, the comments that Kyle made were both offensive and unacceptable especially given the values of our organization. As we continued to evaluate the situation with all the relevant parties, it became obvious that this was the only appropriate course of action to take."
On Monday, several of Larson’s sponsors — including McDonald’s, Clover, and Credit One Bank — announced they were cutting ties with the 27-year-old following the controversy.
“We were extremely disappointed and appalled to hear about this incident. The comments made by Kyle Larson are insensitive, offensive and not reflective of our inclusive values and will not be tolerated. McDonald’s is taking immediate action to terminate the relationship with Larson,” the fast-food company — who sponsored Larson’s car at Auto Club Speedway and Phoenix Raceway this season — said in a release.
Per ESPN, Plan B Sales and Marketing is the only company to stand by Larson, as president Brent Powell said the driver called him personally to "express his regret about what transpired."
NASCAR previously said on Monday that they were indefinitely suspending Larson, as well as ordering him to undergo sensitivity training.
On Sunday’s iRacing matchup, Larson appeared to have trouble communicating with his drivers, and was heard by participants and viewers saying, “You can’t hear me? Hey, ------.”
He issued an apology the next day admitting, "I made a mistake, said the word that should never, ever be said.”
"There is no excuse for that. I wasn't raised that way. It is just an awful thing to say. I feel very sorry for my family, my friends, my partners, the NASCAR community, and especially the African-American community,” he added.
Larson — who is half Japanese — moved up from short-track racing to NASCAR through the organization’s "Drive for Diversity" program. He is the only driver of Japanese descent to win a major NASCAR race.