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What's next for Larson, NASCAR?

27-year-old driver fired two days after using racial slur
Credit: AP
Kyle Larson greets fans during driver introductions prior to the NASCAR Cup Series auto race at ISM Raceway, Sunday, Nov. 10, 2019, in Avondale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ralph Freso)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Given the nature of Kyle Larson's comment, and the fact that it took place for millions to see live on the internet, some thought the decision came too late.

But either way, the 27-year-old was fired by Chip Ganassi racing two days after using the N-word during an iRace.

"You can't hear me?" Larson asked his team during Sunday's race, apparently thinking he was not available for all to hear. "Hey N*****."

The writing was on the wall for Larson after that, with major sponsors like Chevrolet dropping him on Monday.

Larson offered an apology on Twitter, but it was too late.

On Tuesday Chip Ganassi Racing fired Larson, saying his comments were "both offensive and unacceptable."

Fellow NASCAR driver Joey Logano appeared on NBC Sports with Mike Tirico on Tuesday and offered his reaction.

Joey Logano: "It's a good reminder for all of us."

"You always have to be on, someone always has the ability to show what you're doing," said Logano. "It's a good reminder for all of us whether you're a racecar driver or not, your brand is the most important. Things like that are not accepted in our society and it shouldn't be."

NBC Sports NASCAR writer Dustin Long talked to WCNC Charlotte about what lies ahead for Larson.

"He's got to rehabilitate his image, rehabilitate himself," Long said. "If a sponsor is willing to put a lot of money behind somebody, they've got to be assured that this is somebody that will represent their company well."

Larson was a rising star in the racing ranks. Many presumed he would jump to Hendrick Motorsports to take over the No. 48 car after Jimmie Johnson retired.

"Right now it's his career," said Long. "He was viewed as the hottest free agent, his contract expired at the end of the season."

The damage to Larson's career is obvious. But what about for NASCAR?

The league has spent years promoting diversity not only in the drivers seat, but throughout organizations.

"I think that one incident shouldn't be a reflection on all those people, and I think that becomes the challenge for NASCAR," said Long, "and I think that's the point that NASCAR needs to make is that one person does not represent them in this situation."

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