Tony Stewart: NASCAR Needs to Allow Kyle Larson to Race Again After Using N-Word

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistAugust 21, 2020

NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee Tony Stewart poses for pictures prior to the induction ceremony in Charlotte, N.C., Friday, Jan. 31, 2020. (AP Photo/Mike McCarn)
Mike McCarn/Associated Press

Tony Stewart believes NASCAR should let Kyle Larson race again.

When speaking to Matt Mayer of CBS Sports, Stewart said, "I think it's time for NASCAR to get off their ass and do the right thing."

Larson told Jenna Fryer of the Associated Press that he has yet to apply for reinstatement in an interview published Thursday.

Stewart suggested Larson has already paid his price for saying the N-word during a virtual race in April, adding "we've had similar instances in the sport that have happened and the penalties didn't last as near as long as this has lasted with Kyle."

Fryer noted Larson lost his sponsors, was fired by Chip Ganassi Racing and was suspended by NASCAR after using the N-word while trying to get a colleague's attention.

"I was just ignorant," Larson said, per Fryer. "And immature. I didn't understand the negativity and hurt that comes with that word. That's not a word that I had ever used. I grew up in Northern California, all I ever did was race and that's all I was focused on. There's probably a lot of real-life experiences I didn't get to have and I was just ignorant to how hurtful that word is."

Larson completed a sensitivity training course as part of his efforts to return to NASCAR.