Reinstated Larson signs with Hendrick Motorsports

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NASCAR: Ford EcoBoost 400
NASCAR: Ford EcoBoost 400

(Reuters) - Kyle Larson on Wednesday signed a multi-year contract with Hendrick Motorsports after he was fired by Chip Ganassi Racing and suspended for more than six months by NASCAR for using a racial slur in April.

A six-time winner on the NASCAR Cup Series, Larson had been one of its hottest commodities until he was heard using the slur while apparently testing his microphone for the iRacing competition. He was immediately dropped by sponsors and his team.

He was reinstated earlier this month after he fulfilled the requirements set by NASCAR, which said he had also taken several voluntary measures to educate himself.

"Humbled, honored and so grateful for this next chapter in my life," he tweeted on Wednesday with a photo of him signing the contract.

"Thank you Team Hendrick, look forward to great things on and off the track!"

Under the terms of his reinstatement, he will be cleared to return to all NASCAR racing activities on January 1, 2021.

During his suspension, Larson spent time racing sprint cars collecting 12 victories on the World of Outlaws tour, which required him to complete sensitivity training in order to be cleared for competition.

"Apologizing for your mistakes matters," said Larson in an essay published Oct. 4 on his website.

"Accountability matters. Forgiveness matters. Treating others with respect matters.

"I will not stop listening and learning, but for me now, it's about action — doing the right things, being a part of the solution and writing a new chapter that my children will be proud to read."

(Reporting by Rory Carroll in Los Angeles; Editing by Toby Davis)