CHARLOTTE, N.C.: Kyle Larson will likely be again in NASCAR subsequent season driving the flagship No. 5 Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports.

Larson signed a multi-year contract Wednesday with Hendrick that ended his seven-month banishment from NASCAR for utilizing a racial slur whereas taking part in a web-based racing recreation final spring. He’d been thought-about the highest pending free agent within the sport however was promptly fired by Chip Ganassi Racing and misplaced all his sponsors.

Since utilizing the n-word on April 12, Larson has accomplished NASCAR’s sensitivity coaching, employed an inclusion coaching coach, volunteered with the Tony Sanneh Basis, visited Jackie Joyner-Kersee and her St. Louis group heart, and the positioning of the 2014 protests in Ferguson, Missouri, that adopted a deadly police capturing of a Black man.

Larson has volunteered at meals banks, went with Sanneh to the George Floyd Memorial web site in Minneapolis, spent in depth time on the City Youth Racing College in Philadelphia and made quite a few different visits to each educate himself on racial justice points and converse of his personal experiences.

Larson, who's half-Japanese, additionally saved racing beneath the radar: He has gained 42 dash automotive races in 2020 whereas suspended from NASCAR.

Kyle is definitely one of the vital proficient race automotive drivers on the earth, staff proprietor Rick Hendrick mentioned in a press release. He has championship-level capability and will likely be a big addition to our on-track program. Extra importantly, I've full confidence that he understands our expectations and will likely be an incredible ambassador for our staff, our companions and NASCAR.

Hendrick mentioned he’s had many, many conversations with Larson and is “assured about whats in his coronary heart and his need to be a champion in all features of his life and profession. Kyle has accomplished necessary work over the previous six months, and Hendrick Motorsports goes to help these continued efforts.

Hendrick was anticipated to bid for Larson when his contract expired with Ganassi, who additionally needed to maintain the driving force he’d groomed from dash vehicles to NASCAR’s high Cup stage.

As an alternative, the 28-year-old’s future in NASCAR was jeopardized by his use of the slur throughout an iRacing occasion late Easter Sunday. He was lastly reinstated by NASCAR final week.

Mr. Hendrick is likely one of the individuals who prolonged a hand to me over the previous six months,” Larson mentioned in a press release. “Our preliminary conversations weren't about racing. He cares about me as an individual and desires to see me succeed past driving. I cant put into phrases how grateful I'm for the dedication, the religion and the boldness from him and everybody at Hendrick Motorsports.

Larson will likely be teamed with crew chief Cliff Daniels, who spent the final two years working with seven-time NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson.

Hendrick will return the No. 5 the primary automotive campaigned when Hendrick Motorsports launched in 1984 and discontinue use of the No. 88 it acquired for Dale Earnhardt Jr. in 2008. Geoff Bodine drove the No. 5 to a few victories within the 1984 season that was virtually Hendrick’s first and final in NASCAR.

The No. 5 has made a Hendrick-record 1,129 Cup Sequence begins and Larson would be the 10th driver within the automotive however the first since Kasey Kahne in 2017. Corridor of Famer Terry Labonte gained 12 races and the 1996 Cup title within the No. 5.

The 5 is particular to me. Its the unique, Hendrick mentioned. I view it as Hendrick Motorsports flagship staff in lots of methods. To convey the automotive again to the racetrack is significant for my household and for a lot of of our staff members and followers.”

Larson will likely be a part of a Hendrick lineup that features Chase Elliott, William Byron and Alex Bowman. The common age of the lineup will likely be 26 years previous on the opening of subsequent season.

The 4 drivers mixed have already gained 18 Cup Sequence races and earned 14 playoff berths.

Im enthusiastic about our roster of younger expertise, Hendrick mentioned. We've a staff that's constructed to win races and compete for championships for years to return.