Considered one of the most promising young drivers in NASCAR, Kyle Larson jeopardized his future in the sport in a serious way with his use of a racial slur while participating in an iRacing event in early 2020.
As a result of his actions, Larson was released from his ride at Chip Ganassi Racing and suspended from NASCAR. But after undergoing racial sensitivity training and requesting to be reinstated by NASCAR late last year, Larson had his request granted.
Shortly thereafter, Hendrick Motorsports announced that Larson would return to full-time Cup Series competition in 2021 as driver of the No. 5 Chevrolet. Larson, who issued a public apology shortly after his use of the racial slur, will spend much of the year looking to fully restore his reputation in the NASCAR community.
How well he is able to do this will be something worth watching.
After a drop in overall performance relative to its history-making 2019 season, Joe Gibbs Racing announced a crew chief shakeup for the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series campaign.
While the 2020 crew chiefs for JGR drivers Denny Hamlin and Martin Truex Jr. remain in place, such is not the case for two-time Cup Series champion Kyle Busch, whose crew chief from the past five seasons – Adam Stevens – will now call the shots for JGR newcomer Christopher Bell.
Busch’s new pit boss is Ben Beshore, who previously served as engineer for Busch’s No. 18 team prior to moving to JGR’s Xfinity Series program as a crew chief in 2019. Is Beshore just the spark Busch needs to return to his former dominance after what was a lackluster 2020 by his lofty standards?
Will Stevens make Bell an instant contender with JGR? Stay tuned.