Motorsport: Nascar driver Kyle Larson fired for racial slur during iRacing event

American Nascar driver Kyle Larson has been fired by his team, after using a racial slur during a virtual race. 

Larson, who has raced at Western Springs in a sprint car, drove under the same banner as Kiwi IndyCar star Scott Dixon.

Chip Ganassi Racing dumped the 27-year-old on Wednesday, after he dropped the 'N-bomb' on a nationally televised broadcast and major sponsors withdrew their support. 

"After much consideration, Chip Ganassi Racing has determined that it will end its relationship with driver Kyle Larson,” Ganassi said. 

"As we said before, the comments that Kyle made were both offensive and unacceptable, especially given the values of our organisation. 

"As we continued to evaluate the situation with all the relevant parties, it became obvious that this was the only appropriate course of action to take."

On Monday (NZ time), Larson contested an online event, designed to build engagement between drivers and fans during the coronavirus-enforced stoppage in the racing schedule.

He appeared to lose headset communication with his spotter. During a check of his microphone, he asked his spotter, “You can’t hear me?” 

He then used the N-word. The slur was directed at his spotter, who was caucasian. 

Nascar has ordered Larson to complete a sensitivity training programme, before it will lift the suspension handed down to him after the incident. 

McDonald's and Credit One Bank - two of America's biggest brands - are among sponsors that have dumped the talented driver. 

Although Larson has just six wins in the Nascar Cup Series and his sixth-place finish in last year’s standings was a career-best, he was considered the future of Nascar. 

He apologised in a video posted on his social media accounts: "I made a mistake, said the word that should never, ever be said. 

"There is no excuse for that. I wasn’t raised that way. 

"It is just an awful thing to say. I feel very sorry for my family, my friends, my partners, the Nascar community and especially the African-American community. 

"I understand the damage is probably unrepairable and I own up to that."

Larson is the only driver of Japanese descent to win a major Nascar race.