Kyle Larson NASCAR return 2021

Analysis: Landing spots for Kyle Larson ahead of his NASCAR return

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The return of Kyle Larson to NASCAR  in 2021 is already in motion, and it is only a matter of time that the former No. 42 Chevrolet driver for Chip Ganassi Racing will run a Cup Series car again.

Larson was fired by Chip Ganassi Racing and suspended indefinitely by NASCAR in April for using a racial slur in an iRacing event. Since then, Larson has apologized for his immaturity and also formally requested a reinstatement with NASCAR. In fact, NASCAR has been in communication with the driver about the things he needs to do for reinstatement.

If the suspension is lifted, there will be a number of teams vying for Larson. One of the teams that stand out is Stewart-Haas Racing. Especially after the team’s co-owner, Tony Stewart called on NASCAR to “get off their ass and do the right thing” by bringing him back into the Cup series, it may as well be his team that will give Larson a ride on his return.

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Currently, SHR have two drivers, Aric Almirola and Clint Bowyer, in the last year of their contract. As Stewart is a big fan of Larson, he may as well vacate one of the spots in favor of the former No. 42 driver. Back in June, Racer’s journalist Robin Miller reported that Stewart is interested in Larson. So, all signs point to Larson featuring for SHR in the 2021 Cup Series season.

Well, in case the move doesn’t happen, there would be other spots open for Larson to take. And, one of the major spots that is going to open up for drivers is the soon-to-be-vacant seat of the No.48 Chevrolet of Jimmie Johnson. Set to retire at the end of the 2020 season, Hendrick Motorsports have not yet identified his replacement.

Considering the circumstances of Larson’s departure from Chip Ganassi Racing, it is highly unlikely that he would return to the team. However, his team could help him find a new spot though. There were rumors that Bubba Wallace could take the No. 42 seat in Chip Ganassi Racing. But, with an enticing offer on the tab with Richard Petty Motorsports, he will probably end up signing an extension with them. Besides, the way RPM supported Wallace during his activism, it will be contrary to sign Larson who was fired for using a racial slur, even though he has apologized for his mistakes.

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