Kyle Larson has applied for NASCAR reinstatement; No. 5 Hendrick Motorsports car

Dale Earnhardt Jr comments on whispers for 2021

Update: NASCAR lifts indefinite suspension of Kyle Larson

Heading into 2020, Kyle Larson was one of the hottest drivers in the sport. He entered the season in a contract year.

In April, he used a racial slur when attempting to reach his personal spotter on a private audio channel. The n-word was instead sent on the public channel.

Related: NASCAR driver Kyle Larson drops N-word (Video)

Larson was suspended by his team and NASCAR within a day. Soon after, sponsors dropped the driver and he was fired by Chip Ganassi Racing. Matt Kenseth came out of retirement to fill the No. 42 seat.

The NASCAR suspension was indefinite. This week, NASCAR has confirmed that Kyle Larson has applied to be reinstated.

Larson was also required to take a sensitivity training class, per the penalty. He took the class within weeks of the suspension.

While unable to compete at the highest level of stock car racing, Larson has returned to the dirt track. His winning percentage is through the roof across dirt sprint cars, dirt midgets and even dirt late models.

This week, Larson conducted his first tv interview were he took blame and spoke on the incident.

Related: Kyle Larson says, “I’m not a racist”

Kasey Kahne crew chief change made
Kasey Kahne

Hendrick Motorsports #5

According to Dale Earnhardt Jr, Hendrick Motorsports could be making big changes heading into the 2021 season. Alex Bowman has already been announced as the new driver for the No. 48 team.

That leaves the No. 88 seat open. However, the team may bring back the No. 5 and at least for now, retire the No. 88.

“It also opens up the door for them to bring in whoever their next driver is. That will feel out the No. 88, which I think is switching over to No. 5. That’s at least what I’ve been hearing,” said Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Dale Earnhardt Jr brought the No. 88 to Hendrick Motorsports in 2008. He ran the number until his retirement in 2017.

The No. 5 has a long history with the team dating back to the team’s debut in 1984. Geoff Bodine, Ricky Rudd, Terry LaBonte, Kyle Busch, Casey Mears, Mark Martin and Kasey Kahne have all driven the No. 5 car for Hendrick Motorsports.

Kyle Larson is the leading candidate to fill the open seat at Hendrick Motorspoorts in 2021.

“I think they’re going to change the number on the No. 88 and rebrand, relaunch that whole fourth team.” Dale Earnhardt Jr. said.

2021 NASCAR seats

It remains unclear where Larson will land in 2021. However, Hendrick Motorsports is the likely candidate. A possible switch on the #88 to the #5 could be declared his seat in the coming weeks.

No. 14
Stewart-Haas Racing
Clint Bowyer

No. 32
Go Fas Racing
Corey LaJoie

No. 88 / No. 5?
Hendrick Motorsports
Alex Bowman


On Monday, NASCAR announced that Kyle Larson will be cleared to race in the 2021 season.

Related: Kyle Larson cleared to race in NASCAR for 2021 following suspension


Kyle Larson | Hendrick MotorsportsChip Ganassi Racing – NASCAR