NASCAR: Kyle Larson’s First Sponsor Unveiled for Return at Daytona 500

by Keeli Parkey
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NASCAR reinstated driver Kyle Larson back in October, with the driver’s reinstatement coming less than a year after he was suspended by the organization and fired by Chip Ganassi Racing.

Now, he has a sponsor for his car ahead of the Daytona 500. The annual race will take place on Sunday, Feb. 14, in Florida. Without a doubt, it is one of the most iconic races in the entirety of the sport.

According to a report by FoxNews.com, Larson is now racing for Hendrick Motorsports. Also, Larson will be sponsored by NationsGuard, which is owned by Hendrick Automotive Group.

According to the report, NationsGuard allows car dealers to establish warranty companies. Because of the events surrounding his suspension, many wondered if Larson could attract sponsors in the future.

Larson will be driving the #5 Chevrolet. In addition to sponsoring him at Daytona International Speedway, NationsGuard will also sponsor the driver at Homestead-Miami Speedway, the report said.

Following his suspension in 2020, Larson did not stop racing. According to Fox News, the driver recently won his second consecutive Chili Bowl midget car spring racing event. That practice should help him before the 2021 NASCAR season begins.

Kyle Larson Suspended by NASCAR

Kyle Larson’s suspension came on indefinite terms without pay in April of 2020. Larson was let go by his team for calling a teammate a racial slur during a virtual race. He reportedly did not realize his audio was streaming on Twitch for thousands of viewers to hear, according to TMZ Sports. The incident also cost him numerous sponsorships.

Regarding the incident, Larson previously said his comment was directed to a friend. It was not meant to be a derogatory statement.

“What I said was extremely hurtful,” the 28-year-old Larson has said. “But I hope I will get that opportunity to race with them (NASCAR). With that platform, I think I could do some good things.”

Also regarding the incident, Larson has said: “Deep down, I know I’m not racist.”

NASCAR announced in October 2020 that Larson would be reinstated. The racing organization shared the following statement at the time:

“NASCAR continues to prioritize diversity and inclusion across our sport. Kyle Larson has Fulfilled the requirements set by NASCAR, and has taken several voluntary measures, to better educate himself so that he can use his platform to help bridge the divide in our country. Larson’s indefinite suspension has been lifted.”

NASCAR reported at the time that Kyle Larson could resume racing activities as of Jan. 1, 2021.

Luke Combs to Perform at Daytona 500

Luke Combs will be spreading the love on Valentine’s Day when he performs at NASCAR’s Daytona 500. His performance will take place at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 14.

“Excited to announce I’ll be performing at the @DAYTONA 500 on February 14! Tune-in to @NASCARONFOX at 1 PM ET to see my performance. #DAYTONA500” Combs posted on Twitter.

Watch Luke Combs announce his upcoming Daytona 500 performance below.

“I grew up watching the NASCAR race every Sunday with my granddad. …” Combs said. “I never could have imagined back then that I’d be playing the Daytona 500 one day, so this is super awesome and is something I’m really looking forward to.”

Daytona International Speedway officials are excited to present what should be another exciting Daytona 500.

“The tradition of the Daytona 500 Pre-Race Show has been an incredibly popular hit with race fans,” said Daytona International Speedway President Chip Wile. “Luke has been one of the most influential country music stars over the last few years.”

Wile goes on to say that Combs’ appeal with fans “is incredible.”

“It’s a bonus, too, that he loves our sport,” Wile added. “He will help get another thrilling DAYTONA 500, as well as a new NASCAR season, off to an exciting start.”

Outsider.com