Is a Kyle Larson-Hendrick Deal Just a Matter of Time as Larson Is Officially Reinstated by NASCAR?

Published 10/20/2020, 2:23 AM EDT


After a suspension that lasted over six months, Kyle Larson has been reinstated by NASCAR. Larson officially applied for reinstatement a few days ago, and after reviewing his application, the confirmation came through.

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The sport’s governing body stated that Larson “has fulfilled the requirements set by NASCAR, and has taken several voluntary measures,” that aided his return. He will officially return to racing activities from January 1, 2021.

However, NASCAR stated that Larson can sign a deal with a new team before January 1. This opens up the door for the much talked about Hendrick Motorsports deal to come through. Larson is a heavy favorite to replace Alex Bowman in the No. 88, which could also be the No. 5, next year.

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Sep 27, 2020; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Denny Hamlin (11) leads driver Alex Bowman (88) and the field during the South Point 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Why Hendrick is the ideal location for Kyle Larson

With the reinstatement now official, Larson’s return makes him highly sought after by teams. However, as NASCAR’s Silly Season seems to be taking shape, Hendrick Motorsports seems to be Larson’s landing spot.

Among the other open seats for 2021 and beyond, Erik Jones seems to be an overwhelming favorite to replace Bubba Wallace in the No. 43 car at Richard Petty Motorsports. Meanwhile, NASCAR Xfinity Series star Chase Briscoe is almost a certainty to take Clint Bowyer’s seat at Stewart-Haas Racing.

Support from Chevrolet

Larson’s potential Hendrick move is also aided by manufacturer Chevrolet’s stance on the matter. “Chevrolet fully supports NASCAR’s efforts to provide an inclusive environment for all race fans. Since Kyle Larson has met the criteria set forth for his return to the series, we support NASCAR’s decision,” a spokesperson from Chevrolet stated.

Larson’s major task ahead of him is to earn back that love and support from fans. The best way to well and truly find his way back into NASCAR is by performing on the race track. Hendrick will provide him with the resources to be a contender for race wins as well as a championship.

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Larson’s thoughts on the return

Speaking about his reinstatement, Larson said, “I’m truly grateful to everyone at NASCAR and appreciative of their process. The work I’ve done over the last six months has had a major impact on me. I will make the most of this opportunity and look forward to the future.”

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As per NASCAR’s requirements, Larson will need to take further training and classes and continue working with the Urban Youth Racing School. Additionally, he will need to fulfill other speaking arrangements as well with NASCAR communities from time-to-time, up to 2023.

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Aayush Majumdar

1006 articles

Aayush Majumdar is a NASCAR content strategist, a Tennis Writer, and a sports analyst at EssentiallySports. He is well-tenured as a tennis and NASCAR writer, with over 900 articles across both sports. After pursuing a Post Graduate program in Sports Management, Aayush explored various roles in Sports Media, including a Sports Reporting role at a leading English daily.

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