Busba Wallace was one of the drivers of the NASCAR Cup Series to congratulate Kyle Larsen on Sunday shortly after Larson's win at the Penzoil 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Eleven months ago, Wallace, the series' Lone Black Driver, was responding to Larson's N-word pronunciation during an online stream of an eyeing event.
“Proud and Happy For (Larsen),” Wallace tweeted early Monday. “Told him how to keep his head up!”
Larsen appreciated the gesture.
“It was special for him and a good time for his commuting time, where he was on his way home from the airport,” Larson told reporters in his video call.
Larson apologized to Wallace last April for saying the word. Larsen Chip was fired by Ganassi Racing and suspended by NASCAR.
More: Larson spoke last summer of his ‘ignorance', ‘privilege'
Wallace wrote on Twitter at the time, “I'm not mad at him, and I believe he deserves a second chance with most people.” Still, Wallace said, there was no “gray area” regarding the slur.
“, I told them that it was very easy for them to use this word and that they would have to do better and get it out of their vocabulary. There is no place in this world for this word,” Wallace wrote.
NASCAR reinstated Larson last October because he was satisfied that he had fulfilled his conditions for returning. Hendrick Motorsports signed him later in the month. He won his fourth race with the organization at No. 5 Chevrolet.
The win also earned a congratulatory tweet from another NASCAR trailblazer Bill Lester. In 1999, Lester Xfinity (then known as Bush) became the first black driver to race in the series. He was a regular in the Truck Series from 2002–07 and made two starts in the 2006 Cup Series.
“You got your second chance and totally made it!” Lester tweeted.
congratulations @KyleLarsonRacin. You got your second chance and made it all the way! Your talent was never in question, only your decision. #NASCAR
– Bill Lester (@Bill_Lester) March 7, 2021