Is Kyle Larson going to get the No. 48 car with Hendrick Motorsports in 2021 after Jimmie Johnson retires at the end of this season? That’s the new buzz around NASCAR where word is starting to drip out that Hendrick could be the landing spot, and it would be an upgrade, for Larson who was dropped by Ganassi Racing for using the n-word during an April virtual race.
Since then, Larson dropped down to the sprint car circuit and has been dominating — 31 wins in 54 races — and seems to be paving the way for his return to NASCAR with a better team and equipment than he had with the No. 42 team.
When Bob Pockrass starts mentioning Larson to Hendrick, you should listen.
“Although he hasn’t formally applied for reinstatement, he has talked with NASCAR about being reinstated and considering he has missed 24 races, that would appear to be much more than long enough for NASCAR to OK his return,” Pockrass wrote on FoxSports.com.
“The question is convincing sponsors and a manufacturer to bring him back for 2021. Hendrick Motorsports has an opening and is known for making some bold moves.”
As I wrote last week, things could be very interesting for NASCAR heading into Daytona 2021. You have Bubba Wallace rejecting partial ownership in Richard Petty Motorsports and on a direct path for Kyle Larson’s old No. 42. You Larson possibly returning, the whole apology tour this would lead to and what one has to assume would be a unity meeting with Bubba.
Bubba said in April he hoped Larson would get a second chance. Something tells me NASCAR has been hunkering down figuring out a plan to get as many miles out of this story as possible.