Kyle Larson officially is back.
Hendrick Motorsports on Wednesday announced a multi-year deal with Larson, who will drive the reintroduced No. 5 Chevrolet Camaro. Larson recently was reinstated by NASCAR after serving a six-month suspension for using a racial slur in April.
Larson, 28, was fired by Chip Ganassi Racing two days after NASCAR handed down its suspension.
The No. 5 last was seen in the NASCAR Cup Series in 2017 with Kasey Kahne behind the wheel. Hendrick’s decision to rebrand the No. 88 as the No. 5 coincides with its decision to replace Jimmie Johnson with Alex Bowman in the No. 48.
“Kyle is unquestionably one of the most talented race car drivers in the world,” HMS owner Rick Hendrick said in a press release. “He has championship-level ability and will be a significant addition to our on-track program. More importantly, I have full confidence that he understands our expectations and will be a tremendous ambassador for our team, our partners and NASCAR.
“Kyle and I have had many, many conversations leading up to today’s announcement. I’m confident about what’s in his heart and his desire to be a champion in all aspects of his life and career. Kyle has done important work over the past six months, and Hendrick Motorsports is going to support those continued efforts.”
Added Larson: “Hendrick Motorsports is a championship organization that has set a high bar for performance and for how its drivers represent the team and its partners. My goal is to win races, be a great teammate, continue my personal efforts to grow, and hold myself to that high standard personally and professionally.
Larson has 101 top 10 finishes, including six victories, in 223 Cup Series races. He has taken just one checkered flag since 2017.