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USA TODAY Sports’ Ralphie Aversa breaks down the firing of Kyle Larson after using racial slurs. USA TODAY

Kyle Larson went from a talented young driver with a promising NASCAR future to persona non grata in an instant. One word has put him at a career crossroads. One ugly, inexcusable, unnecessary word.

At 27, Larson had gone into the Easter weekend with the NASCAR world at his fingertips. He had a full-time job at the premier level, driving for a legendary team owner and was considered one of the good guys. His name was being thrown about in silly season conversations about other big-time teams.

But in less than 24 hours, ,

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