NASCAR Cup Series

Jimmie Johnson to Miss the Brickyard 400 due to Positive COVID-19 Test

By: Ashley McCubbin

Jimmie Johnson’s last full-time season of NASCAR competition has hit another snag as the seven-time Cup Series Champion tested positive for COVID-19. As a result, he will be missing this weekend’s event at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and possibly more to come.

“My first priority is the health and safety of my loved ones and my teammates,” Johnson said. “I’ve never missed a race in my Cup career, but I know it’s going to be very hard to watch from the sidelines when I’m supposed to be out there competing. Although this situation is extremely disappointing, I’m going to come back ready to win races and put ourselves in playoff contention.”

Hendrick Motorsports stated that Johnson was tested upon learning this morning that his wife, Chandra, tested positive after experiencing allergy-like symptoms. The team immediately was in contact with NASCAR about Johnson’s diagnosis and the steps moving forward.

“Jimmie has handled this situation like the champion he is,” said Rick Hendrick, owner of Hendrick Motorsports. “We’re relieved he isn’t showing symptoms and that Chani is doing great, and we know he’ll be back and ready to go very soon. It’s going to be difficult for him to be out of the car and away from his team, but it’s the right thing to do for Jimmie and everyone involved.”

According to a NASCAR statement, Johnson will have to register a pair of negative COVID-19 test results that are taken 24 hours apart, while showing no symptoms before returning.

“Following the guidelines outlined in the Event Operations Protocols manual, Jimmie Johnson has alerted NASCAR that he has tested positive for COVID-19,” their statement read. “NASCAR has outlined the steps for Johnson’s return, in accordance with the CDC’s current guidelines, which includes that Johnson is symptom-free and has two negative COVID-19 test results, at least 24 hours apart. NASCAR requires Johnson to be cleared by his physician before returning to racing. Jimmie is a true battle-tested champion, and we wish him well in his recovery. NASCAR has granted Jimmie a playoff waiver, and we look forward to his return as he races for an eighth NASCAR Cup Series championship.”

Hendrick Motorsports also announced that NASCAR Xfinity Series regular Justin Allgaier will be in the No. 48 this weekend at Indianapolis.

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