By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher
Seven-time NASCAR Cup Series Champion Jimmie Johnson will miss the Brickyard 400 on Sunday. He has tested positive for the coronavirus.
It’s not clear when Johnson may have contracted the virus. He has been racing around the country since NASCAR returned on May 17th in Darlington, South Carolina.
“Following the guidelines outlined in the Event Operations Protocol manual, Jimmie Johnson has alerted NASCAR that he has tested positive for COVID-19,” NASCAR said in a statement. “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.”
It’s not clear how long Johnson will miss. But this is his final season in the sport unless he changes his mind, as he previously said he’ll retire at the end of the season.
Johnson is the first driver who contracted the virus in NASCAR. He recently competed at Pocono Raceway in the double header on Saturday, June 27, and Sunday, June 28th, in Long Pond, Pennsylvania.
The legendary driver got tested after his wife tested positive for the virus. Johnson has two young daughters, and it’s unclear if they have been tested or will be tested in the near future since they live with their parents.
With Johnson missing Saturday’s race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, his 663 consecutive NASCAR Cup Series starts streak will come to an end. It was the longest active streak among active drivers.
“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.”
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