NASCAR Champ Jimmie Johnson Tests Positive for COVID

He'll miss first race of Cup career after finding out he has coronavirus
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 4, 2020 8:30 AM CDT
NASCAR Champ Jimmie Johnson Tests Positive for COVID
In this Feb. 16, 2020, file photo, Jimmie Johnson climbs into his car before the NASCAR Daytona 500 auto race at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla.   (AP Photo/John Raoux, File)

Jimmie Johnson was all set to race in Sunday's Brickyard 400 in Indianapolis, but he's now pulled out, for good reason: The seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion has contracted COVID-19. "My first priority is the health and safety of my loved ones and my teammates," the 44-year-old said in a NASCAR statement, per Yahoo. "I've never missed a race in my Cup career." He added, "I know it's going to be very hard to watch from the sidelines when I'm supposed to be out there competing." Per NASCAR, Johnson was tested after finding out Friday morning that his wife, Chandra, who'd had allergy-like symptoms, had tested positive.

According to NASCAR rules, which it's basing on CDC guidelines Johnson won't be permitted back until his doctor clears him, he's had two negative tests 24 hours apart, and he remains symptom-free. Justin Allgaier will drive the No. 48 Chevy Camaro as Johnson's replacement on Sunday. One member of the No. 48 traveling crew who's had close contact with Johnson will also be self-quarantining as a precaution. Johnson himself is said to be asymptomatic so far. "Although this situation is extremely disappointing, I'm going to come back ready to win races and put ourselves in playoff contention," said Johnson, who has noted that 2020 will be his last year racing full time. NASCAR restarted its season on May 17 after being shut down due to the virus, per CNN. (More Jimmie Johnson stories.)

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