Jimmie Johnson tests positive for coronavirus; will sit out NASCAR race at Indianapolis
NASCAR driver Jimmie Johnson has tested positive for the coronavirus, per Hendrick Motorsports
Johnson becomes the first NASCAR driver to test positive for the coronavirus.
“My first priority is the health and safety of my loved ones and my teammates,” said Johnson per release (via NASCAR). “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.”
Johnson was tested after finding that his wife, Chandra, tested positive after experiencing allergy-like symptoms. Johnson had not experienced symptoms himself.
Justin Allgaier will drive the No. 48 Chevy on Sunday’s Big Machine Hand Sanitizer 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
NASCAR has come back with flying colors as one of the United States’ first major professional leagues to return amidst the coronavirus pandemic, but Johnson is the first major name to test positive during the pandemic. With no spectators at events and drivers observing COVID-19 protocols, NASCAR was praised for its broadcasts and handling of the virus.
NASCAR is the latest sport to field a positive test for one of its athletes, with NFL, NBA and MLB players all having tested positive for the virus in recent months. One member of Johnson’s team is also self-quarantining after being in close contact with Johnson.
Johnson is winless in 2020 and currently sits 12th in the standings.
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