Making his final trip around the NASCAR circuit before he retires as a full time driver, seven time NASCAR Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson has been looking to break a long losing streak. However, Johnson is going to have to wait a while longer for that next win after testing positive for the Covid-19 virus but is asymptomatic.
Johnson was tested after learning that his wife Chandra had tested positive for the virus. There was no news on the status of Johnson’s two daughters.
Speaking on the news via a statement, Johnson said, “my first priority is the health and safety of my loved ones and my teammates. 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.”
Due to the test results, Johnson will have to sit out the Brickyard race at Indianapolis on July 5. Xfinity Series regular Justin Allgaier will take over the driving duties for Johnson in the number 48 Hendrick Motorsports car.
After close contact with Jimmie Johnson, NASCAR and Hendrick Motorsports has asked one member of the 48 traveling team to self quarantine as a precaution.
Car owner Rick Hendrick also spoke on Johnson’s diagnosis saying, “Jimmie has handled this situation like the champion he is. 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.”
Before Johnson can return to racing he will have to be given a clean bill of health from his doctor and have two negative Covid-19 tests 24 hours apart. NASCAR has said that they will give Johnson a playoff waiver once he returns to racing.
Johnson made his NASCAR debut in 2002 and along with his seven championships, he is tied for sixth on the all time wins list with 83 wins.
feature photo credit: By Zach Catanzareti – https://www.flickr.com/photos/58980992@N03/32373226862, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=85590864