Jimmie Johnson tests positive for COVID-19 and will miss his first NASCAR Cup Series race


MARTINSVILLE, VIRGINIA – JUNE 10: Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Ally Chevrolet, drives during the NASCAR Cup Series Blue-Emu Maximum Pain Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway on June 10, 2020 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Friday afternoon NASCAR Cup Series champion, Jimmie Johnson, tested positive for COVID-19 and he will miss Sunday’s race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. 

Johnson has not experienced any symptoms of COVID-19, but he was tested after his wife, Chandra, tested positive after having allergy-like symptoms.

Justin Allgaier will drive the No. 48 Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports on Sunday at Indianapolis. 

“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 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.” 

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.   Johnson is also required to be cleared by his doctor before he can return to racing.

Justin Allgaier has been the reserve driver for Hendrick Motorsports during this pandemic. 

“First and foremost, my thoughts are with Jimmie Johnson and his family,” Allgaier said.  “My wife, Ashley, Harper, and I wish them a speedy recovery and, just as everyone else, want nothing more that to see him back in the car as soon as possible.”

Allgaier’s last cup series start was in 2016. He is currently the driver of the No. 7 Chevrolet for JR Motorsports in the NASCAR Xfinity Series. He has 11 career wins, 87 top fives and 181 top tens in the series.

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