/Sports Jimmie Johnson 1st NASCAR driver to test positive for virus
Sports Jimmie Johnson 1st NASCAR driver to test positive for virus

Sports Jimmie Johnson 1st NASCAR driver to test positive for virus


Sports NASCAR megastar Jimmie Johnson has examined determined for the coronavirus


JENNA FRYER AP Auto Racing Author

July 4, 2020, 6: 58 AM

6 min be taught

Seven-time NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson has examined determined for the coronavirus and can omit this weekend’s sail at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

The 44-year-used Johnson is the principle driver in any NASCAR assortment to verify determined and the news Friday evening solid a shadow over the ancient NASCAR-IndyCar doubleheader races coming up Saturday and Sunday. There changed into as soon as no indication any races would be affected.

Hendrick Motorsports stated Johnson won’t return till he’s cleared by a doctor. He changed into as soon as examined earlier Friday after his wife, Chani, examined determined after experiencing hypersensitivity-relish indicators.

Johnson is asymptomatic.

“My first precedence is the effectively being and security of my beloved ones and my teammates,” Johnson stated. “I’ve under no circumstances disregarded a sail in my Cup career, but I comprehend it’s going to be very laborious to behold from the sidelines after I’m supposed to be available competing. Even though this insist is amazingly disappointing, I’m going to approach support support engaging to grab races and set apart ourselves in playoff contention.”

Johnson earlier Friday held a Zoom session with newshounds to debate Sunday’s sail and an upcoming take a look at of an Indy automobile on the dual carriageway direction on the fabled venue. He’s going to now omit that take a look at, moreover to what changed into as soon as supposed to be his closing Brickyard 400. Justin Allgaier will change him in the No. 48 Chevrolet.

“Jimmie has handled this insist relish the champion he’s,” stated Rick Hendrick, owner of Hendrick Motorsports. “We’re relieved he isn’t displaying indicators and that Chani is doing immense, and we know he’ll be support and in a position to sail very soon. It’s going to be subtle for him to be out of the automobile and faraway from his crew, but it’s the coolest part to carry out for Jimmie and all americans concerned.”

Hendrick Motorsports stated it has implemented detailed procedures to provide protection to the effectively being of its crew participants. They include on each day foundation COVID-19 screenings on the crew facilities; the separation of facility operations and touring personnel; split work schedules; stringent face keeping and social distancing requirements; and an increased level of disinfecting and sanitization of all work areas.

Johnson is scheduled to retire from full-time NASCAR competition on the cease of the season and changed into as soon as trying to tie Jeff Gordon and Michael Schumacher as the greatest 5-time winners at Indianapolis.

Johnson has made 663 consecutive Cup Series starts — the longest breeze among active drivers — and is at uncover 12th in the standings, 63 facets all around the playoff picture. NASCAR’s tips remark a driver will have to be symptom free and have two negative coronavirus assessments in a 24-hour span to return.

NASCAR stated it has granted Johnson a playoff waiver.

“Jimmie is a correct battle-examined champion, and we opt him effectively in his recovery,” the assortment stated.

Johnson would possibly well well additionally doubtlessly also omit the Cup sail at Kentucky and the All-Superstar sail at Bristol. Subsequent week’s take a look at of the dual carriageway direction at Indy in Scott Dixon’s automobile has also been scrapped.

NASCAR changed into as soon as one of the most principle sports to resume competition from the pandemic shutdown and has carried out 11 Cup races since its May per chance presumably per chance merely 17 return. The sanctioning physique would now not take a look at for coronavirus but participants are required to carry out a temperature take a look at as they enter the ability.

Drivers were told to isolate on the music and there would possibly be amazingly runt interplay beyond radio conversation between the competitor and his crew.

Even though Stewart-Haas Racing and Personnel Penske both stated they’ve had determined assessments from store-primarily based crew participants, Johnson is the principle driver. Earlier Friday, Brazilian sports automobile driver Felipe Nasr stated he had examined determined and can omit Saturday’s IMSA match at Daytona Global Speedway.

Johnson earlier Friday talked about the Indy automobile take a look at scheduled with Chip Ganassi Racing, which he stated changed into as soon as the principle step in determine if actual races are in his future. If he’s any good, he stated, he would be begin to racing all 12 dual carriageway and dual carriageway direction events on the IndyCar schedule.

Johnson has lengthy stated security concerns would support him from racing on IndyCar oval tracks, but Friday he supplied a surprisingly softer stance referring to the Indy 500. IndyCar this year unveiled its aeroscreen windshield designed to provide protection to the drivers from debris as they sit in the begin-air cockpits. Saturday will tag correct the 2nd sail with the instrument, but it appeared anguish-free final month on the oval at excessive-velocity Texas Motor Speedway.

“Their security on ovals has dramatically increased this year with the windscreen. So, I’ll support a close survey on things there and be conscious how the safety level looks,” Johnson stated. “I’ve continuously wished to sail the Indy 500. I’d must carry out replacement selling to my wife to construct up that pass, but my correct desire good now would possibly well well well be to correct scramble the dual carriageway programs.”

Johnson has his survey on the dual carriageway direction sail in Prolonged Seaside, California, a sail that changed into as soon as canceled this year thanks to the coronavirus pandemic but is one of basically the most storied events on the IndyCar calendar at a music correct a pair hours from his native El Cajon.

“When I changed into as soon as a baby rising up, the closest IndyCar racing for me changed into as soon as at Prolonged Seaside so one of my hopes is that I’m in a position to sail at Prolonged Seaside,” Johnson stated. “I held on the fence so much as a baby searching at and dreaming. …. There’s replacement sentimental value with that sail and I’m hoping to sail there.”

He’s stuck in a 3-year shedding breeze but Hendrick Motorsports has been dramatically improved this season and Johnson has been aggressive. He has also been actively prepping for a whirl in an Indy automobile and had been scheduled to verify with the McLaren crew earlier than the pandemic.

“It’s a take a look at, it’s a tryout and it’s a two-capacity dual carriageway. Two-capacity tryout for the crew to behold at me and for myself to behold at a crew,” he stated. “If I’m about four seconds off the traipse, then that’s potentially a short signal that I don’t must be in a single of those autos. If I’m inside a explicit interval of time and I have an even in actual fact feel of the automobile, then for me, I in actual fact feel relish that’s an predominant first step that I want to know that I would possibly well well well be aggressive.

“I carry out no longer want to sail sail in any assortment and no longer be aggressive,” he stated.