From The Tribune staff reports
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — Seven-time NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson has tested positive for the coronavirus and will miss this weekends race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
“Following the guidelines outlined in the Event Operations Protocol manual, Jimmie Johnson has alerted NASCAR that he has tested positive for COVID-19,” read a statement from NASCAR.
The circumstances will prevent Johnson from extending his streak of 663 consecutive races, a mark which dates back to 2002 when he went full-time with cup racing.
NASCAR also provided a statement on the sport’s return policy.
“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,” read the statement. “NASCAR requires Johnson to be cleared by his physician before returning to racing.”
The 44-year-old Johnson is the first driver in any NASCAR series to test positive for COVID-19.
“Jimmie is a true battle-tested champion, and we wish him well in his recovery,” NASCAR wrote. “NASCAR has granted Jimmie a playoff waiver, and we look forward to his return as he races for an eighth NASCAR Cup Series championship.”