Jimmie Johnson tests positive for coronavirus; will sit out NASCAR race at Indianapolis


NASCAR driver Jimmie Johnson tested positive for coronavirus, according to Hendrick Motorsports

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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," he said. Johnson by version (via NASCAR). "I have never missed a race in my World Cup career, but I know it will be very difficult to watch from the outside when I have to compete.

"Although this situation is extremely disappointing, I will be back ready to win races and put us in the playoff contest."

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Johnson was tested after finding out that his wife, Chandra, tested positive after experiencing allergy-like symptoms. Johnson had not experienced the symptoms.

Justin Allgaier will drive the Chevy No. 48 in Sunday's Big Machine Hand Sanitizer 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

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NASCAR returned with bright colors as one of the first major professional leagues in the United States to return in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, but Johnson is the first important name to have positive results during the pandemic. With no spectators at the events and drivers observing the COVID-19 protocols, NASCAR was praised for its transmissions and handling of the virus.

NASCAR is the latest sport to test positive for one of its athletes, with NFL, NBA and MLB players having tested positive for the virus in recent months. A member of Johnson's team is also quarantined after being in close contact with Johnson.

Johnson has no wins in 2020 and currently ranks 12th.

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