NASCAR star Jimmie Johnson is sitting out the Brickyard 400 race this weekend after testing positive for coronavirus.
According to a statement released by NASCAR, Johnson is missing Sunday's race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway because of the diagnosis. "My first priority is the health and safety of my loved ones and my teammates," the 44-year-old said in a team release. "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."
Jimmie was tested for the virus after his wife Chandra received a positive diagnosis, according to a NASCAR report. She reportedly experienced allergy-like symptoms, while her husband is asymptomatic.
In a statement released by NASCAR they wished the athlete well and detailed the precautions they're taking to prevent the spread of the virus. "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. NASCAR requires Johnson to be cleared by his physician before returning to racing. Jimmie is a true battle-tested champion, and we wish him well in his recovery," the organization stated.
Jimmie's health setback comes amidst his final season as a full-time driver.
If the driver is granted a playoff waiver he could potentially win his eighth championship in the NASCAR Cup Series.