And just like that, the 7-time NASCAR champion is back!
For the last 19 years, Jimmie Johnson has run every NASCAR Cup Series race on the schedule. 663 consecutive races netted 7 championships and 83 wins.
That streak came to an end last week. Johnson became the first driver to test positive for COVID-19 since the sport returned to action in May.
Johnson’s test was conducted on Friday. He and his wife both had positive test result but they remained asymptomatic. The 44-year-old driver was forced to miss Sunday’s race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Justin Allgaier jumped behind the wheel of the No. 48 at Indy. He was involved in a pit lane crash that collected many cars.
Johnson would be allowed to return if he showed no symptoms and collected two negative Coronavirus test results, 24 hours apart. Johnson has since completed those requirements with a negative test on Monday and again on Tuesday.
Johnson is now scheduled to return to the No. 48 at Kentucky Speedway.
Jimmie Johnson comments following negative COVID tests
“My family is so grateful for the incredible love and support we’ve received over the last several days,” Johnson said.
He added, “I especially want to thank Justin Allgaier for stepping in for me at Indy and being a true pro. I’m excited about getting back to business with my team this weekend.”
Hendrick Motorsports had four team members tested for COVID-19 after Johnson’s positive test result last week. All four of those crew members tested negative.
The race team has a wide range of protocols in place, in addition to NASCAR protocols.
“Hendrick Motorsports has implemented detailed procedures to protect the health of its team members. They include daily COVID-19 screenings at the team facilities; the separation of facility operations and traveling personnel; split work schedules; stringent face covering and social distancing requirements; and an increased level of disinfecting and sanitation of all work areas.”