JUST IN: NASCAR Champion Driver Jimmie Johnson Tests Positive for Coronavirus

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Seven-time Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson has become the first NASCAR driver to test positive for COVID-19 and will miss this weekend's Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Hendrick Motorsports said on Friday. But his wife Chandra reportedly felt allergy-like symptoms and subsequently tested positive.

"I have under no circumstances skipped a race in my Cup occupation, but I know it really is heading to be really tough to enjoy from the sidelines when I am meant 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".

Johnson has made 663 conscutive Cup Series starts - the longest streak among active drivers - and is now 12th in the standings, 63 points inside the playoff picture.

Johnson is set to retire at the end of this disjointed NASCAR season but is considering several different series afterward. As a precaution, it has also identified one member of the No. 48 traveling crew to self-quarantine due to close contact with the driver.

"Jimmie has handled this situation like the champion he is", team owner Rick Hendrick said in a statement. "We have a great starting spot, starting fourth, and my team is doing an fantastic job and we're ready".

A win would not only be his fifth in the prestigious race but break a career-long winless streak and qualify him for the NASCAR playoffs.

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According to NASCAR, Johnson must be symptom-free, pass two COVID-19 tests separated by at least 24 hours and be cleared by a doctor before he will be allowed to resuming racing.

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 series said.

Jimmie missing the race might also make it hard for him to make the cut for the NASCAR playoffs - and a shot at one last title run - especially if he misses more.

The news comes on the same day that it was announced that Felipe Nasr had tested positive for COVID-19. No drivers had tested positive at the previous races.

Johnson earlier Friday discussed the Indy auto test scheduled with Chip Ganassi Racing, which he said was the first step in determine if actual races are in his future.

"Winning this race is one of the proudest I have been in my career", Johnson said earlier this week. It's high priority when you look at the race schedule. "There's a lot of sentimental value with that race and I hope to race there".

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