INDIANAPOLIS — Seven-time NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson has analyzed optimistic for the coronavirus and will miss this weekend’s race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

The 44-12 months-old Johnson is the very first driver in any NASCAR collection to take a look at favourable, and the information Friday night cast a shadow more than the historic NASCAR-IndyCar doubleheader races coming up Saturday and Sunday. There was no indicator any races would be influenced.

Hendrick Motorsports stated Johnson will not return right up until he is cleared by a physician. He was examined previously Friday soon after his wife, Chani, examined constructive right after encountering allergy-like symptoms.

Johnson is asymptomatic.

“My initial priority is the overall health and safety of my loved kinds and my teammates,” Johnson explained. “I’ve in no way skipped a race in my Cup profession, but I know it is heading to be extremely really hard to check out from the sidelines when I’m supposed to be out there competing. Even though this situation is incredibly disappointing, I’m likely to arrive back all set to get races and place ourselves in playoff competition.”

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Johnson earlier Friday held a Zoom session with reporters to discuss Sunday’s race and an forthcoming test of an Indy auto on the highway system at the fabled location. He will now skip that test, as nicely as what was supposed to be his remaining Brickyard 400. Justin Allgaier will substitute him in the No. 48 Chevrolet.

“Jimmie has dealt with this situation like the winner he is,” explained Rick Hendrick, proprietor of Hendrick Motorsports. “We’re relieved he is not exhibiting symptoms and that Chani is accomplishing great, and we know he’ll be again and prepared to go very quickly. It’s likely to be difficult for him to be out of the vehicle and absent from his team, but it is the suitable detail to do for Jimmie and absolutely everyone included.”

Hendrick Motorsports stated it has applied comprehensive techniques to protect the wellness of its staff associates. They incorporate day by day COVID-19 screenings at the group facilities the separation of facility functions and traveling staff break up do the job schedules stringent confront covering and social distancing specifications and an increased degree of disinfecting and sanitization of all function places.

Johnson is scheduled to retire from full-time NASCAR competitors at the end of the time and was trying to tie Jeff Gordon and Michael Schumacher as the only five-time winners at Indianapolis.

Johnson has designed 663 conscutive Cup Collection starts — the longest streak among the energetic drivers — and is presently 12th in the standings, 63 details inside of the playoff image. NASCAR’s rules state a driver need to be symptom free of charge and have two damaging coronavirus checks in a 24-hour span to return.

NASCAR mentioned it has granted Johnson a playoff waiver.

“Jimmie is a true struggle-examined champion, and we wish him well in his restoration,” the series claimed.

Johnson could potentially also miss the Cup race at Kentucky and the All-Star race at Bristol. Following week’s exam of the road class at Indy in Scott Dixon’s motor vehicle has also been scrapped.

In this Feb. 16 file photo Jimmie Johnson climbs into his car or truck right before the NASCAR Daytona 500 vehicle race at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Seaside, Fla. (AP Image/John Raoux, File)

NASCAR was a person of the 1st athletics to resume competitiveness from the pandemic shutdown and has finished 11 Cup races considering that its May possibly 17 return. The sanctioning entire body does not examination for coronavirus but participants are necessary to do a temperature verify as they enter the facility.

Drivers have been instructed to isolate at the monitor and there is very little conversation beyond radio dialogue among the competitor and his crew.

Despite the fact that Stewart-Haas Racing and Workforce Penske both of those said they’ve had favourable exams from shop-based mostly group members, Johnson is the initial driver. Previously Friday, Brazilian sporting activities automobile driver Felipe Nasr reported he had tested beneficial and will skip Saturday’s IMSA party at Daytona International Speedway.

Johnson previously Friday discussed the Indy car or truck exam scheduled with Chip Ganassi Racing, which he explained was the very first action in identify if true races are in his future. If he’s any great, he stated, he would be open up to racing all 12 street and road program gatherings on the IndyCar schedule.

Johnson has extended stated security fears would keep him from racing on IndyCar oval tracks, but Friday he available a shockingly softer stance about the Indy 500. IndyCar this calendar year unveiled its aeroscreen windshield designed to defend the drivers from particles as they sit in the open-air cockpits. Saturday will mark just the 2nd race with the gadget, but it appeared trouble-cost-free final month on the oval at superior-pace Texas Motor Speedway.

“Their basic safety on ovals has dramatically greater this yr with the windscreen. So, I’ll preserve a near eye on points there and see how the security level appears to be like,” Johnson explained. “I’ve usually wanted to race the Indy 500. I’d have to do a good deal of promoting to my spouse to get that go, but my correct desire right now is to just run the street courses.”

Johnson has his eye on the street course race in Lengthy Beach front, Calif., a race that was canceled this 12 months mainly because of the coronavirus pandemic but is just one of the most storied activities on the IndyCar calendar at a track just a couple hours from his indigenous El Cajon.

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“When I was a child developing up, the closest IndyCar racing for me was at Very long Seaside so a person of my hopes is that I am ready to race at Lengthy Seashore,” Johnson claimed. “I hung on the fence a good deal as a kid seeing and dreaming. … There’s a ton of sentimental benefit with that race and I hope to race there.”

He is trapped in a a few-yr shedding streak but Hendrick Motorsports has been significantly enhanced this period and Johnson has been aggressive. He has also been actively prepping for a whirl in an Indy automobile and experienced been scheduled to test with the McLaren group just before the pandemic.

“It’s a check, it’s a tryout and it is a two-way street. Two-way tryout for the group to seem at me and for myself to search at a staff,” he claimed. “If I’m about 4 seconds off the tempo, then that’s almost certainly a fast indication that I don’t have to have to be in one of these cars and trucks. If I’m inside a specific amount of money of time and I have a good truly feel of the vehicle, then for me, I feel like which is an significant first step that I want to know that I can be aggressive.

“I do not want to go race in any collection and not be competitive,” he mentioned.



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