Hendrick Motorsports has announced that Jimmie Johnson, driver of the No. 48 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE, has been cleared to return to NASCAR Cup Series competition this weekend at Kentucky Speedway following a positive COVID-19 test last week, which kept him out of the car at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Johnson, who sits 15th in the NASCAR Cup Series championship standings is grateful to be returning to the track in the Quaker State 400.
“My family is so grateful for the incredible love and support we’ve received over the last several days,” Johnson said in a team release. “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.”
Johnson, 44, met the requirements in place by NASCAR which were to have two negative COVID-19 tests at least 24 hours apart, an absence of symptoms and medical clearance from a physician.
According to the release from Hendrick Motorsports, Johnson tested negative on Monday and Tuesday for COVID-19 and was cleared by his physician on Tuesday evening. Johnson, as he stated in the teleconference after the news of the positive test, never experienced any symptoms of COVID-19.
Hendrick Motorsports also tested four HMS employees who could have had close contact with Johnson, all four of those employees also have tested negative for COVID-19.
Johnson was the first NASCAR driver to test positive for COVID-19. In his place, Justin Allgaier drove the No. 48 car at Indianapolis, but an early-race melee on pit road sidelined his day with a 37th-place finish.
Johnson has been given a medical waiver by NASCAR to continue competing for an eighth NASCAR Cup Series championship in his final season of competition.
Toby is the Founder, Editor and go-to man for TobyChristie.com. He is also the co-host of The Final Lap Weekly Podcast. Additionally, Toby is a NMPA (National Motorsports Press Association) award winning writer, and has followed NASCAR as a fan since 1993.