William Byron’s usual No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports pit crew was not performing the pit work for him in this week’s Autotrader EchoPark 500 at Texas Motor Speedway, as the team registered multiple positive COVID-19 tests.
According to HMS, the pit crew will also sit out at Martinsville. Taking their place will be JTG Daugherty Racing’s No. 47 crew, which is staffed by Hendrick Motorsports.
HMS released a statement on the matter on Thursday:
Due to multiple positive COVID-19 tests, the No. 24 team’s full over the wall pit crew did not compete Wednesday at Texas Motor Speedway and will not competed Sunday at Martinsville Speedway. The status of other team personnel has not been affected. The No. 47 pit crew, which is staffed by Hendrick Motorsports, is serving as the No. 24 team’s interim pit crew. Hendrick Motorsports has implemented detailed procedures to protect the health of our team members and follows recommendations from the CDC, OSHA and NCDHHS regarding the handling of positive COVID-19 tests.
Byron finished 13th on Wednesday at Texas Motor Speedway with his backup pit crew servicing the car. Fortunately, it seems that the virus spread has been limited to the No. 24 pit crew, at least for now.
With two weeks remaining in the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series season, the No. 24 pit crew joins NASCAR Hall of Famers Dale Jarrett and Red Farmer, future NASCAR Hall of Famer Jimmie Johnson, NCS Playoff contender Austin Dillon, part-time NCS driver Brendan Gaughan and Truck Series competitor Spencer Davis as confirmed positive COVID-19 cases within the industry in 2020.
The No. 24 team made the 2020 NASCAR Playoffs, but were eliminated in the Round of 16. The team won the fall race at Daytona International Speedway.
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.