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Jimmie Johnson cleared to make NASCAR return after testing positive for COVID-19

Hendrick Motorsports announced that seven-time NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson was cleared to return Tuesday and will race this weekend at Kentucky Speedway.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Seven-time NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson was cleared to make his return to racing this weekend at Kentucky Speedway after he tested positive for COVID-19 last week, Hendrick Motorsports announced. 

Johnson missed a Cup Series event for the first time in his 20-year career at Indianapolis last Sunday. Hendrick Motorsports said Wednesday that Johnson was cleared by his doctor Tuesday evening in accordance with NASCAR guidelines.The 44-year-old tested negative for coronavirus on Monday and Tuesday, which satisfied NASCAR's requirement for two negative tests to return. Johnson was asymptomatic when he tested positive after his wife, Chandra, experienced allergy-like symptoms and tested positive for coronavirus.

“My family is so grateful for the incredible love and support we’ve received over the last several days,” Johnson said. “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.”

Four crew members on Johnson's No. 48 Chevrolet team were tested for COVID-19 and all four were negative, according to a release from Hendrick Motorsports. 

Johnson enters this Sunday's race 15th in the Cup Series points standings, 46 points above the playoff cut line. He would need to receive a waiver from NASCAR to be eligible for the playoff due to missing a race.

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