Currently, Jimmie Johnson is among those diagnosed with COVID-19 with experienced little-to-no symptoms.
The NASCAR star announced Friday that he tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus. Johnson, who had participated in 663 consecutive Cup Series races, will miss Sunday’s race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and remain out until he passes NASCAR’s health protocols. He is the only NASCAR driver who has tested positive for the virus so far.
The 44-year-old, whose wife, Chandra, tested positive by two children did not, issued a personal health update Saturday morning.
“I can be down and out on my situation,” Johnson said in a Zoom call with reporters, via The Athletic’s Jeff Gluck. “But if I turn on the news and I see how this virus has impacted so many others, I quickly feel thankful I’m asymptomatic and I don’t have any major issues. It’d be very easy right now to get bummed out and to look at this the wrong way, but I’m healthy (in terms of symptoms) and my wife is healthy.”
Added Johnson: “I literally have had zero symptoms.”
Here’s more from the Hendrick Motorsports driver:
A quick update pic.twitter.com/qBFMztE8F3
— Jimmie Johnson (@JimmieJohnson) July 4, 2020
More than anything, Johnson, who insists he and his family were diligent in avoiding dangerous situations, appears upset over what his diagnosis could mean for people around him.
“Blown away, surprised, caught off guard, embarrassed to some respect, fearful of the impact this would have on my race team and the folks at (Chip Ganassi Racing) I came in contact with (in preparation for an IndyCar test),” he said, via Gluck. “ … Watching the impact the positive test has had on our children is heartbreaking and something we’re going to have to manage over these next couple of weeks while we’re in quarantine and isolation.
“To see the fear in their eyes and watch them try to process all of this, wondering if their parents are going to be like what they’ve seen in the news or if they’re going to experience (getting sick) and then trying to stay isolated from them right now and parent at the same time is a challenge we’re not sure how we’re going to handle.”
Johnson intends to retire after this season. He is tied for the all-time lead with seven NASCAR Cup Series championships.
Thumbnail photo via Jasen Vinlove/USA TODAY Sports Images