CHARLOTTE, N.C. — NASCAR has determined it will not grant COVID-19 reduction for the duration of the playoffs, which means a constructive coronavirus examination will finish a driver’s championship bid.

The playoffs start Sunday at Darlington Raceway in South Carolina with out a protection web for the sixteen contributors for the duration of the pandemic. It really is up to each individual driver to guard on their own from COVID-19, being familiar with there is no cushion for lacking a race.

“I’m possibly not going to go to higher education and strike up a keg stand,” Clint Bowyer mentioned. “If you have COVID, you simply cannot race. It’s not a judgment contact.”

NASCAR at its discretion grants waivers for the duration of its standard year for disease, crisis or own reasons. The waiver maintains playoff eligibility, if the driver qualifies, but no factors are awarded when sidelined.

Jimmie Johnson and Austin Dillon each missed one race for the duration of the year subsequent a constructive COVID-19 examination and gained zero factors. Dillon received a race — really worth an computerized berth in the playoffs — but the 7-time winner Johnson went winless and missed the slash by 6 factors.

NASCAR built no improvements for the ten-race playoff collection, so lacking a race would would efficiently finish a driver’s championship possibilities.

“If a driver assessments constructive, that driver needs to have two damaging assessments in a 24-hour interval, or a ten-day interval. We are not going to transform people principles,” mentioned NASCAR President Steve Phelps.

As one of the initially big sports to resume competitors for the duration of the pandemic, NASCAR put in location guidelines built to limit each exposure to the virus and its distribute. Infield accessibility has been shut to all but critical personnel and activities have been held with each constrained spectators and empty grandstands.

NASCAR does not examination for the coronavirus and is trusting its contributors.

“If you glance at the results that we have experienced to day, the protocols are functioning really very well,” Phelps mentioned. “Is all the things ideal and foolproof? It’s not. But for us, we have been pleased with how it’s long gone as a result far.”

Kevin Harvick received the standard-year title and is the leading seed in the playoffs with 7 victories. The pandemic has by now led to radical improvements in his lifestyle that have been bolstered now that the postseason is below. .

He stored his 8-year-outdated son residence from college this semester and the Harvick loved ones has eradicated all social activities. They never even go to the grocery shop, he mentioned.

“I vacation by myself. I drive in the rental vehicle by myself. I go to the motorhome by myself. I get back again in the rental vehicle and I go residence,” Harvick mentioned. “It’s touched rather a lot each portion of our existence, attempting to generate an atmosphere to be as safe and sound as probable.”

NASCAR right until 2004 crowned its winner on a year-prolonged factors system that penalized motorists for lacking races. It compelled rivals to drive wounded — Ricky Rudd once infamously taped his eyelids open to drive and Dale Earnhardt Jr. hid concussions — and the waiver system was in the end applied.

The waiver assisted reigning Cup Collection winner Kyle Busch in his initially title campaign when he missed 11 races for the duration of the 2015 standard year with a broken leg and broken ankle. He received four periods to race his way into the playoffs and then claimed the title.

A severe personal injury would obviously just take a driver out of contention. But the coronavirus is not as crystal clear slash and motorists could theoretically not be examined to guard their year. Johnson was not suffering signs or symptoms but was examined right after his spouse been given a constructive examination Dillon was experiencing mild signs or symptoms. Equally ended up cleared to return in under a week.

“I’ve talked to each of them that experienced it and (they’ve) possibly experienced even worse hangovers,” Bowyer mentioned.

Joey Logano dismissed the thought of deliberately not becoming examined out of anxiety of lacking a race.

“Our protection needs to be the utmost problem, not just for ourselves, but in a selfless way we need to be intelligent about screening,” Logano mentioned. “We also need to be intelligent about who we see and how we do matters. As the environment is starting up to open up slowly but surely, I feel for these ten weeks I possibly still need to be intelligent about it because my year is on the line.”