CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Jimmie Johnson is just as perplexed as every person else about his plight with the coronavirus. A positive take a look at triggered the seven-time NASCAR champion to miss out on the 1st race of his occupation, and it was followed three times later by a destructive take a look at.
He by no means suffered any signs and symptoms and was examined only immediately after his spouse, bothered by seasonal allergic reactions, acquired a positive take a look at.
Was it a phony positive? Ended up he and spouse, Chani, carrying the virus for some time just before their assessments?
He has no solutions.
“There’s a whole lot of speculation there,” Johnson mentioned Friday, a entire 7 days immediately after testing positive. “I’m the most frustrated particular person out there, in particular dwelling in a entire world of details that we do. To not have the details drives me bananas.”
Johnson sat out last Sunday’s race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, which snapped his streak of 663 consecutive commences, longest among active drivers. But he examined destructive Monday and Tuesday and was cleared by NASCAR to race once again this weekend at Kentucky Speedway.
That 1st destructive take a look at sent his constantly altering thoughts to a distinct amount.
“My 1st reaction was just anger. I began cussing and utilized each and every cuss word that I understood of and I imagine invented a number of new kinds,” Johnson mentioned Friday. “It was just so unusual — the anger — due to the fact I have been asymptomatic. Anger hits. And then speculation in my brain. And then it’s, ‘Wait a second, there is nothing superior that can appear of this. No one particular is aware. I really do not know. It is just time to shift on. ’
“Then I got extremely energized and starting up on the lookout at the details that I have only skipped one particular race,” he included. “I feel like I am much more on the optimistic aspect of factors and out of the darkish head place that I was in and transferring in the correct route.”
Both of those and he and his spouse isolated from their two young daughters as he waited to be examined once again. He mentioned Chani Johnson feels high-quality and, apart from some allergic reactions, is asymptomatic.
He is specified he is in good shape to race, and examined himself in the Colorado mountains this 7 days.
“I feel wonderful. I’ve been at altitude this entire time,” Johnson mentioned. “I rode up to 10,500 toes on a bicycle and felt properly high-quality.”
Johnson is scheduled to retire from entire-time NASCAR racing at the stop of this period and experienced by no means skipped a race in his 19-year Cup occupation just before sitting down out the Brickyard 400. The forty four-year-aged was expected to have two destructive COVID-19 assessments in a 24-hour span and be cleared by a medical doctor to return to racing.
NASCAR authorized him to return to the No. 48 Chevrolet on Wednesday. He is 15th in the Cup standings, just inside of the playoff cutoff mark, and he acquired a waiver for the championship race should he qualify.
He is eager to get again to function immediately after a hoping 7 days with is household.
“Just psychological and a journey that you go via worrying about your basic safety, your family’s basic safety, seeing a race with any individual else in your race auto and the emotion that goes with that,” Johnson mentioned. “Coming to grips with the fact of all that has been hard, but I’ve always subscribed to developing via these tricky times, and I feel like I’m a smarter, more powerful particular person nowadays experiencing all this.”
NASCAR is not testing for COVID-19. Participants will have to reply a health questionnaire just before and immediately after each function, and a temperature screening is expected just before moving into the location. NASCAR has place the duty on its members to monitor their individual health, which Johnson did immediately after his spouse examined positive.
NASCAR President Steve Phelps last weekend mentioned the sequence thinks its strategies are functioning, and the sanctioning system has not disclosed any testing effects. Two groups have verified positive assessments among unidentified staff, but Johnson is the only identified driver to seek out a take a look at.
He declined to give his feeling on NASCAR’s protocols.
“I really do not know how to increase clarity or advice in what changes will need to consider position,” he mentioned. “I regrettably feel that there is a whole lot to nevertheless be acquired in the expert and health care field on this and I, like every person else, are eagerly awaiting on that instruction and that understanding, a vaccine, better testing, better screening.
“There is just much more inquiries than solutions for a whole lot of us. I definitely really do not have the solutions for everybody.”