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Three sprint car drivers test positive for COVID-19 after Knoxville Outlaws

Superstar Racing Experience schedule

Fans watch hot laps at Knoxville Raceway on Saturday, June 6, 2020 in Knoxville. Grandstand seating at the track was limited to even rows only as well as 3 seats between groups for the first fan attended event of the year.

Brian Powers/The Register via Imagn Content Services, LLC

Three drivers each announced a positive test for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) after racing in the World of Outlaws Series event at Knoxville Raceway in Iowa last week.

Daryn Pittman, who made the feature race in all three nights of The One And Only event (finishing 10th Saturday in the main event won by Kyle Larson), announced he “recently tested positive” for COVID-19 in a Twitter post Wednesday night.

Pittman, who said he was feeling better after a fever and body aches, said other members of his team also tested positive for COVID-19. He advised those who were in contact with him at Knoxville to monitor themselves for symptoms.

Paul McMahan, who competes regularly in the All Star Circuit of Champions, posted Thursday afternoon that he and his wife, Jan, had tested positive Tuesday after his wife returned from Knoxville feeling ill and with a high fever. McMahan said he is asymptomatic but has been self-isolating with Jan.

UPDATE: A third sprint car driver, Tori Knutson, posted Thursday night that she also had tested positive for COVID-19 after racing at Knoxville and would be sidelining her team for two weeks.

Kraig Kinser Racing, which also raced at Knoxville, tweeted late Thursday afternoon it was sitting out this weekend after members of its team tested positive.

Knoxville Raceway released a statement Thursday that a member of its staff also tested positive for COVID-19 after the race weekend. The track said it was aware of “several positive COVID-19 results this week” within the sprint car racing community and was working with Marion County health officials.

A World of Outlaws spokesperson told NBC Sports that the series advised its Platinum drivers (who are running for seasonlong points) to get COVID-19 tests earlier this week and also has conducted contact tracing from Knoxville.

The World of Outlaws also will be closing the pit area to fans until further notice and limit access through temperature checks and health questionnaires.

In a statement later Thursday night, the Outlaws also outlined how Platinum drivers such as Pittman would receive points while missing races.

Pittman and McMahan both said they wouldn’t be racing this weekend. The NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series is scheduled for a doubleheader weekend in North Dakota on Friday at River Cities Speedway and Saturday at Red River Valley Speedway. The ASCOC is racing in Wisconsin and Indiana.

“The One and Only” essentially replaced the 60th annual Knoxville Nationals, which was postponed to next year because of COVID-19 restrictions.

The World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series has raced several times this season at the half-mile dirt track known as the Sprint Car Capital of the World, returning May 8 at Knoxville for its first race during the pandemic without fans.

The track has been playing host to sprint car races with limited crowds since June.