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NASCAR President says COVID-19 protocols working

NASCAR President Steve Phelps discusses the big changes the league has embraced over the past few weeks as the sport grapples with COVID-19 and examines its diversity and inclusion.

NASCAR President Steve Phelps said in an interview with NBC that he feels the sanctioning body’s COVID-19 protocols are working well, citing the limited number of positive tests in the sport.

Jimmie Johnson will not compete in Sunday’s Cup race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway after testing positive for COVID-19. His wife found out she had tested positive and Johnson then took a test.

Johnson said Saturday that he does not know how he and his wife contracted the coronavirus. Johnson, 44, has not experienced symptoms of COVID-19. When Johnson returns is uncertain. He must have two negative tests more than 24 hours apart and have a doctor’s release.

NBC’s Mike Tirico asked Phelps before Saturday’s Xfinity race about NASCAR’s protocols.

“I think the protocols have actually worked really, really well for us,” Phelps said.

“Obviously, it’s unfortunate that Jimmie is going to be out of the car this weekend. Hopefully two negative tests next week and then get back in the car at Kentucky.

“I think the protocols have worked really well. It’s not perfect, but I think if you look at the procedures that we have in place and the policies that we have in place really to protect the drivers, the crews, our own officials and everyone that is working at the racetrack, the number of positive tests that we have had have been so few and far between. We’re really encouraged. We think the protocols are working as we had expected they would. Hopefully, Jimmie will be back soon and we won’t have any other drivers testing positive.”

Hendrick Motorsports stated Friday that as a precaution, it identified one member of the No. 48 traveling crew to self-quarantine due to close contact with Johnson.

Last month Stewart-Haas Racing confirmed that two employees had tested positive for coronavirus. Team Penske confirmed last month that one of its employees tested positive.