Austin Dillon Tests Positive for COVID-19

CONCORD, NORTH CAROLINA - MAY 28: Austin Dillon, driver of the #3 Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Off Road Chevrolet, waits on the grid prior to the NASCAR Cup Series Alsco Uniforms 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 28, 2020 in Concord, North Carolina. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Another driver in the NASCAR Cup series has tested positive for COVID-19 and will be forced to sit out at least one race.

Richard Childress Racing reported that Austin Dillon tested positive for the COVID-19 virus Saturday and will miss Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race at the Daytona International Speedway Road Course.

The team said Dillon, driver of the No. 3 Chevrolet, is self-quarantining and named Kaz Grala as his replacement. The team added that Austin’s wife Whitney and son Ace remain healthy and symptom-free.

Dillon is the second driver in NASCAR’s top tier Cup series who has tested positive and forced to set out a race. In July, Seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson reported a positive COVID-19 test and missed the race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Dillon will be eligible to return to competition if he receives two negative COVID-19 test results from tests taken at least 24 hours apart. He must also receive written clearance to resume racing activity from his personal physician. If Dillon is unable to produce two negative tests within the 10-day period, his return status will be reviewed by a NASCAR consulting physician.

Johnson completed the two negative tests after the Indy weekend and returned to competition the following week.

Brendan Gaughan, who has not race fulltime since 2017 when he competed in the NASCAR Xfinity series, tested positive on July 10.  He has since been cleared and was scheduled to race Sunday. It will be one of four races he has said he will run in 2020.

Dillon qualified for the NASCAR Playoffs after winning July 19 at Texas Motor Speedway. NASCAR said, Dillon will receive a medical waiver to waive the requirement that he compete in every race to retain his postseason eligibility.

Grala has two starts in NASCAR’s Xfinity series this season, both with RCR.  The team has taped Earl Bamber to race the No. 21 RCR Chevy in the Xfinity race on the road course at Daytona on Saturday.

Greg Engle