Austin Dillon Tests Positive For COVID-19

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Austin Dillon has tested positive for COVID-10. (HHP/Andrew Coppley Photo)
Austin Dillon has tested positive for COVID-10. (HHP/Andrew Coppley Photo)

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Richard Childress Racing driver Austin Dillon has tested positive for COVID-19, forcing him to sit out Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series event on the Daytona Road Course.

Dillon, driver of the No. 3 Chevrolet, will be replaced by Kaz Grala during Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series event. It will be Grala’s first start at NASCAR’s highest level.

The three-time Cup Series race winner is self-quarantining away from RCR’s facilities and his wife, Whitney, and son, Ace, remain symptom-free.

“RCR takes the safety of our employees, fellow competitors, fans, partners and outside vendors seriously,” the team said in a statement. “Based upon recommendations outlined by The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), NASCAR and our health partners at Wake-Forest Baptist Health, RCR has enacted procedures and safety protocols designed to minimize the risk of COVID-19 exposure and spread. These guidelines were developed in close consultation with a panel of medical experts with broad experience in infectious diseases, many of whom have been on the front line in treating COVID-19 patients across the country.

“We will continue to adhere to these guidelines in order to protect the health and safety of our employees and their families, and our business partners.”

Dillon will be eligible to return to competition if he receives two negative COVID-19 test results. The tests must be taken at least 24 hours apart. He must also receive written clearance to return from his personal physician.

Should he not be able to get two negative COVID-19 tests in a more than 24 hour period, a NASCAR consulting physician could review his status.

Dillon is the second NASCAR Cup Series competitor to test positive for COVID-19 since the pandemic began. Jimmie Johnson tested positive prior to the Big Machine Hand Sanitizer 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, forcing him to sit out that event.

Dillon previously qualified for the NASCAR playoffs thanks to a victory at Texas Motor Speedway on July 19.