Jimmie Johnson confused, frustrated after virus scare

Jimmie Johnson

FILE – In this Feb. 16, 2020 file photo Jimmie Johnson climbs intp his car before the NASCAR Daytona 500 auto race at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla. NASCAR seven-time champion Jimmie Johnson will test an Indy car next week on the road course at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. He’s long said he is open to racing in the series but did not want to compete on ovals out of safety concerns. On Friday, July 3, 2020, he indicated recent safety improvements have softened his stance and the Indianapolis 500 is not entirely out of the picture.(AP Photo/John Raoux, File)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Jimmie Johnson is just as confused as everyone else about his plight with the coronavirus. A positive test caused the seven-time NASCAR champion to miss the first race of his career. He tested negative three days later.

“My first response was just anger,” said Johnson, describing his feelings after finding out he had the virus.

“I started cussing and used every cus word that I knew of and I think I even invented a few new ones.” He never suffered any symptoms and was tested only after his wife, bothered by seasonal allergies, received a positive test.

But he tested negative Monday and Tuesday and was cleared by NASCAR to race again this weekend at Kentucky Speedway. “I feel like I’m more on the optimistic side of things and out of the dark head space I was in. Just moving in the right direction and looking forward in all of this,” said Johnson, who’s looking for his first cup win since June 4, 2017.

Johnson sat out last Sunday’s race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, which snapped his streak of 663 consecutive starts, longest among active drivers.

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