COVID-19 Infects NASCAR Star
July 4 - Jimmie Johnson has tested positive for COVID-
19 and will not race Sunday in the Brickyard 400 at
Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Justin Allgaier will drive the No. 48 Chevrolet for
Hendrick Motorsports, and Johnson will not return to
NASCAR Cup Series competition until cleared by a doctor.
The seven-time series champion has not been experiencing
symptoms but was tested for COVID-19 when wife
Chandra tested positive after she experienced allergy-like
Johnson was to have a test in a Ganassi IndyCar on the
IMS road course this Wednesday.
The GMR Grand Prix
July 4 - The IndyCar GMR Grand Prix was finally run
today on Independence Day, after having been postponed
from it’s original May 9th date.
IndyCar joined NASCAR at the Indianapolis Motor
Speedway today, the first time that has ever happened.
The Xfinity Series would race on the same road course as
the IndyCars an hour after the GMR Grand Prix finished.
Unfortunately, no spectators were present to witness the
races thanks to the pandemic.
It was a very hot day with temperatures ranging from 89-
92 degrees. Temperatures in the cockpit may have been
130 degrees! The drivers have hoses that fit into the top
of their helmets that provide cooling.
Often there is some contact at the first corner of this race
at the start. While everyone made it through cleanly,
Graham Rahal did clip Jack Harvey’s rear tire on their
way down the front straight. Fortunately, it appeared to
have no effect.
Most drivers planned to make three pit stops, but Rahal,
Santino Ferrucci and Conor Daly only pit twice.
Will Power, who has won this race 3 of the 6 times it has
been held, started from pole and led the first 16 Laps and
then Laps 27-38. Sadly for him, things would not go the
way he wanted.
Oliver Askew started from 7th, dropped to 14th after
pitting and moved up to 5th by Lap 34. On Lap 35, he
lost the back end of his McLaren SP car as he was coming
to the last turn, spun across the grass and backed into the
oval’s outside wall, destroying his car. This brought out
the first and only caution.
Power pit during the caution, which dropped him back to
13th. Meanwhile, Rahal took the lead.
Power got up to 8th before pitting again on Lap 55. The
caution had ruined his strategy and now he was in last
place. He was only able to work his way up to 20th for
the final 7 Laps.
Scott Dixon, who had pit on Lap 33, moved up into 4th
and worked his way up, taking the lead on Lap 48, passing
Rahal at the end of the front straight. Other than during his
final pit stop, he held a strong lead, gathering a 18-second
lead over Rahal.
Simon Pagenaud also has won this race three times. His
day started poorly, having to start from 20th, but he would
work his way to the podium. Pagenaud got up to 17th
before an early pit stop. He worked his way up to 13th
before pitting again. By the end of the caution, which was
in the middle of the race, he was in 8th. By Lap 63 he
was in 3rd, which is where he finished.
Spencer Pigot, driving for Ed Carpenter Racing, started
out well, moving from 14th up to 3rd by Lap 18. He was
in 2nd after the caution! However, after pitting on Lap
48, his car began sputtering and he started losing positions,
finally dropping to last place.
Alexander Rossi lost power when the race went green
after the caution and he joined Askew in dropping out of
This was Dixon’s 48th win. It was also the first time that
he’d ever won both of the first two races of the season in
his long and storied career.
|Scott Dixon - Winner!
Chip Ganassi Racing