Austin Dillon Tests Positive for COVID-19, Out Sunday for NASCAR at Daytona

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistAugust 15, 2020

Austin Dillon takes a parade lap in front of fans before the NASCAR Daytona 500 auto race at Daytona International Speedway, Sunday, Feb. 16, 2020, in Daytona Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
John Raoux/Associated Press

Austin Dillon will not partake in Sunday's NASCAR Cup Series Go Bowling 235 at the Daytona International Speedway Road Course after testing positive for COVID-19.

According to the Associated Press (h/t ESPN), Richard Childress Racing said Dillon tested positive Saturday morning after experiencing mild symptoms.

Dillon is the third NASCAR Cup Series driver to test positive for COVID-19 this season, joining Jimmie Johnson and Brendan Gaughan.

Kaz Grala will replace Dillon in the No. 3 Chevrolet on Sunday to make his NASCAR Cup Series debut.

The 30-year-old Dillon is only 17th in the NASCAR Cup Series point standings this season, but by virtue of his win at Texas, he has qualified for the 2020 playoffs.

That marked Dillon's third career Cup Series win, as he won at Charlotte in 2017 and won the Daytona 500 in 2018. Dillon has never finished better than 11th in the Cup Series standings, however.

There is hope that Dillon won't have to miss much time, as Johnson sat out only one race after testing positive for COVID-19. In order to receive clearance to resume driving, Dillon must receive two consecutive negative tests at least 24 hours apart.

Aside from that, Dillon can return 10 days after his first positive test if he is fever-free for at least 24 hours without the use of medication, per NASCAR rules.

Richard Childress Racing noted that Dillon is self-quarantining and that his wife and newborn son are symptom-free.

The 21-year-old Grala, who is replacing Dillon on Sunday, has experience in the Xfinity and Truck Series, and he is a strong road-course racer, as he finished in the top five in the Xfinity Series race at Road America both last season and this season.