Austin Dillon will miss the NASCAR Cup Series race on the Daytona road course (Sunday, 3 p.m. ET, NBC) due to a positive COVID-19 test.
Richard Childress Racing will have Kaz Grala drive the No. 3 Chevrolet. Grala competes part-time for Childress in the Xfinity Series and has made two starts this season. Sunday will be his NASCAR Cup Series debut.
Missing the race is of no consequence in playoff terms for Dillon, as he’s already clinched a spot by winning last month at Texas.
“This morning Richard Childress Racing’s NASCAR Cup Series driver Austin Dillon tested positive for COVID-19. In accordance with NASCAR’s safety protocol, Dillon is self-quarantining away from RCR’s facilities and will not be competing in this weekend’s NASCAR Cup Series race ,” the team said in a statement. “Austin’s wife Whitney and son Ace remain healthy and symptom-free. Kaz Grala will drive the No. 3 Chevrolet for RCR this weekend.
“RCR takes the safety of our employees, fellow competitors, fans, partners, and outside vendors seriously. 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 is the fourth NASCAR driver to test positive for COVID-19. Jimmie Johnson missed the race at Indianapolis last month while Spencer Davis missed the Truck Series race last weekend at Michigan. Brendan Gaughan also had a positive test last month. However, Gaughan competes part-time and did not miss any of his scheduled races.