Stewart-Haas, Penske employees tested positive for COVID-19

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UPDATE: Team Penske announced in a statement Saturday afternoon that one of its team members tested positive for COVID-19 earlier this week and “recovered without any further symptoms” after quarantining all week.

“Earlier this week, Team Penske had one of its team members report positive for COVID-19.  This employee has been in quarantine all week and has recovered without any further symptoms. Due to the team’s stringent protocols, only a few of our personnel had reason to quarantine and none of those individuals are experiencing any symptoms. The identities of those impacted, along with additional details, will not be released due to privacy concerns.”

Original story follows:

Stewart-Haas Racing confirmed Friday night that two employees at its Kannapolis, North Carolina, race shop had tested positive for the COVID-19 novel coronavirus.

The news initially was reported by Jeff Gluck and Jordan Bianchi of The Athletic. Citing multiple people familiar with the situation, their story reported a number of employees who could have come into contact with their infected co-workers were sent home Tuesday from SHR’s shop and hadn’t returned.

Stewart-Haas Racing sent a statement to multiple news outlets:

“Stewart-Haas Racing has experienced two positive COVID-19 test results, neither of which involve personnel who travel to race events. Robust protocols have been in place and continue to be followed diligently to mitigate the spread of the virus while maintaining the health and safety of all members of the organization and greater community.”

Stewart-Haas Racing is the first NASCAR team to confirm positive COVID-19 tests.

Since restarting its season May 17, NASCAR has conducted health screenings at races without testing for COVID-19.

NASCAR executive vice president and chief racing development officer Steve O’Donnell was asked this Monday about the sanctioning body’s protocols and whether anyone had tested positive for COVID-19.

“Everything has been going, actually, remarkably smooth, in terms of the protocols that have been set in place,” O’Donnell said. “We’ve certainly had some folks who may have presented some symptoms that we’ve turned away early. That’s up to them to disclose if there were any issues in terms of did someone have COVID or not, but I would say (the protocols have) worked 100% according to plan.

“We’ve not had challenges during an event where anything has come up where we’ve had to react during the hours that the garage was open. It’s been if there were any issues prior to someone entering the facility, which have been very minimal.

“We expect there will be some challenges. We need to continue to do our due diligence. We need to continue to wear our masks. We need to continue to follow the protocols.”