Johnson had to miss a race last year due to testing positive for COVID-19 thereby missing out on the playoffs by just six points.
Johnson missed the Cup Series race at Indianapolis in the 2020 NASCAR season. While there were other races where Johnson could have fared better, either by his own performance or by luck, he ended up missing out on a playoff spot by six points in his final season as a full-time Cup Series driver.
In the recent interview, the seven-time Cup champion spoke about the period and what he felt then.
“What’s interesting is that weekend I missed the race in July, I knew how it would impact the year, and I had a rough couple of days, missing that race, watching my car on television, knowing the implications that were going to come with it,” Johnson said.
“My wife, on the other hand, was really just supporting me in that moment,” he continued. “She was understanding why I was so upset, but was really trying to help me see it correctly.”
What he assumed came to become a reality. Having tested negative in the span of some days, Johnson questioned the legitimacy of his first positive test.
“Then we fast-forward to the race in Daytona,” he elaborated. “I missed the cutoff by six points. I’m in a very strong space of saying ‘Hey, I saw this coming, I knew it was going to be tight.’ And my wife was very upset and distraught and I was then consoling her on missing the championship battle by just six points!”
So it was a really tough time, and now looking back, there are so many things that I would have handled that environment differently,” he admitted.
“We just know so much more about COVID-19, and I still have a lot of speculation if I was even positive or not because I had a positive test and a couple days later had two negatives. So you live and learn. But sadly, I did miss that race.”
It was not the ending that Johnson deserved on his final season as a full-time driver but fate has a different say on the events. Nonetheless, he seems happy to have finally transitioned to the sports, NTT IndyCar Series, that he had wanted so much in his career.