Austin Dillon cleared to return to competition at Dover

Richard Childress Racing’s Austin Dillon has been cleared to return for this weekend’s doubleheader at Dover after missing last weekend’s race at Daytona.

Austin Dillon has been medically cleared to resume all racing activities ahead of this weekend’s NASCAR Cup Series doubleheader at Dover International Speedway, Richard Childress Racing officials announced Thursday. A NASCAR spokesperson also confirmed Dillon has been cleared to return to the track.

Dillon missed last Sunday’s race at the Daytona International Speedway Road Course after revealing a positive test for COVID-19. Kaz Grala, a part-time Xfinity Series driver, substituted for Dillon and drove the No. 3 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet to a seventh-place finish in Sunday’s Go Bowling 235.

RELATED: Full schedule for Dover | Lineup for Saturday’s race

Dillon was required to receive two negative COVID-19 test results taken at least 24 hours as a condition for his return. He was also required to have written clearance to resume racing activity from his personal physician.

A team statement reads: “Richard Childress Racing’s NASCAR Cup Series driver Austin Dillon will return to competition for this weekend’s doubleheader at Dover International Speedway. Dillon, who originally tested positive for COVID-19 on Saturday morning, August 15 and missed the NASCAR Cup Series race at the Daytona International Speedway Road Course, has worked with NASCAR, his primary care physician and RCR’s health partners at Wake-Forest Baptist Health, and has had two negative COVID-19 test results at least 24 hours apart. We commend NASCAR for their efforts in providing a safe environment for all fans and competitors, thank everyone in the industry for their well wishes and enthusiastically welcome Austin Dillon back to competition.”

His absence last weekend dropped Dillon one position to 18th in the NASCAR Cup Series standings, just behind his RCR teammate, rookie Tyler Reddick. Dillon is qualified for the NASCAR Playoffs on the basis of his July 19 victory at Texas Motor Speedway. Competition officials granted him a medical exemption to retain his playoff eligibility, easing the requirement that he compete in every points-paying event.

Dillon is in his seventh full-time season in the NASCAR Cup Series. He has qualified for the postseason field in four of the last five years.