Back to the drawing board

Problems with faulty cooling system leads to Jimmie Johnson's dehydration at Richmond.

Jimmie Johnson's No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports team found the cause for his severe dehydration on Saturday night at Richmond International Raceway – a malfunctioning cooling system.

Johnson, 38, suffered from extreme cramps in the closing stages of the Federated Auto Parts 400 and soldiered on to an eighth-place finish. He felt dizzy upon exiting his car and collapsed before he was taken to the infield care center.

It’s a newer system that we’ve implemented, so we’re just going back to our old faithful system that’s worked for years and years

Jimmie Johnson

“The team found an issue with the cooling system for my helmet,” Johnson said in a release. “Basically, it was blowing warm air. It’s nice to have a good idea as to what went wrong and why I got so hot in the race car.

“It’s a newer system that we’ve implemented, so we’re just going back to our old faithful system that’s worked for years and years. We should have the problem rectified. I’m always looking at different ways to adjust my routine and nutrition going into a race and coming out of a race. I really felt like everything was in line and still do after reviewing everything.

“Now after finding the helmet cooling issue, I’m confident in my plan going into races. We found the issue.” 

Johnson feeling better now

Johnson felt considerably better after he was treated with fluids at the track. While he was scheduled to participate in the Jimmie Johnson Foundation triathlon on Sunday in North Carolina, he opted to watch from the sidelines instead. But the six-time NASCAR champ said on Tuesday that he is “feeling good.”

Johnson enters the Chase for the Sprint Cup fourth in the standings. Although Chicagoland Speedway is one of just four race tracks where Johnson has yet to win, he has an impressive 8.9 average finish on the 1.5-mile track.

“I’m excited to get started with the Chase and head to New York to do all the appearances that I have up there and make my way to Chicagoland for more appearances and media on Thursday,” Johnson said. “It’s an exciting time for our sport and an exciting time for the Lowe’s team. I’m hoping to get started this weekend in Chicago with a win.”

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Event Chicagoland
Track Chicagoland Speedway
Drivers Jimmie Johnson
Teams Hendrick Motorsports
Article type Preview
Tags hendrick motorsports