Race winner Jimmie Johnson went to the infield care center for three bags of IV after cramping late in Sunday’s race and again during Victory Lane ceremonies at Texas Motor Speedway.
Johnson was overheated because the drink delivery system in his car failed early in the race.
“There is an electric motor that pushes my Gatorade into my helmet,” Johnson said after having been treated in the infield care center. “I pushed the button and nothing happened. I don’t know why or what failed.”
Johnson said he alerted his team to the problem during the first caution on Lap 4. His team handed him small bottles of Gatorade during pit stops after the end of Stage 1 and 2. That wasn’t possible in the final stage of the race, though.
“I just didn’t have any fluids at all in the car,” Johnson said after his 81st career victory and seventh at Texas. “I knew I was warm, but I didn’t feel too bad. When I caught Joey (Logano late in the race) and was racing with Joey, I started cramping pretty good on my left side, my chest and my biceps, my forearm, and I knew I was real low on fluids, and I got out of the car, and I was okay, certainly hot, but then again, when I started doing some other interviews in Victory Lane, big muscles started cramping, and I knew I needed to go get some IV then, some fluids.”
Johnson said his car’s handling helped him overcome his cramping late.
“I was so happy the car was running good and we weren’t making mistakes, I kind of overlooked it all, and until I was dogging Joey and had my left side kind of cramp up, then I was like, oh, I’m pretty far behind on fluids to cramp like that,” Johnson said. “I knew it was hot. I knew it was an aggressive race. I knew my heart rate was high, all those things, but I didn’t think I was in any trouble until I cramped and it was pretty close to the end of the race, so I was like, I can make it from here.”