One day after LeBron’s issues, Jimmie Johnson shares his own cramp tale

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After cramps sidelined LeBron James late in last night’s Game 1 of the NBA Finals, he has been taking heat (no pun intended) from all sides.

But cramps can have a devastating effect on even the greatest of athletes. Defending NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson can tell you that from experience.

The six-time champ, along with his fellow NASCAR drivers, constantly has to keep up with hydration in order to combat the sweltering conditions inside the race car.

When they don’t (or can’t), it can lead to big problems like the one Johnson experienced during a GRAND-AM sports car event at Daytona International Speedway in 2007.

That race took place during the Coke Zero 400 weekend at DIS, and as he was going between his GRAND-AM and Sprint Cup duties, Johnson fell behind on keeping hydrated.

Big mistake.

“We had an electrical problem that took out the drink system in the car,” Johnson recalled today at Pocono Raceway. “And I had to pit maybe 10 minutes before it was time, because I couldn’t push the brake pedal hard enough to get it stopped – I missed the chicane on the backstretch.”

Johnson was able to reach the pits and promptly tried to cool himself down and took some fluids. But that did not prevent him from experiencing what he called a “full-body cramp” that had him crumple to the floor of his motorhome.

“I wish I had a picture of what I looked like – I’m telling you, every muscle in my body locked up,” he said.

Forced to knock his phone off a nearby table, Johnson was able to call Hendrick Motorsports teammate Jeff Gordon, whose own motorhome was next door.

Gordon didn’t answer the first time, but luckily he called back and promptly headed over to help Johnson.

“When he came in my bus, it took him two or three minutes to stop laughing at me,” Johnson said. “And then he got me to the care center. Three IV bags later, I felt like myself again.”

Unlike James, however, Johnson was at least lucky enough to have his cramping issues while he wasn’t competing.

As a side note, Johnson appeared to defend the basketball icon this morning on Twitter after noting that he needed to “get some Gatorade in his life“:

IndyCar entry lists for Harvest GP at Indianapolis Motor Speedway

IndyCar entry lists Indianapolis
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There are 25 drivers on the NTT IndyCar Series entry lists at Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course with a few new yet familiar faces for the Oct. 2-3 race weekend.

Four-time champion Sebastien Bourdais will make his season debut in the No. 14 Dallara-Chevrolet (shifting Dalton Kellett to the No. 41) with AJ Foyt Racing, which he is joining full time next season. James Hinchcliffe, who had run three races with Andretti Autosport, will return in place of Zach Veach in the No. 26 Dallara-Honda. Helio Castroneves will drive Arrow McLaren SP’s No. 7 Dallara-Chevy for Oliver Askew, who is out with concussion-like symptoms.

Sage Karam, who has two IndyCar starts this year at IMS (the road course on July 4 and the Indy 500 on Aug. 23), also will return to the series in Dreyer & Reinbold’s No. 24 Dallara-Chevrolet.

HARVEST GP ENTRY LISTS: Friday l Saturday

Friday and Saturday of the Harvest GP presented by GMR will mark the second and third races this season on Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s 14-turn, 2.439-mile road course. While the July 4 race on the circuit was 80 laps, Friday’s distance is 85 laps, and Saturday will be a 75-lap event.

Championship leader Scott Dixon led 26 of 80 laps to win the July 4 race at the IMS road course. With three races remaining in the series, the five-time series champion enters with a 72-point lead on Josef Newgarden.

Click here to see who’s on the IndyCar entry lists in Race 1 and in Race 2 for the Harvest GP presented by GMR at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course.


START TIMES AND TV INFO FOR INDYCAR AT INDIANAPOLIS MOTOR SPEEDWAY ROAD COURSE (all times ET):

Thursday

IndyCar NTT Series practice: 2:25-3:40 p.m., NBC Sports Gold

IndyCar qualifying, Race 1: 6:20 p.m. (two groups/12 minutes apiece), NBC Sports Gold

Friday

—IndyCar Harvest Grand Prix, Race 1: 3:30 p.m. (green flag, 5 p.m.), USA Network, NBC Sports Gold

Saturday

—IndyCar qualifying: 10:20 a.m. (two groups/12 minutes apiece), NBC Sports Gold

—IndyCar Harvest Grand Prix, Race 2: 2:30 p.m (green flag, 2:31 p.m.)., NBC, NBC Sports Gold