Johnson: Hendrick team found faulty helmet cooling system (UPDATED)

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UPDATE (8:10 p.m. ET): Jimmie Johnson has confirmed that his No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports team has found an issue with the helmet cooling system he had during Saturday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway.

After finishing eighth, Johnson needed help from his teammates to get to a mobile stretcher that took him to RIR’s infield care center. He received five liters of IV fluids before being released.

“Basically, it was blowing warm air,” Johnson said in a news release from this afternoon. “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.”

Johnson also said that he feels everything about his normal race routine, including pre-race nutrition, was “in line [at Richmond] 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.”

Earlier today, a Hendrick Motorsports spokeswoman said that Johnson was feeling “much better” after his bout with dehydration at RIR.

In his immediate comments upon his release from the infield care center, Johnson noted that he “was warm at the midway point [of the race] and didn’t feel like my helmet fan was working.”

Johnson was to compete in a triathlon the following Sunday, but instead took that in as a spectator:

At any rate, the Associated Press reports that Johnson plans to fulfill media duties leading up to Sunday’s first race in the Chase for the Sprint Cup at Chicagoland Speedway.

As part of tomorrow’s “Chase Across North America” promotion, Jimmie Johnson will be in New York to appear on numerous TV shows, including NBC’s “Today” and “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” plus CNBC’s “Power Lunch.”

He’ll then join the other Chasers Thursday for Chase Media Day and the “Chase Grid Live” show for fans in downtown Chicago.