Jimmie Johnson takes a wrong turn, loses track position in first half-triathlon

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Jimmie Johnson knows how to get around racetracks. But when it comes to a half-triathlon, he could use a map or GPS to keep him pointed in the right direction.

The six-time Sprint Cup champion took part in a half-triathlon on Saturday in Naples, Florida. Also competing were fellow NASCAR drivers Josh Wise and Landon Cassill.

While Wise and Cassill kept it on the straight and narrow, such was not the case for Johnson.

He made a wrong turn and got lost for a short while.

Oh boy, did he ever get lost.

Things went well in the swimming (1.2 miles) and the 13.1-mile running competition for Johnson.

But when it came to the 56-mile bike ride, Johnson went off-course – missing the first turn, no less, and then pedaled over a mile in the wrong direction (and then had to retrace his steps for yet another mile-plus) – to the tune of an extra 2.3 miles.

All told, Johnson covered the entire 70 miles – well, in his case, 72.3 miles – in four hours, 42 minutes.

“I was hoping to do 4 (hours), 30 (minutes),” Johnson told the Naples (Fla.) News. “Without those extra couple of miles, I think I would have been there.”

To his credit, even with the extra mileage he tacked on, Johnson still finished 15th among all the male competitors. It was the first half-triathlon that Johnson has ever completed.

How’s Johnson feeling today, one day later?

As for Wise, he won his age group at 4:26.34, also good for sixth overall. Cassill was first in his age group at 4:30.13, and ninth overall.

Johnson, who hopes to eventually run a full triathlon in the future, was asked what the overall experience was like.

“It was a long and lonely 70 miles,” Johnson told the Naples News.

Well, 72.3 miles, to be precise.

Follow me @JerryBonkowski

IMSA race at Daytona: How to watch, start times, schedule, TV info, more

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IMSA start times: For the first time in more than five months, Daytona International Speedway will have a sports car race as the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Series returns to the same place it left off today (6 p.m. ET, NBCSN).

After being sidelined by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic since the Rolex 24 at Daytona in January, the premier sports car circuit will wave the green again on its 2020 season today. But instead of the annual 24-hour endurance classic, Saturday’s WeatherTech 240 will be a “sprint race” around the 3.56-mile road course.

Here are the details for IMSA’s second race of the season at Daytona (all times are ET):


IMSA WeatherTech 240 at Daytona race information

TV: 6 p.m. NBCSN, NBC Sports App and TrackPass

RADIO: IMSA Radio will have live radio coverage throughout the weekend on IMSARadio.com, as well as Sirius Channel 216, XM 210, Internet 970

RACE DISTANCE: Two hours, 40 minutes around the 12-turn, 3.56-mile road course at Daytona International Speedway

FORECAST: According to Wunderground.com, it’s expected to be 88 degrees with a 51% chance of rain at the green flag.

ENTRY LIST: Click here to see the 26 cars entered in Saturday’s race.


IMSA weekend schedule: Friday, July 3

11 a.m. — WeatherTech Championship Transporter Load-In

1 p.m. — Garages open; pit lane equipment setup

6:15-7:15 p.m. — First practice WeatherTech Championship (all classes)

9:30 p.m. — Garages close

IMSA weekend schedule: Saturday, July 4

8 a.m. — Garages open

8:45 a.m. — Fuel rig inspection

10:15 a,m — 11:30 am — Practice (restricted by classes: 10:15-10:45 a.m., GTD Silver/Bronze; 10:30-11:30 a.m., DPi/GTLM; 10:45-11:15, GTD all drivers)

1:55 p.m. — GTD qualifying

2:20 p.m. — GTLM qualifying

2:45 p.m. — DPi qualifying

6 p.m. — Formation laps

6:10 p.m. — IMSA WeatherTech 240 at Daytona (2 hours, 40 minutes)

11:30 p.m. — Garages close