NASCAR driver Jimmie Johnson crashes Independence High football practice

A six-time champion brought a little relief Wednesday afternoon to a seven-time champion.

Jimmie Johnson, who has won six NASCAR Sprint Cup championships, surprised members of the Independence High School football team with a visit to the school during afternoon practice.

Johnson and members of his Hendrick Motorsports pit crew visited the school as part of the Gatorade Beat the Heat campaign – an effort by Gatorade to educate athletes, parents and coaches on the importance of proper hydration to reduce heat-related illnesses during athletic events.

Johnson, who is known as one of the most physically fit NASCAR drivers, even joined the team in some conditioning drills.

A spokesman for Gatorade said Johnson has worked in the past with Independence High, which won seven straight state football championships from 2000 to 2006.

Wednesday’s visit was well-timed. Temperatures at the time of practice were about 90 degrees, with a heat index in the mid-90s.