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‘Turbo’ has an ace consultant in three-time Indy 500 champ Dario Franchitti (VIDEO)

Jul 8, 2013, 2:00 PM EDT

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“What would 3 G’s feel like to a snail?”

It’s a question posed to three-time Indianapolis 500 and four-time IZOD IndyCar Series champion Dario Franchitti, who in addition to his day job as driver of the No. 10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Honda has served as a creative consultant to DreamWorks Animation’s “Turbo,” which premieres July 17. The foundation of the movie is about the title character – a snail that dreams of racing in the 500.

Franchitti has squeezed media availability into his racing schedule to help promote the film. He appeared on NBC’s “Today” to discuss the creative process (above), and he also spent a few minutes talking to MotorSportsTalk on the movie last week.

“What I ended up doing was talking about the details of IndyCar racing specific to the Indianapolis 500,” he said in a phone interview last week. “My part was helping to work with the guys and get the cars to set up ‘Turbo,’ that it looks exactly right and proper.”

The movie is one of IndyCar’s best chances to enter into the mainstream, and reach a broader audience beyond the core group of hardcore fans that follow the series on a full-time basis.

“It’s going to do a massive amount for IndyCar. It’s going open the sport and Indianapolis 500 to a whole new audience, which we need,” he said. “We’ve seen that with DreamWorks with whatever their animated films are. This is the first one based in a real place for them. It’s big for exposing this series to new fans, and should be a mass positive for IndyCar.”

Franchitti finished third at Pocono on Sunday and heads to Toronto this weekend for the doubleheader Honda Indy Toronto, a race he last won in 2011. See the full “Turbo” trailer below.

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