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Dario Franchitti helps 'Turbo' go for all the marbles

"Turbo," rated PG After a nitrous oxide accident,

"Turbo," rated PG

After a nitrous oxide accident, Turbo a garden snail (voiced by Ryan Reynolds), starts racing and may win the Indy 500. In theaters July 13 from DreamWorks. (Credit: AP)

“Realism’’ seems an odd notion for a movie that concerns “a 230-mile-an-hour snail,’’ as Dario Franchitti described the lead (animated) character in “Turbo,’’ which opens Wednesday.

But the three-time Indy 500 champion and the film’s technical advisor said that is precisely what DreamWorks was after in the story of a gastropod who aspires to win the big race at the Brickyard.

“The attention to detail is incredible,’’ Franchitti said. “I don’t think it would’ve [affected] the story to the average person, but to IndyCar fans, whether it’s drivers or team members or fans, it’s important it was realistic and accurate.’’

The touches include the look of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the aerodynamic turbulence and perhaps most of all the “marbles’’ of shredded tire rubber that often litter the racing surface.

Franchitti said after he struggled to describe tire marbles to the filmmakers he eventually said, “Look, forget it, call Firestone and get them to send you some.’’ Soon a bucket of them was on its way.

One of the challenges facing motor sports in the United States is attracting younger fans. The hope is that a family-oriented movie about a racing snail will help.

 “Absolutely, it’s important to attract new fans to any sport,’’ Franchitti said. “With ‘Turbo’ we can open up the sport of IndyCar to a whole new audience.’’

Tags: IndyCar , fast snails

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