The brothers Franchitti earlier this year (Tony DiZinno)

Marino Franchitti to wear brother Dario’s helmet at Petit Le Mans this week

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If you saw pictures of American Le Mans Series testing at Atlanta on Sunday and saw what looked like Dario Franchitti’s helmet in action, you weren’t seeing things.

You were, in fact, seeing Franchitti’s helmet being worn by younger brother Marino, who competes full-time with Level 5 Motorsports in the team’s HPD ARX-03b P2 class car.

Marino’s wearing his brother’s helmet this weekend after Dario’s accident on the last lap of the IndyCar race in Houston last week, in what goes down as one of the classiest gestures in racing this year.

The brothers Franchitti actually drove together at Petit Le Mans last year for Level 5, and finished second in class and third overall co-driving with Level 5 team principal Scott Tucker. Both drivers raced at the joint IndyCar/ALMS weekends in Long Beach and Baltimore this year, and Dario Franchitti also attended Marino’s weekend at Road America in August (picture, right).

Marino Franchitti is set to co-drive with Tucker and Guy Cosmo this week.

IndyCar teams with NASCAR on IMS road course doubleheader in 2021

IndyCar NASCAR doubleheader 2021
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The NTT IndyCar Series will be sharing Indianapolis Motor Speedway with the NASCAR Cup Series in a race weekend doubleheader for the second consecutive season, but both series will be on the road course in August 2021.

IMS announced Wednesday that IndyCar will hold an Aug. 14, 2021 race on its 14-turn, 2.439-mile road course. It’ll be a day before NASCAR’s premier series runs the same layout for the first time after the Brickyard 400 was contested on the 2.5-mile oval for the first time in 27 years.

This season’s rescheduling of the IndyCar GMR Grand Prix to July 4, 2019 (a day before the Brickyard 400) led to the first NASCAR-IndyCar doubleheader weekend. The Xfinity Series also raced on the IMS road course for the first time July 4 after the IndyCar race ended.

INDYCAR AT IMS THIS WEEKEND: Harvest GP schedule, entry lists

IndyCar will be holding its second race weekend this year at the IMS road course Friday and Saturday with the Harvest GP.

“Our first NASCAR-INDYCAR weekend was a big success last July, with positive feedback from
our loyal fans who watched the races on NBC and from the drivers, teams and participants
involved,” IMS president Douglas Boles said in a statement. “The Xfinity Series’ debut on the IMS road course provided exactly the kind of thrilling action from the green to checkered flags that we anticipated, so we know the teams and drivers of the Cup Series will put on a great show as they turn left and right for the first time at IMS.

“We can’t wait to welcome back fans to see NASCAR and INDYCAR together during this
exciting weekend as we add another memorable chapter in the long, storied history of the
Indianapolis Motor Speedway.”

It also will mark the first NASCAR Cup-IndyCar doubleheader with a crowd as fans weren’t permitted at IMS in July because of the novel coronvavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Over the course of Wednesday, NASCAR is releasing its 36-race slate for next season. IndyCar has yet to release its full 2021 schedule.