IndyCar driver wears a Walter Payton-themed helmet for race at Road America

Verizon IndyCar Series driver Ed Jones sports a Walter Payton-themed helmet during the series race at Road America on June 25th. (Courtesy: Twitter @Edjonesracing)

ELKHART LAKE, Wis. – The spirit of “Sweetness” lives on in a number of places around the country.

That’s just how much of an influence the late Walter Payton had on so many people during and after his days as a player with the Chicago Bears.

Yet the running back also had a history in racing, starting up an open wheel racing team in 1986 with Dale Coyne.

One of the drivers for that team in the present day Verizon IndyCar Series decided to remember Payton during this weekend’s race activities at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin.

Driver Ed Jones tweeted out a photo of his helmet for the weekend’s race that featured a few tributes to the running back. Painted in the Bears’ blue with the iconic orange “C” on the sides, Payton’s name and number were featured on the back of the helmet with his nickname “Sweetness” stretched above the visor.

Perhaps the helmet gave Jones some luck as he finished seventh in the event which was won by IndyCar veteran Scott Dixon. The day after the finish – his third best of the season – he once again showed off the helmet tribute to Payton on Twitter.

Once again, the legend of “Sweetness” finds its way into the sporting landscape – even in the heart of Packer country.