Panther Racing and pink tires at Mid-Ohio

LEXINGTON, Ohio -- Panther Racing returned this weekend to its "pink camo" livery to honor female soldiers serving in the National Guard. Firestone has joined the team in honoring females serving in the military and has created a pink sidewall tire that will replace the traditional black primary Firehawk tires.

"I've never driven a pink race car before and I can't wait," said Oriol Servia, driver of the No. 4 National Guard Panther Racing car. "As a kid I always liked the Pink Panther, so hopefully we can be sneaky like the Pink Panther this weekend."

The Ohio National Guard is led by Maj. Gen Deborah Ashenhurst, the only female adjutant general, who will join the team this weekend to help celebrate the key role females play in the military.

"We've been very fortunate to see up close how integral females are in the National Guard and we're excited to recognize their effort with the pink camo No. 4 car this weekend," Panther owner John Barnes said. "Our friend Gen. Ashenhurst is one of the best military leaders in the country and a perfect representation of the role females play in the military. I also want to thank everybody at Firestone for helping us out with this effort and creating a pink sidewall tire for the weekend."

The team debuted a pink camo car in 2011 at Kentucky Speedway and brought the popular livery back at Mid-Ohio last year after Ashenhurst was named adjutant general. The car's design has remained similar until Firestone jumped in to add the pink tires to the mix.

Firestone is supplying the same tire specifications this weekend for IZOD IndyCar Series teams as those used in mid-April at Barber Motorsports Park.

New-for-2015 NSX to make debut

The new Acura NSX, which is being developed for 2015 at Honda R&D Americas in Ohio, will make its public debut Aug. 4 before the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio.

The prototype model will be driven by Honda engineer Jason Widmer on the 2.258-mile, 13-turn road course. The 2013 Honda Accord Safety Car driven by three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Johnny Rutherford was built at the facility in Marysville, Ohio.

In addition to the R&D facility, Honda operates multiple manufacturing plants, which employ more than 10,500 associates, in the state. Honda also is a major sponsor of the Mid-Ohio School, providing a fleet of Honda and Acura vehicles for the school's teen safe driving and high-performance driving programs.

Students receive $5 tickets at Baltimore

Spectators who present a valid student ID will be able to watch the first day of on-track activity of the Grand Prix of Baltimore presented by SRT on Aug. 30 for $5.

Discounted passes will be available at ticket booths at all of the track’s admission gates.

Of note

The accessible Ford Explorer presented to wounded U.S. Marine Corps LCpl Mike Delancey in July will be featured on "West Coast Customs" on the Fox Sports Network on Aug. 4. Schmidt Hamilton Motorsports, HP and Environmental Rail Solutions helped fund the vehicle that was constructed by BraunAbility (the largest manufacturer of wheelchair accessible vans, ramps, and wheelchair lifts worldwide). ... Angie's List, the national consumer review company, will be the primary sponsor of the No. 55 Schmidt Peterson Motorsports car driven by Tristan Vautier's for five of the final six races of the season.