IZOD IndyCar Series, Firestone Indy Lights and Mazda Road to Indy headlines

1. INDYCAR Conference Call with Tony Kanaan and Jimmy Vasser

2. Servia to race for Panther for rest of 2013

3. Sonoma technical penalty update

4. blu eCigs moves up to primary sponsor for two events

5. Firestone Indy Lights broadcast follows IZOD IndyCar Series race

1. INDYCAR Conference Call with Tony Kanaan and Jimmy Vasser: Earlier today, IZOD IndyCar Series driver and 2013 Indianapolis 500 winner Tony Kanaan and KV Racing Technology co-owner Jimmy Vasser participated in an INDYCAR Conference Call to discuss the Grand Prix of Baltimore, which will be Kanaan's record-breaking 212th consecutive start. Selected quotes from the call are below.

Q. Tony, what will start 212 mean to you and your career?

TONY KANAAN: Obviously, it's a great achievement. It obviously proves that I've been around for a long time, that's for sure. I didn't want to be beating one of my best friends in life and nowadays my boss, Jimmy. But I guess I get to brag about that. I guess I can't brag as much until I get to Sunday's race because Jimmy has the power not to let me start this race if he wants to.

Q: Jimmy, you said earlier that calling you Indy car racing's ironman isn't fitting because you don't compete in triathlons and when you were driving, your routine isn't the same as what the drivers do today. 212 races is an impressive feat. Being one of his good friends, as he prepares to pass you, what are your thoughts about what Tony is about to do?

JIMMY VASSER: It's a great honor to have Tony do it. He's the right guy. He's been able to, one, not get hurt too often. I think his streak would have been longer, he missed some races when he broke his wrist in Detroit. My first couple years in Indy car, we didn't do full seasons. So these are consecutive starts. It just means primarily you're able to keep a job for that many years, which is hard to do. That's a tough feat in itself.

Q: Jimmy, you guys are good friends and you've joked about it. Did you ever consider keeping your name at the top of the record books for the streak, when Tony hurt his thumb at Long Beach?

JIMMY VASSER: I suggested maybe he rest up for Indy. Our whole focus this year was at Indy. He looked at me and laughed. Just goes to show how tough he is. He's been driving through injuries, not only this year, but many times through the course of this streak. There's nobody else better. Kind of ironic that he's in the team and driving for us. I think it's a pretty cool thing. And we're doing it in Baltimore where the real Ironman Cal Ripken really built the house. It's all pretty cool.

Q: Tony, it's the third time that IndyCars have been on the streets of Baltimore. It's always a very exciting event. What kind of race do you expect this weekend on the streets of Baltimore?

TONY KANAAN: I think the races have always been exciting. I don't expect anything less. I think it's going to be heat from both sides, weather and on the track. The championship hunt, it's been crazy. A lot of guys are still wanting to win races. There are a lot of points on the line. Getting towards the end of the year, some of the drivers that haven't won yet are extremely nervous trying to get their first win of the year. I think it will be a very exciting weekend.2. Servia to race for Panther for rest of 2013: Oriol Servia will make his ninth IZOD IndyCar Series start of the season, driving the No. 4 National Guard Panther Racing car in the Grand Prix of Baltimore presented by SRT on Sept. 1. He'll also contest the final three races of the season in the Chevrolet-powered car.

Servia, who finished 14th in his most recent start at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, has finished second and seventh in the two races on the 2.04-mile, 12-turn Charm City street circuit. He advanced 12 positions in 2011 for a season-high runner-up finish and moved nine positions relative to his starting spot last September.

In previous races this season, he has a best finish of fourth at Sao Paulo in May.

Servia takes over for Ryan Briscoe, who will be competing for Level 5 Motorsports in the American Le Mans

Series race on the track Aug. 31. Briscoe finished 17th in the No. 4 entry Aug. 25 in the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma.

3. Sonoma technical penalty update: There were no technical penalties issued following the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sonoma Raceway on Aug. 25.

4. blu eCigs moves up to primary sponsor for two events: The No. 15 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing entry driven by Graham Rahal will have blu eCigs as the primary sponsor for the Sept. 1 race at Baltimore and the Oct. 5-6 races at Houston.

The electronic cigarette brand has been an associate sponsor this season.

"The response from the Indy car industry with blu eCigs' involvement this season has been tremendous and we look forward to having the brand on board as primary sponsor at Baltimore and Houston for Graham's car," said team co-owner Bobby Rahal. "We appreciate the value and excitement of their involvement with our team and we look forward to continue growing the program."

5. Firestone Indy Lights broadcast follows IZOD IndyCar Series race: The Firestone Indy Lights Grand Prix of Baltimore will be broadcast on NBC Sports Network from 5-6 p.m. (ET), immediately following the IZOD IndyCar Series race.

Pippa Mann, who will drive the No. 18 Dale Coyne Racing car in the season finale Oct. 19 at Auto Club Speedway, will join the broadcast as an analyst. Former Firestone Indy Lights driver Anders Krohn joins the IMS Radio Network broadcast of the race (www.indycar.com, INDYCAR 13 app).


The next IZOD IndyCar Series race is the Grand Prix of Baltimore on Sept. 1 on the Streets of Baltimore. The race will be televised live at 2 p.m. (ET) by NBC Sports Network and broadcast by the IMS Radio Network, including on Sirius and XM Channels 211, www.indycar.com and the INDYCAR 13 App for most smartphones and tablets. The next Firestone Indy Lights race is the Grand Prix of Baltimore on Sept. 1 on the Streets of Baltimore. The race will be televised by NBC Sports Network at 5 p.m.