ABC Anchor Pacing Indy 500
March 25, 2010 | 3:07 P.M. EST
Three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Helio Castroneves introduced Roberts as the driver March 25 live on “GMA” in Times Square in New York. Castroneves, winner on ABC’s “Dancing With The Stars” in fall 2007 with dance partner Julianne Hough, won the 2009 Indianapolis 500 and this year will attempt to become just the fourth driver to capture “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing” four times.
The 2010 Indianapolis 500 starts at 1 p.m. (ET) Sunday, May 30 and will be televised live on ABC for the 46th consecutive year.
“I am thrilled beyond words to be the Pace Car driver for this year’s Indianapolis 500,” Roberts said. “I’ve watched the race for years, and never in my wildest dreams did I think I would be starting one of the premier American sporting events. If you see an extra car in the field, it will be me!”
Under Roberts’ leadership, “Good Morning America” has won three consecutive Emmy Awards for Outstanding Morning program.
When not traveling around the country or the world covering breaking news events, Roberts is at “GMA’s” studio in Times Square conducting interviews with a diverse group of newsmakers. Her headline-making interviews include: President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, basketball legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar on his battle with leukemia and more.
Roberts has also done extensive reporting around the globe. She traveled to the Middle East with former First Lady Laura Bush, who was on a mission to raise awareness about breast cancer in the Muslim world; to Africa with former President Bill Clinton for a first-hand look at the AIDS crisis in that part of the world; to Mexico, where she scaled the Mayan pyramids as part of “GMA’s” “The New 7 Wonders of the World” series; and to Haiti, where she reported on the devastating earthquake in January 2010.
“We’re thrilled to welcome Robin Roberts as Pace Car driver for the 2010 Indianapolis 500,” said Jeff Belskus, IMS president and chief executive officer. “She is an inspiring and popular personality with tremendous enthusiasm for ‘The Greatest Spectacle in Racing.’”
Roberts has played host to primetime specials since November 2009 that featured an exclusive interview with Janet Jackson, the performer’s first since the death of her brother Michael, and interviews with some of country music’s biggest stars.
Roberts played an active role in ABC News’ coverage of the 2008 presidential race. She interviewed the candidates and a wide-range of political newsmakers for “GMA,” traveled to Des Moines, Iowa, to moderate a town hall debate with then-candidate Hillary Clinton and reported live from Washington on Inauguration Day. Roberts was the first journalist to interview President Obama after he was sworn in as president.
From 1990 to 2005, Roberts was a contributor to ESPN, where she was one of the network’s most versatile commentators. Her assignments there included hosting “SportsCenter” and contributing to “NFL PrimeTime.”
The 2010 Chevy Camaro Indianapolis 500 Pace Car is a modern sports car that looks to the future with a nod to the heritage of both the car and the race. The first year for Camaro to pace the Indianapolis 500 was in 1967, the year the Camaro made its debut. Camaro has since paced the race in 1969, 1982, 1993 and 2009.
This year’s Pace Car features an Inferno Orange Metallic paint scheme with White Diamond rally stripes that travel from the front to the rear over the top of the body, as well as extending to the interior dash. The design is a modern interpretation of the original rally stripe that debuted on the 1969 Indianapolis 500 Pace Car.
The Pace Car is equipped with a stock 400 hp 6.2-litre V-8, front and rear Pedders eXtreme Xa Adjustable suspension, an RS appearance package and leather interior with Inferno Orange interior accents. It also features design cues that further enhance the Camaro’s head-turning design.