Castroneves, the three-time Indianapolis 500 champion and driver of the No. 3 Team Penske car in the IZOD IndyCar Series, will return to his homeland and help select Miss Universe 2011 from a diverse group of women representing 89 countries. The contestants will compete in swimsuit, evening gown and final question categories before a winner is selected by Castroneves and his fellow judges.
The 60th annual Miss Universe Pageant will air live on NBC on Monday, September 12 beginning at 9 p.m. ET from Credicard Hall in São Paulo, and it will also feature a Spanish-language simulcast on the Telemundo network. It marks the first time that the world-famous pageant will be held in Brazil and it's expected to be seen by approximately one billion viewers from across the world.
"I am very honored to be selected as a judge for the Miss Universe Pageant," said Castroneves, one of the most famous and popular natives of São Paulo. "This year's pageant will celebrate beauty, tradition and accomplishment - three things that I certainly have a lot of appreciation for! I am looking forward to returning to São Paulo and I know we will have a very fun and interesting evening on September 12.This is going to be awesome!"
Currently in his 12th season competing for Team Penske, Castroneves has earned 25 victories and 36 pole positions in his IndyCar career. Now a resident of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., Castroneves earned international acclaim in 2007 when he won the fifth season of "Dancing with the Stars."
The Miss Universe Pageant will be hosted by Natalie Morales of the "Today Show" on NBC and Andy Cohen from BRAVO's "Watch What Happens Live." Additional judges for the pageant are expected to be announced in the coming days.
The pageant is one of several high-profile and popular events that will be held in Brazil over the next several years. The country will also host the 2014 World Cup tournament and the 2016 Summer Olympics.