'American Ninja Warrior' hosts to serve as Indy 500 co-grand marshals

Co-Hosts Matt Iseman & Akbar Gbajabiamila look on as a competitor works their way through the obstacle course on an episode of NBC's "American Ninja Warrior." (NBC Photo/David Becker)

INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) - The hosts of NBC's American Ninja Warrior will serve as co-grand marshals of the Indianapolis 500.

Matt Iseman and Akbar Gbajabiamila will be the first co-grand marshals in the race's history. They'll give the traditional command for drivers to report to their cars during the official pre-race ceremonies.

"It's awesome to get to take part in something that is an American sports institution," said Iseman. "I've been to the Brickyard before, but never during the 500. I can’t wait to see it in its full glory."

"I am so honored and excited to be participating in this year's Indy 500 as a co-grand marshal," said Gbajabiamila. "After multiple seasons of seeing top race car drivers compete on the 'American Ninja Warrior' course, I can’t wait to see up close the athleticism and energy of this hallmark race."

Indianapolis has hosted "American Ninja Warrior" on two previous occasions and many NTT IndyCar series drivers have run the course over several seasons, including Helio Castroneves, Tony Kanaan, Josef Newgarden, Conor Daly and most recently, Scott Dixon.

The two-hour season premiere is set for Wednesday, May 29 at 8 p.m. on Channel 13.

WTHR will have you covered for the Indianapolis 500 with a special seven-hour edition of Eyewitness News Sunrise from 5 a.m. until noon Sunday, May 26. The race itself is still under a television blackout locally unless it sells out at the Speedway, so NBC's pre-race coverage will air on Channel 13 starting at 7 p.m., with the race starting at 8:30 p.m.