The curtain finally rose on the partnership between Cedric the Entertainer and HVM Racing. A conference call with reporters Thursday morning announced the deal to create CTE Racing-HVM, a move that the principals hope will help the Champ Car team secure sponsors as well as diversify the paddock. For the final two races of this Champ Car season, only the No. 4 car driven by Fabrizio Del Monte bears the name of CTE Racing-HVM. Next season, the entire two-car team will fall under the banner. The announcement had been postponed on more than one occasion, including two weeks ago at the race in Las Vegas. A veteran of such films as “Barbershop’ and “Johnson Family Vacation,” his hectic filming schedule was cited as one of the reasons for the delay. In one of the rare times he’s hasn’t been on a set over the past several months, Cedric said he caught the racing bug at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach in April. “I looked at that and saw the potential in the series,” said Cedric the Entertainer, whose real name is Cedric Kyles. “I met one of the owners of the series at that event. I just saw that Champ Car was growing. There was a lot of growth potential and opportunity there.” There he ran into Champ Car’s last remaining celebrity owner legendary actor Paul Newman. The series counts late-night host David Letterman and late NFL Hall of Fame running back Walter Payton as past owners. But unlike that group, Cedric won’t be considered an owner. “I’m here to participate in helping to gain funds here,” he said. “I did not … (put) any of my own money into the situation. We are going to make sure we have a winning team here, any way necessary, to make sure we have a top team.” AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREThe top 10 theme park moments of 2019 Still, Cedric said this partnership is more than just business. “I think it would be only natural for me to look for opportunities to increase the minority participation here,” he said. “Not be a martyr for it, but definitely look for the opportunity to introduce some minorities.” The team had ties to Mexico through its former sponsor, Herdez. But when the Mexican food company pulled its sponsorship dollars, the team had to look at creative ways to secure funding. “Cedric’s group brings a whole heap of resources and contacts and their own marketing that more than doubles what we have,” said Keith Wiggins, managing director of HVM Racing. “Those deals have been bubbling, as well. There’s going to be a lot more momentum now after today’s announcement.” One avenue the team will explore is promoting Cedric’s upcoming movies on the car., 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!