Carmelo Anthony of the Denver Nuggets will be a co-owner of the Hemelgarn team in the Indy Racing League, a partnership designed in part to broaden the series’ appeal to a younger generation of race fans.

The deal between the IRL team and the 21-year-old Anthony, one of the top young stars in the NBA, was brokered by rock guitarist and member of KISS Gene Simmons, whose marketing company signed a deal to promote the open-wheel series in January.

"It was my group, his group, going back and forth for a long period of time," Anthony said Wednesday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. "The opportunity was there and I couldn’t let it slip out of my hands to be involved in something like this."

Rookie P.J. Chesson, a sprint-car driver and four-time World of Outlaws winner who debuted in the IRL developmental Indy Pro Series two years ago, will drive the No. 91 blue and white Dallara, which carries the name "Car Melo" and a likeness of the NBA star.

"For the record, I’m not getting in the car. I can’t fit into no Indy car," the 6-foot-8 Anthony said. "I’m just excited about the project. I think we’re going to have a lot of fun."

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