We already know Carl Edwards drives fast; shows he can also throw fast at Kansas City Royals game

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Bo Jackson, Deion Sanders – and now Carl Edwards as a two-sport star?

After what he showed Tuesday at Kansas City’s Kaufmann Stadium, Edwards might have a new career ahead if this whole NASCAR thing doesn’t work out.

Even though he claimed his baseball ability was virtually non-existent, Edwards showed he can hurl a pretty mean fastball when he threw out the ceremonial first pitch Tuesday at the Kansas City Royals game against the Tampa Bay Rays.

A native of Columbia, Mo., about two hours east of Kansas City, Edwards professed being a lifelong fans of the cross-state rival St. Louis Cardinals.

But according to the Kansas City Star’s Randy Covitz, Edwards’ “fastball blistered (Royals catcher) Billy Butler’s mitt.”

“You’ve got a pretty good arm,” Butler, an avowed NASCAR fan, told Edwards, according to Covitz’ column in Wednesday’s Star.

While Edwards’ throw had good speed on it, the pitch just a wee bit outside for a ball and not a strike.

Still, it was an experience he’ll likely never forget. And knowing the athlete Edwards is, don’t be surprised if he starts working more on his fastball, curve and control – just in case he may want to further pursue this whole baseball thing somewhere down the road.

“That’s one of the coolest things I’ve ever done,” Edwards told Covitz after running off the field amid a flurry of fist bumps from Royals players and even Yost himself.

“I was a little nervous about the first pitch. I warmed up a little bit (Monday) night,” Edwards said. “I haven’t thrown a baseball for a long time. My strategy was to throw it as hard as I could.”

Making his first-ever visit to Kaufmann Stadium, Edwards was supposed to have a much wider overall experience, including taking batting and outfield practice. But his plane was late from Charlotte, leaving him only to take part in the first pitch activity.

But the Royals know talent when they see it, especially since several members of the team, including manager Ned Yost, are avowed NASCAR fans.

“Our guys watch NASCAR,” Yost told Covitz. “They know who Carl Edwards is. I’ve always admired him, always respected him, and from time to time take him on my fantasy team.”

https://twitter.com/NASCAR/status/454005201830019072/photo/1

Edwards is currently third in the Sprint Cup standings and has one win in the first seven races (at Bristol three weeks ago).

Covitz’ column had the perfect end to Edwards’ brief stint as a pseudo-big leaguer.

Wrote Covitz: “Even Tampa Bay’s three-time All-Star third baseman Evan Longoria wanted a piece of Edwards.”

“He had a question … how we went to the restroom in the car,” Edwards laughed. “That was his only question. Real technical stuff was being discussed out there.”

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Check out Edwards’ pre-first pitch interview:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zvCwDp1MReA&w=560&h=315%5D

Ford Mustang GT3 test has Austin Cindric dreaming of Daytona: ‘I want to drive that car’

Cindric Ford GT3 test
Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images
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Austin Cindric wasn’t the “mystery” test driver behind the wheel of the new Ford Mustang GT3 at Sebring International Raceway, but the Team Penske driver desperately wanted to be.

Ford CEO Jim Farley, an amateur sports car driver himself, made the big reveal via a Tuesday tweet that provided the first video evidence of the GT3 Mustang on track.

“I’ve watched the video in question about a million times,” Cindric said Wednesday during a Ford Performance Zoom news conference to promote NASCAR’s first road course weekend of the season at Circuit of the Americas. “Definitely exciting times for sure. I want to drive that car. It suits my experience level and also the relationships that I have.”

Ford will enter the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship next season with its GT3 Mustang, entering a two-car factory effort (that will be managed by Multimatic) in GTD Pro and making customer cars available in the GT Daytona category.

That increases the likelihood of seeing more NASCAR drivers crossing over to IMSA. Cindric has been the only full-time Cup driver in the Rolex 24 at Daytona the past two years, but Ford Performance global director Mark Rushbrook has said the GT3 Mustang will provide more opportunities.

Ford has used its GT4 Mustang as a NASCAR driver development tool in the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge with Harrison Burton and Zane Smith combining to win the season opener at Daytona International Speedway in January.

“We’re excited about the Next Gen car and the new architecture there and the similarities between that car and GT3 and even GT4 cars,” Rushbrook said at the announcement of the Ford GT3 program in January 2022 at Daytona. “We think it’s a great opportunity and to do be able to do that in a 24-hour race and get NASCAR drivers even more time is something we need to consider taking advantage of that opportunity.”

Given his sports car background, Cindric probably still would be in the Rolex 24 regardless. He has eight IMSA starts since the 2017 season opener at Daytona, racing a Lexus RCF GT3 and Mercedes-AMG GT3 in the GT category. The 2022 Daytona 500 winner made his second LMP2 start this year with Rick Ware Racing.

But Cindric’s preference naturally would be in a Ford, particularly with sports car racing enjoying convergence and crossovers in both GT and prototype racing.

“It’s an exciting time in GT racing, just as it is now for prototype racing with a lot of new regulations and manufacturers building new GT3 cars,” he said. “And also the opportunity with WEC (the World Endurance Championship) and Le Mans and how that all lines up for that category of car. It’s definitely an exciting time. I want to be as much of a part of that as possible.”

Though those odds seemingly will increase with multiple Ford entries in the Rolex 24 field next year, Cindric said NASCAR drivers still have to put in the networking to land rides as he has in recent years.

“Now how (the GT3 Mustang) relates to specifically NASCAR drivers and how often they want to be in the Rolex, could it be an influence? Absolutely, as far as the tie-in with the manufacturer,” Cindric said. “But the challenge and the drive and the logistics of getting an opportunity for a race like the Rolex 24 will be just as challenging as it always is to find your one-off ride for the race. At least from my experience, that’s what I still anticipate.”

It turned out the “mystery” test driver wasn’t from NASCAR (Farley revealed the driver to be 24 Hours of Le Mans winner Joey Hand after a fan asked whether it was Joey Logano).

But Cindric believes there could be more Cup drivers — and perhaps himself — behind the wheel of Mustang GT3s in the future.

“There’s definitely more of a pathway than I think there would be before as far as Ford drivers are concerned,” he said. “Hopefully, I’ll get the opportunity to drive that thing. It’s obviously a great looking car. That’s the first box you’ve got to check. And it’s cool (to have) a guy like Jim Farley, no doubt he’s a racer just as much as he is steering the ship for Ford. It’s cool to see he’s just as excited as the rest of us about it.”