Edwards, NASCAR have royalty status in KC

April 09, 2014, Staff report,

Missouri native Edwards throws out first pitch at Royals game

The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Kansas Speedway is a month away, but Roush Fenway Racing driver Carl Edwards was in the area Tuesday, tossing out the first pitch as the Kansas City Royals hosted the Tampa Bay Rays at Kauffman Stadium.

"I was more of a Cardinals fan growing up, but I feel pretty good in this blue right here," Edwards, who was presented a blue Royals jersey adorned with his No. 99 car number, told KMBC TV.

Edwards, 34, is from Columbia, Mo.

Carl Edwards steps onto the field at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City.

"The biggest thing is the fact that the Royals do so much for the speedway, and that they're allowing me to come out here to be a part of this," he said. "And to share our sport with their fans and their sport with our fans. That's great."

A winner at Bristol Motor Speedway earlier this year, Edwards is currently third in the Sprint Cup points standings. The series heads to Darlington Raceway this weekend and will visit Richmond and Talladega before competing at Kansas Speedway on May 10.

Edwards "threw a strike, and it had something on it," KC officials said ceremonial first pitch catcher Billy Butler reported.

Although he was unable to arrive in time to take batting practice with the team due to a plane delay, Edwards met and spoke with the players in the clubhouse. He also spent approximately one hour with manager Ned Yost.

Edwards chats with Kansas City Royals manager and longtime NASCAR fan Ned Yost.

Yost, a longtime NASCAR fan, wears the No. 3 on his jersey as a tribute to friend and seven-time Cup champion Dale Earnhardt. Jimmy Fennig, crew chief for Edwards, is also a close friend of the KC manager.

Watch Edwards' pitch below.