The baseball popped straight into the air off the bat of NASCAR driver Ryan Newman, and it slowly migrated over the infield dirt. By the time the ball landed, it couldn’t have been more than 120 feet from home plate at Kauffman Stadium.
But from his spot behind the batting cage before Tuesday’s game, Royals manager Ned Yost clapped his hands together and nodded in approval.
“My skills are lacking,” Newman said, laughing.
Newman took part in the Royals batting practice Tuesday before the team’s evening game against the Minnesota Twins. He is a member of Richard Childress Racing, to which Yost shares a connection. It’s the team for which Dale Earnhardt, a friend of Yost’s, drove during his racing career.
Yost, always quick to share his admiration for auto racing, was a keynote speaker at an RCR event before the season.
“After he came and spoke at RCR at the preseason kickoff party with the entire organization there, I learned a little more about him and his love of the sport,” Newman said. “That means more than anything (today) — just to come out here and spend a few minutes with him.”
Newman is slated to be part of the field for the Hollywood Casino 400 on Oct. 16 at Kansas Speedway.