- Associated Press - Friday, June 14, 2013

BROOKLYN, MICH. (AP) - Carl Edwards had a chance to ride in one of the first American racecars before adding another career milestone.

During a visit to Ford Motor Co.’s Dearborn headquarters Thursday, Edwards was invited to drive Sweepstakes, the 1901 racer that helped cement Henry Ford as a player in the burgeoning American auto industry.

A day later, Edwards drove his Ford Fusion to the pole for Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Michigan International Speedway.

Edsel Ford II, the auto pioneer’s great-grandson, arranged the ride for the Sprint Cup driver, who tooled around the bowling green at nearby Greenfield Village before driving it back to the neighboring Henry Ford Museum, where it’s part of the collection.

“It was very cool,” Edwards said Friday. “I’m told there aren’t many people who’ve driven it.”

Edwards only got the car up to 25 mph during his joyride but said it was interesting all the same.

“It was scarier driving that thing at 25 mph on the road than going into a corner here,” he said.