Logano Feels Safer In Car Than On Football Field
By: Dustin Long - @dustinlong on June 3, 2014 | 4:21 P.M. EST
Joey Logano, shown in a crash at Talladega earlier this season, says he'd rather be in an accident than take a hit on an NFL field. (Photo: Getty Images)
Football or auto racing? Which sport is more brutal on an athlete?
It’s no comparison, says Joey Logano.
“I’m glad I’m in a racecar,” Logano said Tuesday during a visit to the Detroit Lions practice facility. “These guys get hit a lot harder than a racecar does. Obviously, we take some big hits in cars, but the safety in our sport has improved a lot. Look at the seats, the helmets, the belts – it always keeps improving.
“Not that it doesn’t in football, I think it does there too, but we take a hit maybe once every 15 races or so on average and these guys are taking hits on every play. I feel like my sport is a lot safer. We may look crazy going 200 miles per hour, but I would much rather hit the wall at 200 than have a 300-pound linebacker coming at me.”
Lions running back Reggie Bush, who attended the Monaco Grand Prix two weeks ago, doesn’t quite see Logano’s logic.
“That’s crazy,” Bush said, laughing. “I don’t know too many people who’d agree to that.”
Logano says it’s simple.
“Our hits may be pretty brutal but at the same time we have done a lot to our race cars to make them safer,’’ he said. “NASCAR has a constant program of always being able to move up and test cars and crash cars and try to figure out what we can do to make them safer.
“I don’t think there are as many areas in football to improve on. Obviously you have pads and helmets but you are still going to get hit. There are still going to be big guys hitting you and, obviously, when you get all the adrenaline going, those hits don’t become softer.’’
Even so, Bush said he respects what a driver does.
“It’s a completely different sport from what we do, but it’s not easy by any means,’’ Bush said. “They’re driving 200 miles an hour plus, and that’s pretty scary when you think about it. A car crash can be life-threatening for those guys. The margin for error is probably very slim.”
Logano was at the Lions practice to promote next week’s Quicken Loans 400 at Michigan International Speedway.
He enters as the track record holder at 203.949 mph. That could be in jeopardy with speeds up at many tracks this season. Logano and teammate Brad Keselowski have 12 front-row starts this season between them. Both also have won with Keselowski winning at Las Vegas and Logano scoring victories at Texas and Richmond.
“So far we have come out of the gates really strong,’’ Logano said. “We did a good job in the offseason to make sure we came out strong at the beginning of the season and now everybody is starting to get hold of it and our advantage is going away. We have to keep working hard to maintain that advantage we held earlier in the season and make sure we are running the same pace we are now when the Chase starts.”