Posted: Thursday, June 5th 2014 at 12:00pm
Logano believes NASCAR safer than football
By Jenna Fryer, AP Auto Racing Writer
Joey Logano talks with Detroit Lions running back Reggie Bush on Wednesday. / Photo: Michigan International Speedway
CHARLOTTE, NC — After a stop to watch the Detroit Lions practice, Joey Logano felt confident he picked the right career.
As a race car driver, Logano accepts the dangers that come with his sport. He would take that over getting drilled repeatedly by a linebacker.
Logano, at 6-foot-1, 140 pounds, was admittedly intimidated as he watched the Lions practice because "I felt really, really small compared to them. There are some really big dudes out there."
"I feel like my sport is a lot safer," Logano said. "We may look crazy going 200 mph, but I would much rather hit the wall at 200 than have a 300-pound linebacker coming at me."
The NFL has agreed to a $765 million settlement of a head injuries lawsuit with hundreds of players, though the deal was rejected by a federal judge in January. NASCAR, since the 2001 death of Dale Earnhardt at the Daytona 500, has made tremendous strides in safety advancements. In 2012, Dale Earnhardt Jr. missed two races during the championship portion of the season with a concussion, and NASCAR this year mandated preseason baseline testing for all participants.
The safety standards make Logano feel safe in his race car.
"Our hits may be pretty brutal, but at the same time we have done a lot to our race cars to make them safer," Logano said during his Tuesday visit, which was part of a promotional tour for Michigan International Speedway.
"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 and make the crush zones crush and if there are parts that need to be stiffer they make them stiff," he said. "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 every time."
Asked what position he'd play on a football team, Logano revealed he performed horribly during a visit with the New England Patriots in which he tried to learn how to kick a field goal.
"I wouldn't be good at any position," he admitted. "I don't really know where I would fit in. Probably on the bench somewhere."
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