Joey Logano: My sport's a lot safer

Updated: June 3, 2014, 5:02 PM ET
By Michael Rothstein | ESPN.com

ALLEN PARK, Mich. -- When NASCAR driver Joey Logano wrecks after reaching speeds of 200 mph in his stock car, it can look dangerous, ugly and sometimes death-defying.

Yet Logano, while visiting the Detroit Lions' practice Tuesday, said he felt his sport was safer than football.

"We take a hit maybe once every 15 races or so, on average, and these guys are taking hits on every play," said Logano, who has two Sprint Cup victories this season. "So I feel like my sport's a lot safer. We may look crazy going 200 miles an hour thinking that, but I'd much rather hit a wall at 200 than have a 300-pound linebacker coming at me."

While he said he feels football has tried to make the game safer, he also touted NASCAR's safety measures -- from the new structure of the Car of Tomorrow to the HANS safety device and the constant testing the sport does to help with crush zones and trying to improve safety.

He also explained that unlike football players, who collide at obviously slower speeds, drivers have more around them than football players, who have just helmets and padding.

[+] EnlargeJoey Logano, Jim Caldwell
AP Photo/Paul SancyaNASCAR Sprint Cup driver Joey Logano visited the Detroit Lions and coach Jim Caldwell on Tuesday.

"There's areas that we have to improve on. I don't think there's as much area in football to improve on," Logano said. "Obviously you got your pads, you got your helmets, stuff like that, but you're still going to get hit every time.

"There's still going to be big guys hitting you, and obviously when you get all that adrenaline going, those hits don't become softer. I think they are big and that's just a big difference. You are kind of comparing apples to oranges on that."

So what does Logano say when he sees a rough football hit?

"I'm glad I'm in a race car," he said. "That's what I say. These guys get hit up a lot harder than a race car does."

Logano was visiting the Lions to help promote the Quicken Loans 400 at Michigan International Speedway on June 15.

Michael Rothstein | email

ESPN Detroit Lions reporter

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