Off-Track


Logano prefers being hit on track to gridiron

June 03, 2014, Staff report, NASCAR.com

Logano prefers being hit on track to gridiron
Team Penske driver takes in NFL practice, shows off throwing arm

Joey Logano is used to taking hard hits. On Tuesday, he visited fellow professional athletes who can say the same thing.
 
The difference: Logano's impact comes in the confines of his No. 22 Team Penske Ford while on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series tracks. Members of the Detroit Lions, who welcomed the 24-year-old to their Organized Team Activity practice in Michigan, are frequently crushed by fellow competitors.
 
"I'm glad I'm in a race car," Logano told the Detroit Lions' official website. "These guys get hit a lot harder than a race car 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, too. We take a hit maybe once in every 15 races or so on average. These guys are taking hits on every play. I feel my sport's a lot safer. We may look crazy going 200 miles an hour and thinking that, but I'd much rather hit a wall at 200 than have a 300-pound linebacker coming at me."
 
Perhaps some of that has to do with a frame (6-foot-1, 140 pounds) not built for the gridiron. However, that's not to say Logano doesn't know how to handle himself around a football.
 
He threw the ball back and forth with Lions QB Matt Stafford, and while lacking the picture-perfect throwing mechanics of the former All-Pro quarterback, Logano -- who's a lefty -- whipped a few spirals in there.
 
"The quarterback's the driver," Logano said. "To be able to talk to him, kind of the stuff he goes through -- how they prepare for each event is really interesting. They might not have as many games as we do races, but they prepare a lot."

Logano was in town to promote the June 15 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Michigan International Speedway. The series will return to the 2-mile track in August and is considered a hometown race for Ford, the manufacturer based out of Detroit.
 
The Connecticut native said he is more a fan of the New England Patriots, but made an impression on several Lions players. That includes running back Reggie Bush, who counts himself a NASCAR fan.
 
"I respect (the drivers) a lot," he told the website. "It's a completely different sport from what we do, but it's not easy by any means. They're driving 200 miles an hour plus, and that's pretty scary when you think about it. … The margin for error is probably very slim."

See additional pictures of Logano's visit below.

Joey Logano looked tiny when standing next to rookie tight end Eric Ebron (6-4, 245 pounds) and wide receiver Calvin "Megatron" Johnson (6-5, 236 pounds).
 

Joey Logano didn't have the pop of a Matt Stafford pass, but the Team Penske driver threw a tight spiral.