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).