LOUDON, N.H. — New England Patriots linebacker Matthew Judon was been tabbed as the honorary pace car passenger for the USA Today 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Sunday.

Before he jumped in the pace car, Judon was given a tour of the track. He saw how freely fans could walk around and approach NASCAR drivers in their haulers as they prepared for the race. He admitted he was blown away by the amount of access NASCAR fans have to the drivers before the race and how that wouldn’t be a good idea at Gillette Stadium.

“Oh hell no,” Judon said with a laugh. “Every weekend, during games and stuff, no. (The NASCAR fans) are really calm. They’re not talking to each other that much. On the (football) sidelines, they’re be some pretty heated exchanges, and that’s just because we love each other and we understand how to talk to each other and how we have battled.”

Judon continued: “Sometimes when you’re at battle your words and your speech get real short and usually use the bad words. So, nah, (having fans on the sidelines) wouldn’t be that good because y’all think we don’t like each other when we really love each other.”

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Even though it wouldn’t work for the Patriots, Judon understands the importance of fans having access to athletes and other stars.

“It’s awesome. I think as athletes, as entertainers, as people in those types of roles or movie stars or whatever it may be, we really wouldn’t be anything without the fans,” he said. “Fans having access … and sometimes you get trolls or you get bad fans or people that just want to talk trash.

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“But most of the time, it’s usually a great fan experience. When you have good fan experiences, you get to greet your fans and take pictures. You can talk to them, laugh and joke as you find common ground or whatever. That’s pretty awesome.”

Judon recognizes how special it is to see fans supporting all the different sports across New England, as well as the other professional teams in Boston.

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“That’s really cool,” he said. “… So, it’s cool when you go to a basketball game, and we’re shown on the screen. Right now, it’s a NASCAR game, and I get to ride in the pace car. It’s just supporting each other and that’s pretty awesome.

“It’s been Titletown for so long. Everybody was winning, and everybody is supporting everybody. … This is cool because we always want to play our favorite sport or we always think we can.”

Judon joked that he is the best driver on the Patriots roster, but he wouldn’t want to take a shot as a NASCAR driver.

“For sure no. I don’t even know how to drive a stick car,” he said.

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Featured image via Eric Canha/USA TODAY Sports Images