NASCAR's Aric Almirola out 8-12 weeks with broken back

Clyde Nash
May 20, 2017

I think if Joey's auto would have been three feet more down the race track and I would have hit him in the door number, that would have been very violent and I think Joey would have been seriously injured.

Richard Petty Motorsports says Regan Smith is replacing injured driver Aric Almirola this weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

The wreck was a scary one that resonated across the NASCAR community, and Dale Earnhardt Jr. commented on the incident in an interview on Thursday.

"The next thing I knew, I was on oil or water or something because my auto wouldn't slow down, it wouldn't steer", Almirola said. "And I said, 'Hey, don't forget, Wednesday night is Catwalk for a Cause, so as long as the doctors let me we're still going'". "It wouldn't steer. From that moment on I felt like I was on railroad tracks". "For the most part, I'm OK".

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"The springs are actually tethered in, but when the vehicle came back to the garage area, the springs were not upright in the spring buckets, so I'm not 100 percent sure", Almirola said.

"That's why I dropped the window net so fast and took the steering wheel off", he said.

After the impact with Logano sent his auto in the air, Almirola's Ford "violently" hit on the left-side frame rail and the left-side jack post. I wish I was sitting here in a driver's uniform, but I'm not.

"With this type of fracture, it's eight to 12 weeks", Almirola told reporters. I looked around and saw I wasn't on fire that the burning sensation in my back was an enormous amount of pain. "When I threw it forward, I was in a lot of pain with my back already and that made it worse extending my hands out in front of me".

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For the time being, doctors said he can't pick up anything weighing more than five pounds, which is especially troubling for a father of a 3-year old and 4-year-old who are accustomed to spontaneous rides on dad's hip.

Aric Almirola will be sidelined for an extended period from injuries sustained in last week's accident at Kansas Speedway. "This year it just made some sense to do some truck races and sit back and see what was going on in the Cup series. For all relative circumstances, I guess things worked out the best they could".

"Really, I'm just supposed to give it a break". They want me to lay low the next couple weeks. "I've got a lot of baseball to play with my son and I'd like to dance with my daughter one day at her wedding, so I'm not gonna risk it".

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