Broken back expected to keep Aric Almirola sidelined 8-12 weeks

Tricia Pearson
May 21, 2017

The top of Almirola's auto had to be cut away for him to be removed from the vehicle and airlifted to the hospital. Almirola's RPM No. 43 slammed into Logano's No. 22 Ford almost at full speed, lifting his rear wheels into the air.

Almirola, who suffered a fractured vertebra in his back in an accident Saturday at Kansas Speedway, will be replaced by Regan Smith this weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Bob Pockrass reports.

Here are the 8 most eye-opening things Almirola said in a 30-minute media session. Here are the key takeaways from the morning press conference.

On Saturday, NASCAR driver Aric Almirola's No. 43 Ford twisted into a fiery contortion in a horrifying crash at the Go Bowling 400 in Kansas.

How did Almirola get caught up in the incident?

"It wouldn't steer", Almirola said, according to FOX Sports. "My vehicle had been loose all night. The thing I was most amazed with was how high my auto got off the ground".

Almirola says he felt pain in his back on the initial impact with Logano and then the rear end of his auto lifted high enough that he could see the pavement below him.

"We've seen momentum and everything was looking so good and everybody at the team is happy, the morale in the shop is good, everybody just keeps digging harder and working harder because when you see those results it just drives more ambition", he said.

He said he "felt like an idiot" for not missing the crash even if he knows he handled it to the best of his ability.

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"From the time I was eight years old, all I ever wanted to do was race", continued Almirola. "And obviously seeing Danica's vehicle on fire".

It could have been a whole lot worse for Aric Almirola. I knew I wasn't going to be able to get out on my own power.

Did a spring failure contribute to his injury? In a frank and emotional interview, Almirola pulled no punches.

As soon as Almirola hit Logano's auto, he felt the excruciating pain his back.

Loganos Ford veered left into Patricks vehicle putting it into the wall. That's what everyone believes caused the fracture.

"Well, I saw that Danica was on fire and when I got in the accident I got this intense burning sensation in my back coupled with pain, so I thought I was on fire", Almirola said.

How long will Almirola be out of the vehicle? Fortunately for the 33-year-old NASCAR driver, he will be out for eight to 12 weeks with a broken T5 vertebra rather than something more dramatic.

Who will drive the vehicle in his absence? Regan Smith will drive the #43 Ford this weekend in the Monster Energy Open. I don't know when I broke my back, whether it was on the hit or the vertical landing.

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