NASCAR: Aric Almirola on the Mend

During the Saturday night race in Kansas Speedway on May 13 Joey Logano, Danica Patrick, and Aric Almirola were involved in a crash that spewed sparks and flames across the track, demolished cars and brought out the red flag stopping the race with 68 laps remaining in the event.

Logano and Patrick walked away from the crash but Almirola had to be extricated from his car. After safety workers cut the roof away he was secured to a backboard and taken by ambulance to the infield care center. Almirola was then airlifted to a local hospital where he spent the night.

TSM350_2015_-_Aric_Almirola_-_Stierch_2(1)By Sarah Stierch – Own work, CC BY 4.0,

In what first appeared to be a very scary situation turned out to be a fracture of his T5 vertebrae. Almirola is expected to miss the next eight to 12 weeks while his injury heals.

Noting that he has been involved in numerous crashes in his racing career – a career that began when he was only eight years old -, Almirola says that the wreck in Kansas was by far the most violent; but credits the safety measures mandated by NASCAR as the reason why his injuries were not more severe. He added that doctors have said his being in excellent physical shape will aid in his recovery.

Almirola and his number 43 Richard Petty Motorsports car were eligible to compete in the Monster Energy All Star race on May 20. While at the track, Almirola was not able to drive the car, Regan Smith drove for Almirola in the All Star race. However, RPM has yet to make any further decisions on who will fill in for Almirola while he is out. On May 28 the Monster Energy Cup Series will run its longest race of the season with the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

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