Almirola: Injury Felt Like Twisting Knife In Back

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.

Speaking for the first time since a frightening accident at Kansas Speedway last weekend, Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series driver Aric Almirola revealed he waited a day, while still resting in his hospital bed, to watch video footage of his wreck - a wreck he says will sideline him for at least two months.

Aric Almirola needed to be cut from his Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series auto and carried out on a stretcher following his involvement in a violent three-car crash on Lap 200 of the Go Bowling 400 on.

Almirola's No. 43 Richard Petty Motorsports Ford smacked the already wrecked cars of Joey Logano and Danica Patrick with 68 laps remaining in the Go Bowling 400, bringing out a red flag. "I will be meeting with them throughout the healing process, and it will be up to them to give me clearance to get back in the racecar".

"For me, I think the most challenging part is never getting comfort or relief", Almirola said. "And I got a really bad burning sensation in my back". It was the most helpless feeling because I saw the wreck. "I've been doing this for a long time and I feel like I've always been able to miss wrecks, especially from that far back", said Almirola. I'm gonna listen to the doctors. Regan Smith will drive the #43 Ford this weekend in the Monster Energy Open.

"I felt like from that point my auto was on railroad tracks and I was just headed straight for the wreck", Almirola said.

Almirola is scheduled to be out of the vehicle for eight to 12 weeks.

Heisel said the vertebra was "crunched" and they needed to get some of the blood out of the bone. They didn't know if I was paralyzed or anything.

Almirola said he attempted to avoid the wreck but couldn't due to his auto getting in some oil or water, which prevented him from steering it. "Being out 8-12 weeks and not having a chance at the Playoffs, obviously that stinks, especially coming off Talladega". Smith received a call from RPM on Wednesday morning asking if he would be able to drive the vehicle this weekend.

"We're still working through that with our partners", Moffitt said, "so as soon as we know for the future, we'll be letting you guys know that".

  • Rosalie Stanley