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

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

Richard Petty Motorsports has put Regan Smith in its No. 43 vehicle for the NASCAR Monster Energy All-Star events this weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway, but the team has not determined who will replace Almirola when the regular season resumes next week at Charlotte.

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. He was cut out of the vehicle and airlifted to the University of Kansas Medical Center. "It wouldn't steer", Almirola said, according to FOX Sports.

Almirola explained what happened in the crash that also involved Joey Logano and Danica Patrick. I braced because I knew it was coming and as soon as I made impact with Joey's auto it felt like someone put a knife in my back.

Here are the 8 most eye-opening things Almirola said in a 30-minute media session. It was the most helpless feeling because I saw the wreck. "I've got a broken back, and one of my vertabra is crushed in half", he said, dryly. I didn't think I was that lucky, but after talking to all the doctors in Kansas and Charlotte, I realize how lucky I was.

Almirola admitted he probably should have avoided the wreck, but he said he went high right as the incident started to unfold.

"I felt like from that point my auto was on railroad tracks and I was just headed straight for the wreck", Almirola said. They didn't know if I was paralyzed or anything. I'm young. I've got a lot of life ahead of me. "I'm going to take some time to relax and recover and do everything necessary to get back in the racecar as soon as possible". "The process that we had was when we got back to North Carolina the King and Drew and Aric and I sat down and came up with a list of people after we knew what the diagnosis was and we're still working through that with our partners".

Smith, who will drive Almirola's vehicle in the Open race in the hope of making into the All-Star event, is the 2008 Cup Series Rookie of the Year with 211 starts.

Smith, a one-time teammate of Almirola at now-defunct Dale Earnhardt Inc., and veteran of 211 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series starts, has been tabbed as a substitute before, notably replacing Tony Stewart at Watkins Glen in 2014 the night after Stewart struck and killed Kevin Ward Jr.in a sprint vehicle race.



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