Aric Almirola suffers compression fracture of back in Kansas crash, team says


Aric Almirola suffered a T5 compression fracture in his wreck Saturday night at Kansas Speedway, Richard Petty Motorsports confirmed in a release Sunday morning. Almirola was released from the hospital and will fly back today to his home in Mooresville, North Carolina.

Almirola was described as “mobile” in the team’s release and is able to walk. He was moving when safety workers placed him on a stretcher after the crash.

A team spokesperson said there is no timeline for Almirola’s recovery. The team hasn’t determined a plan for Saturday’s All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Denny Hamlin missed four races (and started but didn’t complete a fifth) after suffering a compression fracture of the L1 vertebra in a 2013 crash at Auto Club Speedway.

Almirola’s No. 43 Ford slid into a high-speed collision with the cars of Joey Logano and Danica Patrick during the Go Bowling 400 at Kansas Speedway. The Richard Petty Motorsports driver was airlifted to the University of Kansas Medical Center after safety workers cut the roof off his car to help with extrication.

Logano said something broke on his No. 22 Ford that caused him to veer right into the left-rear fender of Patrick’s No. 10 Ford.

NASCAR drivers reacted with an outpouring of well wishes since last night on Twitter.

Almirola entered Kansas off his best race weekend of the season, having won the Xfinity race at Talladega Superspeedway and finished a season-best fourth in the Cup race the following day (a result that was affected by a penalty from NASCAR).

Almirola has driven full time for RPM in NASCAR’s premier series since 2012. He made the 2014 playoffs on a win at Daytona International Speedway.

Here’s the release from the team about Almirola’s injury:

KANSAS CITY, Kan. – (May 14, 2017) – Aric Almirola, driver of the No. 43 Richard Petty Motorsports Ford, has been released from a local Kansas hospital and will fly back to his home in Mooresville, N.C. today.

Almirola suffered a compression fracture to his T5 Vertebra after a multi-car accident at Kansas Speedway Saturday night.  Almirola is mobile and will follow-up with his doctors in Charlotte.

Richard Petty Motorsports will provide further updates when available.


NASCAR on NBC podcast, Ep. 90: Roger Slack

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Eldora Speedway general manager Roger Slack joined the NASCAR on NBC podcast to discuss his track’s past, present and possible future with NASCAR.

Slack detailed the run-up to the initial “secret” test with Tony Stewart and Richard Childress Racing’s Austin Dillon that led to scheduling a Camping World Truck Series race that recently completed its fifth edition.

Slack also discussed the storied history of Eldora, which opened in 1954 and was bought by Stewart 50 years later.

You can listen to the podcast by clicking on the AudioBoom embed below or download and subscribe to the podcast on Apple Podcasts by clicking here. The free subscription will provide automatic downloads of new episodes to your smartphone.

It also is available on Stitcher by clicking here and also can be found on Google Play, Spotify and a host of other smartphone apps.

NASCAR America: How Daniel Suarez found out he was replacing Carl Edwards (video)

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On Wednesday’s edition of NASCAR America, Daniel Suarez recalled the moment he got the call that he was being promoted to replace Carl Edwards in the NASCAR Cup Series at Joe Gibbs Racing.

Suarez was at dinner back home in Mexico with family and friends when JGR officials called and him to be ready for a teleconference in a few moments.

Suarez stepped away, telling his dinner partners he’d be back shortly — which ultimately lasted 40 minutes.

When he returned to the dinner table, he couldn’t tell anything about the phone call — JGR officials swore him to secrecy — but he eventually revealed that he had been promoted to the NASCAR Cup Series to replace Edwards, who had decided to take a hiatus from his racing career.

Check out the video above.



NASCAR America: What Joe Gibbs Racing teammates really think of each other (video)

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Daniel Suarez appeared on Wednesday’s live broadcast of NASCAR America from the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, North Carolina,

One of the funniest segments of Suarez’s visit was a video and verbal collage of how much he and his fellow Joe Gibbs Racing teammates really think of each other — all in good humor, of course.

Check out the video above where Suarez, Denny Hamlin, Matt Kenseth and Kyle Busch answer the “tough questions” about themselves, as well as how they feel about their fellow teammates.

NASCAR America: Daniel Suarez’s journey from Mexico and VW Beetles to NASCAR champion (video)

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In winning last year’s Xfinity Series championship, Mexican native Daniel Suarez became NASCAR’s first international champion.

It was the culmination of a journey that began with his father and, interestingly enough, Volkswagen Beetles.

Check out Suarez’s story and the thoughts about his success and prowess by our NASCAR America analysts in the video above.

Speaking of VW Beetles, Suarez’s father sold his restoration shop to fund his son’s racing dream. Years later, Daniel repaid his father by purchasing a new restoration shop for him. See the video below.