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.