Richard Petty Motorsports announced that Regan Smith will drive the No. 43 Ford in place of Aric Almirola in the Monster Energy Open Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The event offers transfer spots to Saturday’s All-Star Race.
In a brief advisory Wednesday, the team didn’t provide details on who will drive beyond the All-Star weekend. RPM will hold a news conference Friday at the track with Almirola to discuss his recovery plan from a T5 compression fracture in a crash Saturday night at Kansas Speedway.
Safety workers cut the root off the car to extricate him and placed him on a backboard. He was airlifted to the University of Kansas Medical Center and spent the night there. He was released Sunday morning. The team reported that he was mobile.
The accident started when something broke on Logano’s car. That caused him to veer into Patrick’s car. Almirola was further behind but could not avoid the incident.
Two weeks ago, Almirola was in a position to contend for a playoff spot.
He finished fourth at Talladega Superspeedway and was one point out of the final playoff spot at that time. NASCAR announced three days later that his car failed the “post-race rear wheel steer” of the Laser Inspection Station. NASCAR docked Almirola 35 points and suspended crew chief Drew Blickensderfer three points races. Blickensderfer also was fined $65,000 and the team was docked 35 owner points.
Dustin Long contributed to this story.