Aric Almirola had to be cut out of his car after being collected by a fiery wreck between Joey Logano and Danica Patrick during Saturday’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Kansas Speedway, and he left a local hospital Sunday with a compression fracture in his back. His driving status is to be determined.
Here’s the statement from Almirola’s team, Richard Petty Motorsports, on his condition, posted Sunday afternoon:
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.
The hit was especially brutal. Logano reported a failure on the right front of his car that caused him to veer left into Patrick’s car as they headed into the first turn on lap 200. Commentators said it looked like a rotor exploded on Logano’s car, although Logano wasn’t sure what exactly failed.
He believed he was going about 215 mph when the failure occurred, while Almirola was airlifted to the University of Kansas Medical Center to be held overnight for observation.
When Almirola was collected by the two cars, the force of the impact was enough to pop his car in the air. While everyone dropped their window nets immediately to signal that they were conscious, Almirola took the hardest hit and had to be helped out of his car by emergency crews.
The race was red flagged for over 27 minutes to allow crews to safely get Almirola out of the car as well as to clean up the debris left from the crash. Almirola was taken out on a flat board as a precaution in case of a back injury.
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Logano and Patrick were quickly checked and released from the infield care center, however, no further word was given on Almirola’s condition besides the fact that he was awake and alert, and in stable condition.
In addition to the update on Sunday, ESPN reports that Almirola’s driving status remains to be determined.
The next Cup Series event is the All-Star Race, which is not for championship points and requires drivers to meet certain qualifications or race their way in. Currently, Almirola does not qualify to compete in the All-Star Race without racing his way in.
Alanis King contributed to this report.