Smith to replace Almirola at Charlotte

"Everybody is telling me that with this type of fracture it is eight to 12 weeks, so I'm not happy about that", Almirola said.

"I watched the replay and if you put it on full speed, I was just shy of two seconds behind the accident, so in race vehicle driver terms that is a long way", Almirola said.

Almirola will be replaced by NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver Regan Smith during Saturday's Monster Energy Open at Charlotte, though RPM hasn't yet announced a long-term substitute.

Almirola suffered an acute compression fracture to his T5 Vertebra in the crash that happened in this past Saturday's Go Bowling 400 at Kansas.

Joey Logano and Danica Patrick also were involved in the crash that started when Logano experienced a brake problem that sent him into Patrick's vehicle. He will provide an update on his injury and recovery plan on Friday morning at the speedway. It felt like I was on railroad tracks and I was headed straight for the wreck.

"When I was in the ICU in Kansas, I FaceTime'd my wife and told her I was OK", Almirola said (via Charlotte TV station WCNC).

Regan Smith was tabbed to drive the iconic No. 43 Smithfield Foods Ford for Almirola this weekend.

Almirola's absence nearly surely will take him out of the championship picture, but the driver has a longer-term perspective, one that will allow him to heal completely before he returns. "The doctors and neurosurgeon in Charlotte have written me a prescription to go and sit in a chair at the beach. But I think it does, it messes with your emotions".

"One day you're a hero, one day you're a zero, although I don't classify myself as a zero just because I broke my back".

"We had already met Devin a few weeks ago", said Almirola.

As soon as Almirola hit Logano's auto, he felt the excruciating pain his back. That days that Aric is not available to move around because of the pain and because of the guarding are days that he's not using those muscles fully and we're going to have to rehabilitate those.

"I should have missed the wreck", Almirola said Friday, indicating the racing surface suddenly turned slick.

CONCORD, N.C. - Kyle Larson was about to discard his race suit and begin relaxing after it appeared Kurt Busch had bettered his time in qualifying for the NASCAR All-Star race. "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".

He now drives on the Camping World Truck Series for Ricky Benton Racing.

  • Angelo Rivera