Richard Petty Motorsports (RPM) driver Aric Almirola, who suffered an acute compression fracture to his T5 Vertebra after a multi-car accident at Kansas Speedway last Saturday night, will be forced to miss races in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series during his recovery.
Smith will drive the auto this weekend, but beyond that, Moffitt and team owner Richard Petty have not finalized their plans.
"The incentive to make sure that I can run around in my front yard with my kids is enough for me to not rush back", the 33-year-old Almirola told reporters at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Media Center Friday morning in his first press conference since the crash. Like, 'Hey, I get to go out there and be in a Cup vehicle. "I think they did a good job of getting me out of there the best way they could and made sure they stabilized my spine and didn't do any further damage".
Almirola knew that the wreck was coming and braced for impact.
When Almirola and Devin's turn to strut - or, in Almirola's case, gingerly step - down the runway came, the crowd of 650 guests and donors' polite clapping turned into a roar of support.
"We had already met Devin a few weeks ago", said Almirola. "I've got a attractive family and I want to be able to run around outside and throw the baseball with Alex and I want to go to father-daughter dances with Abby and I'm not going to do anything to jeopardize that". "I've got a four year old and a three year old at home", Almirola stated. I looked around and saw I wasn't on fire that the burning sensation in my back was an enormous amount of pain.
"We're still working through that", said Brian Moffitt, CEO of RPM. "To have this happen and sort of derail all of the momentum and progress we had made is tough".
"We're still working through that with our partners", Moffitt said, "so as soon as we know for the future, we'll be letting you guys know that". "But right now we're thrilled that Regan's going to be in the vehicle for this weekend". Almirola has one career win and 10 top-5 finishes in 226 career starts, and he won the Xfinity Series race at Talladega Superspeedway on May 6. He has filled the seats of drivers such as Dale Earnhardt Jr., Tony Stewart, Kurt Busch and Kyle Larson in the past. He's now campaigning for Ricky Benton in the No. 92 Ford in the Camping World Truck Series.