NASCAR's Aric Almirola out 8-12 weeks with broken back

NASCAR's Aric Almirola out 8-12 weeks with broken back

NASCAR's Aric Almirola out 8-12 weeks with broken back

What goes through the mind of a race-car driver after a serious accident?

Aric Almirola nearly made it through Friday's injury update press conference without addressing the photographers just feet away from him after Saturday's wreck in Kansas.

Aric Almirola likely won't be back behind the wheel of the No. 43 until the end of the regular season.

While Smith is in the vehicle for this weekend's All-Star festivities, the team has yet to map out a battle plan for the remainder of Almirola's absence.

He also said he's watched clips of the crash and is mostly "amazed with was how high (his) auto got off the ground". I was pretty upset in the moment and then after meeting with doctors in Kansas and Charlotte I realized how fortunate I was.

"He's well aware. And he won't be rushing back to put himself in any kind of danger going forward". Immediately when I hit Joey's vehicle, I felt pain in my back. In a frank and emotional interview, Almirola pulled no punches. The auto was immediately taken to the Research & Development Center in Concord, North Carolina.

Almirola said his father was a firefighter and he had learned from him that it was important to keep one's spine stable if one felt neck or back pain in an accident.

"I felt like from that point my vehicle was on railroad tracks and I was just headed straight for the wreck", Almirola said. There was nothing I could do. "For the most part, I'm OK".

Almirola knew that the wreck was coming and braced for impact. I'm young. I've got a lot of life ahead of me.

Almirola immediately knew he was injured. I feel like an idiot even being involved in the wreck. I knew I wasn't going to be able to get out on my own power.

"If I sit for too long, I've got to stand up".

Almost a week out from the accident, Almirola says he still is in some pain, although it is much more manageable.

"From the time I was eight years old, all I ever wanted to do was race", continued Almirola.

However, the 2014 Daytona Coke Zero 400 victor says he is grateful for the opportunity to recover and return to work considering the impact he experienced.

Here are the 8 most eye-opening things Almirola said in a 30-minute media session. He finished third, second and fourth, respectively, as a full-time Xfinity Series driver for JR Motorsports from 2013-2015, collecting five wins during that span. He will provide an update on his injury and recovery plan on Friday morning at the speedway.

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. "For all relative circumstances, I guess things worked out the best they could". He was released from a Kansas City-area hospital Sunday and the team said he probably wouldn't need surgery. I can't really separate my shoulders and my hips. "I'm doing everything I can do". The Almirolas spent a week in the NICU at Levine Children's Hospital.

"Being out eight to 12 weeks and not have a chance at the playoffs - that stinks", Almirola added. "So I wasn't going to let him down". They had no idea was what wrong with me.

"I told my wife Janice I wouldn't do anything to jeopardize my long-term health". If I would have got into the back of her and run into her fuel cell or something like that, it could have been a lot worse than it was.

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