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

How NASCAR drivers reacted to Saturday's terrifying fiery crash

Almirola fractured the T5 vertebra in the middle of his back in a crash in last Saturday's race at Kansas Speedway. "Getting back in a race vehicle two weeks too soon is just going to add two more starts to my start column and the stat book". "If I were to get in another similar accident and not be properly healed, you're talking about potentially being paralyzed from the belly button down". 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. I want to thank our doctors in Charlotte, Dr.

"I immediately knew that they were in my line of path, so my auto was loose into the corner all night anyway, but I was entering the corner, I saw the wreck - was very aware the wreck was there - and I got on the brakes and turned the steering wheel to the left and my vehicle got loose".

"The process that we had was when we got back to North Carolina, the King and Drew (Blickensderfer, crew chief) and Aric and I sat down and came up with a list of people after we knew what the diagnosis was, and we're still working through that with our partners", Moffitt said. He will provide an update on his injury and recovery plan on Friday morning at the speedway. It has been a rollercoaster of a week, with the Talladega victory underscoring the promise his Richard Petty Motorsports team has shown this season. "We didn't want to (stop that support) just because I broke my back!" he joked.

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"I wanted to see it, but I didn't want to see it that night", Almirola said. "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".

Tony Stewart a year ago missed the first eight races of the season with a fracture of his L1 vertebra, though the injury happened about three weeks before the season opened.

Denny Hamlin suffered a L1 vertebra compression fracture after crashing at Auto Club Speedway in 2013. "The bone is, for lack of a better term, crunched and it's something that first and foremost we've got to get some of the edema or some of the blood out of the bone and that is something that is a time phenomenon as much as anything". Once safety personnel arrived, Almirola explained his condition and "they went through all of their proper protocol to get me out of the vehicle safely without moving my spine and stabilizing my spine".

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Richard Petty Motorsports has put Regan Smith in its No. 43 auto for the NASCAR Monster Energy All-Star events this weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway, but the team has not determined who will replace Almirola when the regular season resumes next week at Charlotte.

"As soon as we know for the future, we'll be letting you guys know that", Moffitt said.

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