NASCAR's Regan Smith replaces injured Almirola in Charlotte

Regan Smith: Regan Smith in #43 for Almirola at Charlotte

Almirola sustained the injuries during the NASCAR Go Bowling 400 when he collided with Joey Logano's wrecked auto.

CONCORD, N.C- Following a violent crash at Kansas Speedway on lap 199, Aric Almirola made the trip to Charlotte Motor Speedway to talk about his week following a T5 vertebrae compression fracture.

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

Almirola said NASCAR and RPM reviewed all available data on the incident and that a dislodged spring could have made the impact worse.

"I've been racing since I was 8 years old and I crashed plenty of times in a go-kart", Almirola said.

"And when I went up in the air and came back down it felt like someone took that knife and just twisted it in my back. It wouldn't steer. From that moment on I felt like I was on railroad tracks". It was the most helpless feeling because I saw the wreck. I braced because I knew it was coming and as soon as I made impact with Joey's vehicle it felt like someone put a knife in my back. He dropped his window net, but when he disconnected his steering wheel and threw it on the dash his back pain intensified. They didn't know if I was paralyzed or anything.

"So I just sat there and waited for the medical team to help get me out".

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

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

"This fracture is at a higher level than the injuries that Denny sustained or that Tony sustained. I've got a four year old and a three year old at home", Almirola stated.

RPM is expected to release Almirola's estimated recovery time at a press conference on Friday. Looking back on the crash, he feels there is nothing he could have done differently. 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.

"It didn't slow down, it didn't turn, it didn't do anything", Almirola told NASCAR.com. I can't really separate my shoulders and my hips. "The obvious thing is that the circumstances suck". The Almirolas spent a week in the NICU at Levine Children's Hospital. "I've got a lot of baseball to play with my son and I'd like to dance with my daughter one day at her wedding".

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