Aric Almirola likely won’t be back behind the wheel of the No. 43 until the end of the regular season.
The Richard Petty Motorsports driver announced Friday at Charlotte Motor Speedway that his fractured T5 vertebrae is expected to take at least two months to heal, according to FOX Sports. Almirola made the announcement during his first press conference since sustaining the injury Saturday during the Go Bowling 400.
“With this type of fracture, it’s eight to 12 weeks,” Almirola told reporters.
The 33-year-old Almirola also appears to be heeding Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s warning, noting he has two children and doesn’t want to risk returning too soon.
In addition to updating fans on his condition, Almirola also added a bit of clarity regarding his wreck with Joey Logano and Danica Patrick at Kansas Speedway. He reportedly said he would have avoided the incident, had it not been for a slick spot on the track, likely caused by Logano’s mechanical failure.
“My car wouldn’t slow down. It wouldn’t steer,” Almirola said, according to FOX Sports. “From that moment on I felt like I was on railroad tracks.”
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.
Thumbnail photo via Peter Casey/USA TODAY Sports Images