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NASCAR driver Aric Almirola has broken vertebra from fiery crash involving Danica Patrick, Joey Logano

The Washington Post logo The Washington Post 14/05/2017 Cindy Boren

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NASCAR driver Aric Almirola was released from the Kansas City-area hospital in which he spent the night after suffering a compression fracture in his back in a fiery wreck Saturday night involving Danica Patrick and Joey Logano.

The three collided in a frightening pileup with 67 laps left in the Go Bowling 400 at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, Kan. Safety workers had to cut the roof and roll cage off Almirola’s car to remove him, then placed him on a backboard and airlifted him to the University of Kansas Medical Center.

“Almirola is mobile and will follow-up with his doctors in Charlotte,” Richard Petty Motorsports said in a statement Sunday. RPM added that the fracture was to his T5 vertebra and that he was to return to his North Carolina home on Sunday. It is not known when he will be able to race again.

Safety crew workers place Aric Almirola on a stretcher after cutting off the roof of his car. © Sean Gardner/Getty Images Safety crew workers place Aric Almirola on a stretcher after cutting off the roof of his car. Aric Almirola’s No. 43 car crashes into Danica Patrick and Joey Logano during the NASCAR Monster Cup auto race at Kansas Speedway. © Colin E. Braley/Associated Press Aric Almirola’s No. 43 car crashes into Danica Patrick and Joey Logano during the NASCAR Monster Cup auto race at Kansas Speedway.

Both Logano and Patrick were examined and released from the infield care center, with Logano later tweeting prayers for Almirola.

Logano told reporters that he wasn’t sure exactly what caused the crash.

“Something broke on my car, I don’t know what it was,” Logano said. “I noticed it as I was trying to go in. I tried to back it off but you’re going 215 and it’s hard to check up. The car just took a bit step sideways into the corner and I hooked Danica. I haven’t seen a replay yet, I don’t know what happened. You can see the right-front popped and it popped. I just hope everyone is okay. I hope Aric is all right. That’s the last thing you want to see, a big hit like that for anyone. It’s unfortunate for everyone. Let’s hope that Aric is alright.”

Patrick drew criticism for her comments immediately after the crash.

“We were having a really good race and having fun out there and had a lot of speed,” Patrick said. “… All I know is that I all of a sudden crashed. I definitely had a feeling it was and I am sure that the doctors in the medical center checking my neurological abilities are glad to know I was right that it was Joey. When he said he had a failure, I can’t say it made me feel that much better in the moment. I am just frustrated for the lack of breaks I get. It seems like every time things are going better and something happens I get crashed or am in a crash.”

Almirola, 33, is in his sixth full season driving for RPM and has one Cup victory. He and his wife, Janice, have two children.

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