Almirola Released from Hospital after Violent Wreck

Aric Almirola has been released from the University of Kansas Medical Center after suffering a compression fracture to his T5 Vertebra in a vicious three-car wreck late in the Go Bowling 400 at Kansas Speedway.

Richard Petty Motorsports issued the following statement this morning.

“Aric Almirola, driver of the No. 43 Richard Petty Motorsports Ford, has been released from a local Kansas hospital and will fly back to his home in Mooresville, N.C. today.

Almirola suffered a compression fracture to his T5 Vertebra after a multi-car accident at Kansas Speedway Saturday night. Almirola is mobile and will follow-up with his doctors in Charlotte.

Richard Petty Motorsports will provide further updates when available.”

The wreck started with 68 laps to go when Joey Logano was going to the outside of Danica Patrick for position. Going into Turn 1, Logano suffered a right-front tire blowout, causing his car to veer down and hook the right-rear corner of Patrick’s car. This sent her car head-on into the outside wall.

Logano’s car spun backwards up into the wall just a few feet ahead of Patrick’s. They made contact a second time a few seconds later.

Almirola was running seven car lengths back of the wreck, at the time Logano first hit the wall, and running near the top groove when his car got loose, clipped the left-rear corner of Patrick’s car and slammed head-on into the left-front of Logano’s car.

Almirola’s car continued down the track before coming to a halt against the outside wall on the exit of Turn 2 with the window net down, while the destroyed cars of Logano and Patrick stopped on the apron in Turn 2. Patrick quickly exited from her car, which NASCAR says to do if it’s on fire, while Logano sat in his until instructed to exit by the safety team.

While Almirola put the window net down, signaling the safety team that he’s okay, the safety team elected to extract him from the car rather than have him exit under his own power. After cutting open the driver cockpit, Almirola was placed onto a stretcher, loaded into an awaiting ambulance and taken to the University of Kansas Medical Center.

Logano and Patrick were taken to and released from the infield care center.

Logano, with unease in his vocal patterns, told Jamie Little of FOX Sports that he was “okay” and he was “saying a lot of prayers for Aric (Almirola) right now.”

“A lot of us took a hard hit,” he said. “Something broke on my car, I don’t know what it was. I noticed it as I was trying to go in. I tried to back it off but you’re going 215 (mph) and it’s hard to check up. The car just took a bit step sideways into the corner and I hooked Danica (Patrick). I haven’t seen a replay yet, I don’t know what happened. You can see the right-front popped (right there) and it popped. I just hope everyone is okay. I hope Aric is alright. 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.”

Asked if there was any indication leading to what happened, he said it was “out of nowhere. Just out of nowhere. Everything was fine and then it just took a hard right. Everyone pray for Aric right now.”

He also added that he told Patrick that “something broke” in the ambulance ride to the care center.

“We were back in the ambulance together and I just told here something broke,” Logano added. “There’s nothing I could have done. I don’t know what happened. Like I said, something broke and tore up a bunch of really good cars.”

Not long after, Patrick spoke to the media.

“We were having a really good race and having fun out there and had a lot of speed. I kinda felt like Wonder Woman for a little while. All I know is that I all of a sudden crashed,” she said of what happened.” I definitely had a feeling it was the 22 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. Especially a place like this, a brake rotor, when we are using 200-300 pounds of pressure seems odd. Unfortunately there were two of us that got collected and while I am okay, one of these times one if these really big accidents someone is not going to be okay. Aric (Almirola) is not okay and his car looked the best of everybody. You never know when it is going to be the wrong hit. I have a team that works hard and put another car on the track and I hope we are saving up for a really good run of good luck.”

She was also asked about the ambulance conversation Logano mentioned.

“I think I said everything I needed to say before I got in. I said something else in there and I just – really if he had a failure there is really nothing you can do about that,” Patrick added. “That is unfortunate and me and Aric are unfortunate recipients of that problem. It isn’t that I haven’t had issues with Joey in the past so to think it was something else was imaginable.”

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of

Tucker White
Tucker White
I've followed NASCAR for well over 20 years of my life, both as a fan and now as a member of the media. As of 2023, I'm on my eighth season as a traveling NASCAR beat writer. For all its flaws and dumb moments, NASCAR at its best produces some of the best action you'll ever see in the sport of auto racing. Case in point: Kyle Larson's threading the needle pass at Darlington Raceway on May 9, 2021. On used-up tires, racing on a worn surface and an aero package that put his car on the razor's edge of control, Larson demonstrated why he's a generational talent. Those are the stories I want to capture and break down. In addition to NASCAR, I also follow IndyCar and Formula 1. As a native of Knoxville, Tennessee, and a graduate of the University of Tennessee, I'm a diehard Tennessee Volunteers fan (especially in regards to Tennessee football). If covering NASCAR doesn't kill me, down the road, watching Tennessee football will. I'm also a diehard fan of the Atlanta Braves, and I lived long enough to see them win a World Series for the first time since 1995 (when I was just a year old). I've also sworn my fan allegiance to the Nashville Predators, though that's not paid out as much as the Braves. Furthermore, as a massive sports dork, I follow the NFL on a weekly basis. Though it's more out of an obligation than genuine passion (for sports dorks, following the NFL is basically an unwritten rule). Outside of sports, I'm a major cinema buff and a weeb. My favorite film is "Your Name" and my favorite anime is "Black Lagoon."


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