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Aric Almirola unfazed about returning to Kansas, where he broke his back during the spring race

Tod Palmer, The Kansas City Star on

Published in Auto Racing

"I remember everything about it," Almirola said. "There's not one detail about anything about that night that I don't remember."

The carnage started when Joey Logano's steering let loose and he slid sideways with his back end against the wall.

Running in the high groove, Danica Patrick, who also was collected in the wreck, had nowhere to go.

Almirola tried to dive inside, but he hit fluid on the track and hydroplaned into Logano at race speed, lifting the back end of his car several feet off the ground before it slammed back down to the asphalt.

"Immediately, when I hit Joey's car in the wreck and the car went airborne, I knew that I had something major wrong with my back," Almirola said. "Then, when the car came back down and landed, that feeling of a knife in my back intensified even more."

The pain and burning sensation was so intense, Almirola actually thought he was on fire.

 

"It was a really vivid burning sensation in my back," Almirola said.

He had seen Patrick's car erupt into flames during the crash.

"So, I assumed that my car was on fire, too," Almirola said. "That's why I dropped the window net immediately. I was in a hurry to get out of the car and just running on adrenaline. The pain kind of went away, because I was a little bit panicked trying to get out of the car."

Moments later, it became clear that he wouldn't be able to exit the No. 43 Smithfield Ford.

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