Saturday, November 18, 2017
Sports

Tampa NASCAR driver Almirola alert, stable after fiery crash with Danica Patrick and Joey Logano (w/crash video)

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NASCAR driver and Tampa resident Aric Almirola was in stable condition after being airlifted to a Kansas City-area hospital following a fiery wreck Saturday night with Danica Patrick and Joey Logano.

The three were involved in the frightening collision with 67 laps left in the Go Bowling 400 at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, Kansas. Safety workers had to cut the roof and roll cage off Almirola's car to remove him. He then was placed on a backboard and airlifted to the University of Kansas Medical Center, where he was kept overnight for observation.

"Almirola was alert after the accident as safety professionals removed him from the car," Richard Petty Motorsports said early Sunday morning. "He was transported by helicopter to a local medical facility for evaluation. He is in stable condition and will be held overnight for further observation."

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 OK. 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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