There was a scary moment in Saturday’s Go Bowling 400 at Kansas Speedway, shortly after a restart with 69 laps to go.
Joey Logano’s Team Penske Ford turned left heading into Turn 1 after an apparent mechanical failure on the front end, sending Danica Patrick hard into the wall as the two were racing for 11th place in the race.
“Just saying a lot of prayers for Aric (Almirola) right now,” said Logano. “A lot of us took a hard hit. 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 just hope everyone is okay. I hope Aric is alright,” added Logano. “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’s car exploded into flames and then both Patrick and Logano got hit by a hard-charging Aric Almirola, who clobbered both cars in Turn 2. Patrick and Logano quickly got out of their cars, but Almirola remained in his No. 43 Richard Petty Motorsports Ford.
“When he (Logano) said he had a failure I can’t say it made me feel that much better in the moment,” said Patrick. “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.
“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,” said Patrick. “Aric (Almirola) is not okay and his car looked the best of everybody.”
The race was red-flagged as safety workers had to extricate Almirola from his car. Immediately after the impact, Almirola dropped his window net, but he did not get out of his car. Instead, safety workers removed the windshield and the rood of his car and worked to extricate him from the damaged vehicle.
Almirola was taken out of the car and placed on a spine board and a stretcher. He was awake and alert when the rescue workers took him out of the car and loaded him into the ambulance.
From there, Almirola was airlifted to the University of Kansas Medical Center for further observation and evaluation. Richard Petty Motorsports made a statement late Saturday night saying Almirola was in stable condition.