Aric Almirola went through an intense session last week on a "shaker rig," which simulated a race track bumpier than any NASCAR track, as well as the jack dropping on a pit stop. Almirola said everything went well and he felt no soreness.
"I feel really good," Almirola said. "Normal everyday activity is really back to normal for me. I'm just trying to wait on the bone to heal now. … As long as my results come back from the CT scan good, I think everything looks like it should be in order to get back in the race the next three, four, five weeks."
"It's very frustrating because I'm a racer and I'm very competitive," said Almirola, who had never missed a race because of an injury. "It kills me to watch other people drive my race car. They've done a great job, and I'm appreciative … but I want to get back in the race car.
"This is my team, this my group of guys, and I'm looking forward to getting back in the race car. It does bother me to sit and watch."
"Everybody at Richard Petty Motorsports is working hard, and we're trying to do everything we can to solidify all of our agreements with partners," Almirola said. "It gets complex, but me taking two months off in the middle of the season certainly presents its challenges."
"As a race-car driver, I'm not going to change," Almirola said. "Even when I've been home, I've had more time to play with my kids and racing [son] Alex up the street, I don't let him win. I'm too competitive.
"The fire is still very present, and that hasn't changed. I haven't forgot how to drive a race car just in a few weeks. I don't think I'm going to have to prove anything to anybody. I'm just going to have to get back in a race car and go do my thing."