Richard Petty Motorsports finally finds a driver for No. 43 — at least for now

With  Aric Almirola badly injured and out 10-12 weeks, Richard Petty Motorsports has been looking for driver to race in the No. 43 car. After Carl Edwards declined an offer to drive the car, it appears the team has found a fill-in — at least for this week.

SB Nation reports that Regan Smith will fill in this weekend at the  All-Star Race preliminary event Saturday night at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Smith has served as a last-minute replacement before, and has filled in for Kyle Larson, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kurt Busch, and Tony Stewart and their teams.

Almirola was hurt last weekend at the Kansas Motor Speedway, leaving Richard Petty Motorsports scrambling to find a replacement. Almirola has a compression fracture in his back, and Fox Sports, in the video below, says it could take him 10 to 12 weeks to heal.

The crash began when Joey Logano’s No. 22 Ford crashed hard into Danica Patrick’s No. 10 Ford.  After both cars careened off the outside wall, Almirola hit Logano’s car and was trapped in the wreckage for 15 minutes. He was pulled out, placed on a backboard, and airlifted to an area hospital. He has since been released.

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