He did not suffer any physical injuries, but Aric Almirola said that his "heart is broken" after his car was knocked out of the Daytona at the very last lap. It surely must have been devastating for the racer. Right after the race, he told Fox Sports, “I thought I was going to win the Daytona 500.”
He climbed off his No. 10 Ford after race-winner Austin Dillon locked bumpers with Almirola close to Turn 3. This made Almirola hit the wall. Despite his heart-brokenness and disappointment, he had no hard feelings towards Dillon.
“He’s not driving too aggressively, he’s trying to win the Daytona 500 just like I was,” Almirola said. “I saw him come with the momentum and I pulled up to block and did exactly what I needed to do to try to win the Daytona 500. I wasn’t gonna just let him have it. I wasn’t gonna just stay on the bottom and let him rail the outside, so I blocked and he got to my bumper and pushed and I thought I was still gonna be OK and somehow I got hooked. I still haven’t seen the replay, so I don’t know what happened, but I’m just devastated.”
“We were a half a lap away from winning the Daytona 500,” Almirola said. “I’m really proud of that. I’m still very excited. I’m not gonna let that get me down. We’ve got an incredible race team and I’m gonna go to Atlanta and we’re gonna have good race cars there and we’ll have a shot to win next week. That’s something I’ve not had in my career, where I feel like every week I get on the plane to go to the race track I feel like we’re gonna have a shot to go win. This is just one race. It might be the biggest race and this one is gonna hurt for a while, but I think next week we’ll have another shot.”