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Aric Almirola says finger injury from Dover wasn’t as bad as feared

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AAA 400 Drive for Autism

DOVER, DE - MAY 15: Aric Almirola, driver of the #43 Smithfield Ford, walks away from his wrecked car during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AAA 400 Drive for Autism at Dover International Speedway on May 15, 2016 in Dover, Delaware. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

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CONCORD, N.C. – Aric Almirola’s pride still might be wounded, yet the injury he sustained in a wreck Sunday at Dover International Speedway wasn’t as bad as he initially thought.

Almirola joked it wasn’t “very manly” after hurting his left pinky finger late in the race at Dover, but it wasn’t broken as he’d feared. He told NBC Sports that a collateral ligament sprain in the lower part of the finger restricts some movement, but he was able to test at Michigan International Speedway this week and doesn’t expect any modifications would be necessary in his No. 43 Ford.

The Richard Petty Motorsports driver cut the stitching out of his driving glove to accommodate a brace molded around the finger.

“It’s going to be OK with ice and ibuprofen,” he said. “It’s just tender to the touch and doesn’t want to be pushed backward.”

After making his first start in last year’s Sprint All-Star Race because of his July 2014 victory at Daytona International Speedway, Almirola is trying to race into Saturday night’s event by winning a segment of the Sprint Showdown.