STATESVILLE, N.C. -- Aric Almirola may be in pain, but making it to a charity fundraiser for children is still a priority.

On Wednesday, just days after a crash at Kansas Speedway that left Almirola with a fracture to his T5 vertebrae after he had to be cut from his car and airlifted to a local hospital, the NASCAR driver was walking down the runway at Martin Truex Jr.'s Catwalk for a Cause.

"When I was in the ICU in Kansas, I FaceTime'd my wife and told her I was ok. And I said, 'Hey don't forget, Wednesday night is Catwalk for a Cause, so as long as the doctors let me we're still going,'" Almirola explained.

The event raises money for the Martin Truex Jr. Foundation and SherryStrong, organizations that raise money for pediatric and ovarian cancer.

Almirola will not race in the All-Star Race Saturday at Charlotte, instead, Regan Smith will fill in.

"I've got one more scan to look at everything internally and meeting one more doctor and will have more answers Thursday so we'll let everyone know Friday, " Almirola said at the event Wednesday.