Short Track Lovin’ – Chapter 23

Thanks for reading and reviewing J Post-practice quote for Chase courtesy of


The fun aspect of the party was completely lost on Thursday, being replaced by total focus. With six hours of practice on the Pensacola, Florida track, everybody was focused on making their cars as good as possible.


Despite other teams running into problems that resulted in heavy contact with the wall, and some teams complaining of lack of speed, that wasn’t something that Sarina or Chase were experiencing. In each of the six sessions throughout the day, the pair were in the top-five on the speed charts, each taking a turn topping one or two of the charts.


There was no doubt – they’d both be at the front of the pack on Sunday.


“I didn’t think it was as good as I would like it to be at least,” Elliott told the reporters that had gathered around after the session.  “We made a couple small gains I believe, but I think we are still missing something.  Everybody is always looking to be better and we are too.  We’re going to keep digging and still have another two days of practice. I don’t care so much about the ego sheet as long as we can get our car the way it needs to be on Sunday afternoon by lap 300.  That’s the thing that matters most.”


He then answers a couple more questions before retreating back into the hauler, standing across from crew chief Ricky Turner, who glances over their notes from the practices throughout the day.


“Well?” He questions, catching the crew chief’s attention as he glances up from his tablet.


“I think we’re better off than you think we are as the cold temperatures have thrown everybody a big wrench thus far this weekend,” Ricky comments. “I don’t think it’s the same as any other Derby weekend, personally.” Chase shakes his head in agreement, having noticed that in watching others throughout the practices in-between his own runs. That didn’t mean that he was totally satisfied with how things had gone yet, though.


“You do realize who we’re chasing at the top of the charts? Did you see how quick Sarina is?” A small smile forms on Ricky’s face following the comment from Chase.


“Of course you’d have your eyes on that girl.” Chase rolls his eyes as Ricky holds his hand out. “Listen, you make a good point as she looks pretty solid, along with Spencer Davis, Daniel Hemric and a couple others. No doubt she comes in as a strong favourite based on some of her wins this year. I’m just saying that I don’t think we’re as far off as you’re predicting, Chase.” Chase crosses his arms, leaning back against the cabinet as he thinks it over. Perhaps his search for perfection was getting in the way of a logical judgment on the situation.


“I suppose. I just don’t want to play with it enough and find ourselves not quick enough.” Ricky rolls his eyes as he glances back down at the tablet.


“You worry too much, Elliott.” He then sets the tablet aside, crossing his arms as he tares at the young man before him. The text from the previous night was now on his mind. “So, what was your text about – or can I take a stab at that, please? I’m guessing that it had to do with one Sari-”


“How did you know?” Ricky laughs as he keeps his eyes focused on Chase. It was fun to get him all flustered.


“It seems when you’re not talking about racing lately, you’re talking about her. It seems that you guys are spending a lot of time together lately. Want to tell me something, young man?” Chase glances around the room, debating whether he should tell Ricky the truth or not. He knew that right now, he and Sarina had agreed to keep things quiet, but he knew that it could be in his advantage for Ricky to know. There was also a worry, though, that it’d negatively affect the rest of their conversation.


“Promise that you’ll keep your mouth shu-”


“I knew it!!” Chase rolls his eyes as he stares at Ricky’s excitement in disbelief.


“Can you please keep it down? Listen, we’ve agreed to keep it quiet right now so don’t go telling anybody – okay?” Ricky takes a deep breath, immediately calming down as he shakes his head in agreement.


“So the text was about that?” Chase shakes his head no as Ricky gives him a glance. “Please tell me that she’s not pregnan-”


“Hell no! We haven’t even taken that step yet.” Ricky smiles as he lets out a chuckle.


“I knew that. I’ve known you long enough to know that you wouldn’t do that quite yet. It was funny to see your reaction though.” Chase then punches Ricky as Ricky gives him a hurt expression in return. “So, are you looking for some advice?” Chase shakes his head no.


“Do you remember the discussion that we had a couple months back about doing a driver development program and having someone else run the late model when I couldn’t run it?” Ricky shakes his head, easily recalling the discussion. He then freezes upon the realization of what Chase was thinking.


“So you texted me because you want to put Sarina in the car. Chase, you can’t let your heart tell you the way to go and put the girl in the car because you’re dating her.” Chase crosses his arms, now wishing that he’d kept the dating factor a secret.


“Besides the fact that I’m dating her and I think she’s a really sweet girl, she’s also a helluva driver. Look at the equipment that she’s driving, and look at what she’s been able to do with that. Now if you put her in top-notch equipment with her skills – what’s stopping her from dominating every week? You were considering it before without knowing of details to our friendship so you can’t use that excuse.” As much as Ricky didn’t want to admit it, Chase was right in his logic behind wanting to put Sarina in the car. It was just a matter of putting those pieces together.


“I think you’re on to something, and I think she’d make a great addition – other factors aside. It’s just a matter of talking to your dad and seeing what he thinks, as he partially owns this deal, remember.” Chase shakes his head, knowing that Ricky was right. There was no way that they could make any decisions without involving his dad.


“Well, we’re going to have to talk to my dad as quickly as possible and see what he wants to do because Sarina has another deal on the table. Bubba Pollard is trying to snag her as a teammate.” Ricky looks on surprised as he hadn’t heard any discussion surrounding that to date.


“Are you worried about her spending time with Bub-”


“I trust Sarina, and know that she wouldn’t do anything like that. This has nothing to do with the relationship. I just don’t want to lose the opportunity to another competitor to have her on the team.” Ricky shakes his head, understanding, though knew that it wasn’t the whole truth. He was taking bets that part of Chase wanted to make sure this got done to keep her within his grasp.


“Well, we could always bring it up to your dad tomorrow once we’re done qualifying. There’d be some time to discuss then. If he accepts, then that gives you permission to offer it to Sarina as soon as possible.”


2 thoughts on “Short Track Lovin’ – Chapter 23

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