Sarina leans back against the truck following the first practice, pleased with how it felt. There was nothing wrong with having posted the quickest time on the charts.
She hears her phone going off, expecting it to be Chase. She then smiles when she sees ‘Rowdy’ instead, hitting answer.
“That’s my girl!!” He lets out on the phone as she laughs immediately. “I just had to call you and say that it is awesome seeing your name on top of the pylon. That is great. Nice job.”
“If you’re this excited over practice, I can’t imagine what you’ll be like if we can pull it off later on tonight,” she replies with a chuckle. “But thank you boss, much appreciated.”
“It is not a problem. I know how rough some of these weeks have been on you, so it is great to see you and Marcus finding your groove.” She lets out a sigh, knowing those words hit deeper than probably Kyle would’ve thought so.
“Do you actually have some time right now, Kyle? I want to talk to you about something….” She then walks off pit road, heading through the garage area in search of a quiet spot. She just hoped he said yes as she took the walk.
“Yeah, of course. What’s up?” She knew he was expecting something competition related, but this was far from it.
“I’ve talked with Chase about this, but I want an outside opinion – and I feel we’re close enough to where I can say this. You won’t say anything, will you?” Kyle felt intrigued about her words as he walked up into the lounge, closing the door behind him.
“Absolutely not.” He knew if it was serious enough, though, that he would have to say something to Chase.
“So you know my past as I made sure to open that box when my brother’s identity and involvement came out. That was all about full discretion because I didn’t want you to walk into something that you weren’t comfortable with. With that said, did it change your opinion on me at all?” Kyle remembered the meeting in his office with him, Samantha and Marcus as she broke out her life story for him. He remembered the mix of feelings experienced through the discussion, as well as his words with Samantha afterwards.
“You didn’t choose for your brother to get involved in drugs and mix up things. You didn’t choose for your father to take his police job, and try to protect your brother in the process and get shot. You didn’t choose for those people to find you and take your mom away from you, especially at such a young age. Everything that’s happened – that’s been a matter of circumstance around you, not your choic-”
“Even separating myself from my brother and family at that point?” He took a deep breath, seeing where the regret was probably coming from.
“Even that. He was making the wrong decisions at that time, and nobody would’ve blamed you from wanting to get away from that and get a fresh start after what you’d been through. Sarina, every choice that you’ve made has been a good choice. That said when we were done the meeting, I respected you even more because of everything that you’ve been through and how you’ve been able to fight back from it. The will to fight and be strong no matter what is one of those many reasons why I love having you drive for me.” She felt a little more confidence, and felt the feelings of yesterday fading slightly.
“Thanks Kyle. I appreciate that…” He couldn’t help but wonder now, though.
“Why did you ask about this, anyway?” She lets out a sigh. She didn’t want to bring it up, knowing everybody had differing opinions on Chris already.
“Let’s just say that it was bugging me for some odd reason, and I wanted a vote of confidence. I admit that I can be hard-headed, and I will do whatever the hell it takes, but I still have my worries here and there.” Kyle knew that, remembering her questions surrounding Chase, and whether that step was right.
“Well whenever you need a pick me up, I’m here. I told you that I was here for advice whenever you needed it, and I mean that. I have your back, no matter what.”
“Thanks. Listen, I better let you go as Marcus is going to be looking for me.”
“Alright. I’ll talk to you later. Keep up the good work.” Kyle then hangs up, sitting back with a smile.
He knew that Marcus and Samantha both were skeptical about keeping her on board through everything, but the choice was the right decision. She was proving it behind the wheel, and there was something about her desire that seemed familiar.
Meanwhile in Michigan being father’s day weekend, Chase had made the decision to take his parents out to dinner the night before the race since he knew Sunday would result in being too busy. However, he made them both promise that they’d be back to the motorcoach before the truck race started as he wanted to watch how his girl made out.
“She’s doing better each week,” Bill comments as they drive back to the track.
“Well, she’s never driven mile and a half tracks so it’s a whole new ball game for her,” Chase says. “But she says that she’s trusting Marcus more, and they’re finding the chemistry that you need. Combine that with getting used to the trucks, I think she may get her first win in the next couple of weeks.” Bill shakes his head in agreement.
“Iowa or Kentucky are two good places, if not tonight. I mean, Iowa drives like a short track and then Kentucky is like some of the places that she’s been already. I don’t think you’re off in that prediction.”
“Think she can beat Christopher, though?” Cindy questions, referring to Christopher Bell.
“She was quicker than him a couple weeks ago,” Chase reminds his mom.
“I was talking to Kim (Burton) the other day. She was saying how much Harrison likes it there, and how helpful everybody is with advice. She said that she was surprised, really. She even mentioned how well Harrison, Todd, Christopher and Sarina were getting along. She then asked me what I thought of Sarina and you together, and I told her that I was still skeptic-”
“But that you guys were alright together. She said based on Harrison’s words that you picked a gem in her as Sarina was a sweetheart with giving him some tips and a tour.” Chase smiles, knowing that he’d have to thank Harrison later for the vote of confidence on the girl. It was nice to see his mom speak positively about Sarina for a change.
“Well, for what it’s worth, Sarina loves having Kyle as a boss, and says that they get along great. I’ve also talked to Kyle a couple times, and he’s happy with her and been great about it.”
Once they get back to the track, they separate with a quick wish goodbye for the night, with Chase heading inside the motorcoach and flipping the race on. He then relaxes on the couch, set for a fun night.
He hated to hear the news that she had to start at the tail of the field after having water pump issues in time trials. However, it was great watching her come through the field, despite battling a tight truck. Throughout the night, Marcus was able to make it better and better, with her crossing the finish line in ninth. Considering how the night started, he had no complaints for her on the night.
He took out his phone, sending her a quick text message on a nice job, a little pick me up, followed by a quick ‘love you, talk to you later.’
He then grabs himself a shower, before getting comfy in bed, knowing that he had a busy day ahead of him on Sunday. It had been a great dinner out with his parents, including some complimentary words from his mom finally, and capped off with a solid truck race. Now he knew he just had to take the solid car they had and turn it into a great performance tomorrow.