Short Track Lovin’ – Chapter 100: Sonoma

Ryan makes his way back into the hotel room after getting breakfast with his crew guys, grabbing his bag as he searches for something.

“Ugh!!!” Sarina lets out as she looks at herself in the mirror, trying to fix her hair.

“You realize that you look pretty without getting all frustrated over a simple piece, right?” Ryan questions as she looks out of the bathroom.

“Well I appreciate the compliment, this pony tail is pissing me off.” He then laughs as he sets his stuff down, walking over into the bathroom.

“Give me the hair tie…” She hands it over, slightly confused. He then grabs the brush off the counter, running it through her hair a couple times, before putting the hair up in a perfect pony tail. She then checks it out, swinging it back and forth a couple times, before looking back at Ryan impressed. “What? I have two sisters, remember?”

“Right, that’s the reason for this. But, thank you.” She then exits the bathroom, making her way over to the bed. She taps Chase’s shoulder, waking him up as Ryan just rolls his eyes.

“You should’ve let me put whip cream or something in his hand….” She then looks on, surprised.

“And let you have some fun? Nah, I got the honor of that last night.” He then rolls his eyes, still mad about how that prank played out.

“I still owe you one…” She then laughs as Chase sits up, glancing between the pair.

“Why does morning come so early?” He questions as he kicks the blanket off the bed.

“Technically, you slept in three extra hours than you would on the east coast,” Ryan comments as Chase just flips him the bird while walking by to the bathroom. “Is he always grumpy in the morning?”

“It depends,” Sarina reasons. She then walks over to the mini fridge, pulling out a small bottle of orange juice. She had put it in there the night before, set to sip on it in the morning before heading out with Chase to the track and getting breakfast. Chase couldn’t help but chuckle from the bathroom as he watched her undo the cap, causing him to quickly slam the door as she looked over suspicious. “He’s also goofy at times in the morning.”

“He’s a special one, isn’t he?” Ryan then sits back on the bed, set for the day and knowing he should head out, but he couldn’t resist leaving and watching the show. Sarina untwists the cap, bringing the bottle up to her mouth. She takes a mouthful, immediately spitting it out afterwards.

“What the heck?” She then looks over the bottle, confused as ever. “That taste like no tropicana. That is just crap!” She checks the expiry date, but it hadn’t expired.

“Did it taste cheesy?” She then lowers the bottle, looking at Ryan confused.

“A little….” He then smiles with a laugh as he opens the drawer, throwing her a box of kraft dinner that was missing the cheese packet. He then goes into the cooler that he had, throwing her a bottle of proper orange juice.

“The look on your face when you tasted it was priceless!” She then looks at the contents he threw her, slightly confused, before looking back over.

“You switched my orange juice with kraft dinner cheese and water?” He shakes his head yes with a laugh. “Oh you dirty rascal!”

“Check mate!” He then grabs his bag and heads for the door as she stands up. “And on that note, I need to get to the track…” He then quickly closes the door behind him and takes off down the hall before she could catch up.

********************************************

Sarina climbs up on the pit box, uncertain of how the day would play out. She had hopes of a good finish, but felt nerves based on how the weekend had begun with the practice crash.

Her nerves were calmed in the beginning stages, as he completed the first stage in the 11th position. She watched as he moved forward, racing his way into the top-10 before the second stage was complete.

“We’ve got some significant front end damage here,” Alan says over the radio to Chase. “So we’re going to pit an extra time, fix it, and that way you’ll be fine for the second half. I just don’t want to screw us over.”

“10-4.” Sarina hated to see him lose the track position, but understood the crew chief’s theory. She just hoped that the pit strategy turned out in their favor through the second half of the event.

As the race winded down, he was able to continue moving forward, running as high as third before he made his way down pit road with 30 to go for his final stop. He quickly got himself back into the top-15, racing his way up into the top-10. He was then able to retain the track position, crossing the finish line in eighth.

While the finish was nothing to write a big book about and be super proud of, it still brought smiles to Chase, Alan and the crew after the race. After struggling so hard at the beginning of the weekend, it was nice to see him finding his groove turning both left and right.

“I’m proud of you,” Sarina says as she gives him a kiss on the lips. “I can’t wait to spend this whole week with you.”

“I can’t wait to see you sun tanning all nice at the beach while I’m swimming,” he comments, and she couldn’t deny that herself. There was nothing to deny about seeing a cute, well-fit boy in just his swim trunks.

“Aww something to keep me entertained while I work on my tan. There’s nothing wrong with that.” He then smiles as they watch Kyle walk over to them.

“Well well, glad to see the love birds are still enjoying paradise,” Kyle Busch comments as the pair just smile. “Sarina, I just wanted to double check something. You put a request in to have Bethany’s credential revoked?” She shakes her head yes. “Okay, that’s fine. I just wanted to make sure that there wasn’t an issue there.”

“We’re not talking because she obviously can’t let go of the past or understand that I am done with family,” Sarina explains, in which Kyle just simply shakes his head in agreement.

“What about your brother? Is everything still cool there?” She shakes her head yes, even if his comment a week ago wasn’t the most well-thought out. “Alright. I’m just asking so I know who to put on the list for Kentucky, and who not to. It just seems odd that your brother is hanging out with her a lot, too.”

“Let’s just say that he gets where I’m coming from, but still doesn’t want to let the family connection go. I can’t deny that with him because of what we’ve all been through.” Kyle shakes his head, understanding.

“As long as there’s no issues, then I’m not going complain.” She puts her hands up, knowing that there’s no problems.

“I’m going to go actually catch up with him for a quick second, and then we can head out, okay?” Chase shakes his head yes, before giving her a quick kiss as she heads off. Kyle watches, before turning to Chase.

“I haven’t mentioned what we talked about, in relation to her brother. Have you talked to her at all?” Chase shakes his head no. “I don’t want to bring it up, but it’s still concerning….”

“I feel it’s coincidence, but that’s just me,” Chase comments as he glances towards the direction she headed. “Why are we talking about this, though?”

“I’m just concerned, that’s all,” Kyle says. “I don’t want her judgment of her brother to mess things up for her, and everybody else.” Chase shakes his head, understanding.

“Well like I said, I’m not concerned.” Chase knew that was a lie as he couldn’t deny keeping an extra eye out for Chris at times.

He also hoped that maybe the police would find a lead, and arrest somebody for what had happened lately so they could leave all the worries behind.

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