Short Track Lovin’ – Chapter 113: Talk of the Garage

Wednesday, July 5

Chase took a deep breath, before stepping off the plane and looking around. It was a surprise to be there, considering everything.

With having spent the majority of the weekend in the hospital, everybody was set to cancel his promotional period for Indianapolis. However, upon his release, the agreement was in place to keep it on as planned.

“Just so you’re aware, the Indianapolis media squad knows about what happened,” Morgan starts, as he glances over at her. “They understand that you were just released yesterday. It’s been cleared with them that if it gets to be too much of a day, or you need a break, we can just say something and do it. They don’t have a single problem as they’re glad that you were able to do this, still.” Chase nods his head as he looks around the airport for the group waiting for them.

“I still say you should’ve cancelled entirely,” Cindy comments as Chase rolls his eyes. He knew his mother was just being overly cautious. However, with a good sleep the night before, combined with sleeping the entire flight and continually feeling better, he felt up to going about business as usual. Besides, it wasn’t like there was going to be anything big and taxing on the day.

“Also, if anybody asks about Chris or Sarina or anything, simply state that you have no comment and move forward. I know things are touchy so we don’t need to get into that, and being an on-going police investigation, it’s not allowed anyway. They said they told all media members to not question, but you know how that works.” Chase nods his head.

“What’s first on the agenda, anyway?” He questions as Morgan pulls out her phone, looking at the schedule.

“A helicopt – ah shit,” she answers, as he looks over confused. “So you were supposed to take the track president, along with his head social media guru and two others on a helicopter tour of the city to the track.” Chase roughly remembered mention of that, as questions were made whether he had enough hours on his license to fly a group of people. “Are you still up to doing that?”

“Yeah, I can still do it. Maybe not as long as we discussed originally, but I can do a shortened version.” Morgan nods her head, making a note.

“Are you sure?” Cindy questions and Chase nods his head again. With how he was feeling, he knew that a short flight wouldn’t be a problem as concentration and awareness was back to a level that he was confident.

“If I had any concerns at all, I wouldn’t accept it,” he answers as Morgan meets up with one of the representatives to go over details.

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

Sarina fixes the belt on her firesuit, before glancing in the mirror. She puts her hair up in a ponytail, giving it a quick brush through and smiles. That was easier getting ready than expected.

She then walks out of the Kyle Busch Motorsports trailer, smiling as there were some fans waiting for autographs – as usual. She signs them, before beginning the walk over to the garage for the start of the first practice.

The entire walk over, she could overhear comments all around her and noticed the eyes staring at her. There were some questioning her status with Kyle Busch Motorsports, things surrounding her brother, and whether she was still with Chase. She could only roll her eyes, knowing that there was probably going to be rumors flying every which way all weekend long.

“Well well, the princess is here,” she hears as she reaches the garage, glancing over a stall over. “Did you realize that you’re talk of the garage today?” She takes her sunglasses off, noticing Austin Cindric standing there.

“Yeah, I heard everybody’s thoughts,” she comments with an eye roll. “What’s your point?”

“I’m just surprised that you’re standing here in a Kyle Busch Motorsports uniform set to drive the No. 18 truck this weekend.” She expected those comments from some fans; however, it was a surprise from another competitor.

“Kyle understands that it wasn’t my fault, and stated that he has my back through everything. The sponsors have also said that they’re not backing down on their support. What’s your point, again?” He crosses his arms, a little surprised to hear those words.

“I’m just surprised. I mean, there was a ton of things said – including some wondering whether you still had the ride for the only reason that you’re female, and this isn’t the first incident regarding your broth-”

“Again, what’s your point? Sure, my brother made a mistake and a big one at that. So you’re saying that I should pay for that mistake? The next time you have a family member do something wrong, ask yourself that question. Furthermore, mind your own business!”

She then continues her walk, making her way up to Marcus Richmond. She couldn’t wait to focus on the truck and ignore everything else that was going on.

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

Chase walks into the building, following the media representatives for the next step of their promotional blitz.

So far, everything had gone with ease.

The helicopter flying came to him naturally and easily, allowing him to follow the route discussed with some entertainment had. It was also an experience that gave him confidence in how he had continued to get better, with focus on the upcoming race weekend. Maybe he’d be better than he envisioned at first.

He went through doing a series of sit-down interviews, followed by some TV interviews and radio interviews as directed by the schedule. Everybody was easy with the questions – all the usual simple stuff you heard for promoting events in different cities.

He also spent some time at the speedway with some go-karters, giving them advice and answering their questions. There was a moment that made the whole trip feel worthwhile when an eight-year-old was beyond excited to meet him and told him how he was his hero, followed by ‘best day of his life ever’ line.

The tour now took them to a local axe throwing place, where he was supposed to have a contest with the track promoter in whom had the better aim for some local television coverage.

“You don’t have to…” Morgan commented as he looked over the axe, picking it up. She kept her eyes, questioning his strength based on what she heard from Alan and Greg.

“I have to get my strength back up and this doesn’t feel too bad,” he states, as he holds it over his shoulder, swinging forward a little. It was probably heavier than he should handle at this exact time, but a quick swing for the cameras wouldn’t be a killer.

“Well then I have a piece of advice for aim – pretend his head is in the middle.” He smiles as he walks over, thinking that over. He looks at the target, taking in the jokes with the promoter. He then pulls it over his shoulder, taking a deep breath with eyes focused forward, throwing it and smiling as he hit the middle of the target.

“You’re pretty good,” the promoter comments, as he throws and misses by a bit.

After a couple more interviews, and some photos, he was released for the day.

Letting out a yawn, he makes his way onto the Hendrick Motorsports plane and takes a seat. Putting his feet up, he glances at his phone, pleased to see that Sarina had posted a time in the top-five in practice. He sends her a quick message, adding that he couldn’t wait to see her, before locking his phone and putting it up.

Another yawn, he stretched back, knowing that perhaps the day had been a little longer than he at first anticipated. He reminded himself that he was still healing, strength wasn’t totally back yet, and knew sleep was welcoming. He closes his eyes, thinking of the weekend ahead with happy thoughts, as he falls asleep.

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

With the last run of the day complete, Sarina debriefed with Marcus in the garage, going over what she liked about the truck and where they could improve. Satisfied, she agreed to head back and get a shower, before changing for dinner.

She makes her way through the garage once again, hearing the whispers, which she just meets with more eye rolls.

“Sarina!” She hears and rolls her eyes, recognizing the voice. She just continues walking, though knew that wasn’t going to be enough as she could hear the feet jogging behind her. “Hey!”

“What the hell do you want now?” She snaps as she spins around to face Austin.

“Woah, easy tig-”

“You expect me to be nice after your comments this morning? Never!” He holds his hands up, knowing a fight would do neither of them good.

“Look, I wanted to apologize actually. I overstepped the boundaries there as you have a point. Heck, you couldn’t have predicted what happened and I’m sure you did what you could. I also applaud Kyle for sticking his neck out on the line for you, as well as the sponsors. And you did a good job today. I’m sorry.” She takes a deep breath, trying to let the anger from earlier go away.

“Thank you, and apology accepted. There’s just a lot that people don’t understand.” He nods his head.

“Wanna try to make me understand?” She shakes her head no. “Okay, that’s fine. Look, good luck this weekend and hopefully things die off.” She then rolls her eyes as she knew once Chase showed up, the chaos would just continue.

“Let’s hope….”

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