Sunday, July 30 – Pocono Raceway
Chase lets out a sigh as he glances out the window of the motorcoach, tapping his finger on the window ledge. It seemed odd to be sitting there just a couple of hours before the race, but he had no choice in the matter this weekend.
He knew his body was still overcoming everything he put himself through the prior weekend. The fact that he woke up feeling a little sick that morning, combined with the random muscle spasm while getting dressed, were clear reminders. Well, that was if the pills he taking weren’t enough already.
He knew he made the decision to come that weekend to support Sarina, and rightfully so. He wanted to be there for her as he loved her a lot, and knew he would’ve driven himself crazy at home. But yet, sitting there that morning, the reality setting in that Justin Allgaier was going to drive his car, he didn’t know how to stomach the thought.
He fully understood the feelings people went through when they couldn’t drive their own racecars now.
“Hey, are you okay?” Sarina asks as she sits down on the couch beside him. He simply nods his head. “That doesn’t sound like you….” He then glances at her.
“I’d rather be dressed in my firesuit right now and getting ready to race than sitting here,” he comments as she lets out a sigh, reaching out to rub his shoulders.
“I know it’s tough. That’s why your parents suggested you stay home this wee-”
“I’m not regretting the decision to spend the weekend with you, one bit.” She smiles as she continues rubbing his shoulders.
“Trust me, I’m glad that you’re not regretting that as I love having you here. But, it’s those feelings that they were talking about.” She then pauses, glancing away from him. “And, like everything, that’s my fault…” He then looks at her confused.
“You didn’t do anything wro-”
“The only reason Bethany approached Allison was due to-”
“I accepted the deal, so with that, I accept the consequences. I’d rather deal with this than the alternatives.” She simply nods her head.
“You know, if you would’ve actually made the call to sleep with her, I wouldn’t have been too upset. I would’ve totally understood the fact that you had no other choice, and know you did what you had to survive – just like everything I’ve been through. It’s part of life.” Chase sighs as he reaches out for her hand.
“You may have been able to sit and live with it, but I never could’ve. It would’ve haunted me for months, years because I could never see myself ever doing that to someone. That’s why I made the decision that I did. I can deal with this – couple weeks feeling like crap is nothing new. But that, I don’t think I could.” Sarina sighs as she lays up against him.
“Have I told you today that you’re amazing?” He laughs and shakes his head.
“You’ve told me every day but today.” She then looks into his eyes.
“Well, I am telling you today, just like I’ll probably tell you tomorrow, and the day after that.” She then leans in and kisses his lips. “Whenever you’re ready, we’ll head out together. I just got to make sure to stop by and see Kyle and Sam. But, if you don’t want to head out, we don’t have too. I get it.” He nods his head, as he glances back out the window.
“I love my guys, and I said to them that I was here to support them. For that reason, I’ll head out and I’ll be fine. They’re going to do amazing. Justin is a good little driver.”
The pair relaxed there for awhile together, before keeping their word and heading out to the grid. They agreed to make their first stop at Kyle and Sam, before heading down to see his guys.
“Oh hey Kyle,” Chase says as he looks at the foam figure with a head twice as big as Kyle’s. “Whoops, you’re not Kyle.” He then turns around and looks at Kyle. “There’s the man…” Kyle could only look back with a face of confusion.
“Are you sure you’re feeling okay?” Kyle questions as Chase glances between the foam figure and Kyle.
“Does this thing creep you out at all? Because hate to say it, he’s creepy as ever.” Sam gives her nod of approval, remembering her first encounter with the figure.
“Hey, that thing is better than having myself as a blow-up doll or a dipstick.” Chase’s laughter immediately stops as Kyle just smiles. “Sarina, have you inquired about that doll yet?”
“Kyle!” She yells, giving him a smack as Chase looks at her with an intrigued glance. “I never ever did mention a comment about that before to him, ever, so you can tell him to kiss your ass.”
“I don’t feel like eating a terd before the race,” Kyle says as Chase just rolls his eyes.
“Well unlike you, my ass is clean…” Chase replies as Kyle looks over, surprised.
“How would you know such detail?” Chase thinks it over, knowing the options were limited on comments.
“It stinks…” Kyle then smiles as he leans back against his car.
“My fans would say different, especially when I’m giving them my famous bow. I shall show you that post-race.” Kyle then pauses as he keeps his eyes on Chase. “And to be honest, I’d rather be having the chance to run with you than Justin. You make it more interesting.”
“Comment appreciated, I think….” Kyle gives him a nod.
“Are you going to be good to go for next week?” Chase nods his head.
“We’ll get to see if I can figure out the best way to turn left and right.” Kyle smiles, having already proven that he could do that quite well.
“Watkins Glen is easier to drive than Sonoma so you’ll be fine.” Chase could only hope as he knew there’d be significant ground to make up after this weekend. “So you’re getting a Chase waiver?”
“Special edition one at that.” Kyle was intrigued as Chase remembered the discussion with Alan and Rick. “It was technically a track staff member that poisoned me so it’s fault of the series and track, right? So they said that they’ll credit me with Justin’s points and if I am still in the top-16 by either points or win, I get in.” Kyle almost felt like arguing the point made, and probably would’ve – if it was anybody else.
“If you dare win the championship, be prepared to get your ass kicked because you saw how people reacted the year that I did it.” Chase nods his head, remembering the reactions. “But, we won’t get to see that because I see a good future ahead.”
“Oh really?” Kyle nods his head. “To be honest, if the guys in the shop don’t figure out the speed we’re lacking, you’re probably right. I mean, normally Jimmie slumps in the summer, but this is ridiculous.”
“So if you’re lacking so much speed, how did Kasey win Indianapolis?” Chase shrugs his shoulders.
“They figured it out there, which gives me hope that we got more good stuff coming down the line.” Kyle knew the other teams were working to close the gap, but that didn’t mean he was ready for that.
“Well, all I can say is good luck because right now, I’m liking how things are.” Chase rolls his eyes.
“Did you see this conversation happening and being so awesome at that?” Samantha wonders and Sarina shakes her head as she picks up Brexton.
“It’s actually amazing to be honest,” Sarina comments. “I mean, I didn’t see them getting along this well.”
“You’re spoiled…” Sarina nods her head, knowing that quite well. “And I think someone loves you…”
“You know, I’d babysit him whenever you and Kyle want a night out.” Samantha then looks at her surprised.
“Oh really? I didn’t picture you as the kid/motherly type…” Brexton laughs as Sarina tickles him.
“I’ve always loved kids, and they seem to always like me as I get along with them almost immediately. I mean, I could never see myself raising my own, but I am always open to watching someone else’s.” Samantha almost asked her why she didn’t want to raise her own, but bit her tongue as she didn’t want to touch upon Sarina’s past. She heard from Kyle it wasn’t all roses, so she wasn’t sure where the boundaries lied.
“I’ll make sure to remember that because Brexton seems to love you, too.”
Chase watches as the race finishes, glancing over at Sarina, and giving her a nod.
The day hadn’t gone amazingly or perfect, but it was better than what they had seen recently with Justin Allgaier consistently running in the top-10 throughout the event en route to a solid 10th. He had been bullshitting Kyle earlier when he said he thought there was some better equipment coming down the line, but perhaps there was more truth than he realized there.
Taking a deep breath as he heads down the stairs, he couldn’t wait to get back behind the wheel himself next week.