The Tale of Love & Racing: Sarina’s Story – Chapter 144: Ford EcoBoost 400

Saturday, November 17 – Homestead-Miami Speedway

“I still can’t believe that Tyler was able to find what he needed at the end,” Sarina comments as they walk back to the motorcoach.

After Chase got done final practice, the two had made their way out to pit road for the XFINITY Series race, sitting up on the No. 9 pit box with Dave Elenz. Sarina wanted to begin preparations for next year immediately after coming up short last night, and that meant observing her future team in action.

While Cole Custer dominated the race, it was Tyler Reddick finding the extra groove and speed when it mattered at the end to make the pass, and win the race for the championship.

“The high line favors those who like to take chances, and are willing to ride the cushion,” Chase starts, remembering the discussion he had with Alan and Jimmie about that groove one day. “Past examples would include Kyle Larson and Christopher Bell. Tyler is from the first category as he has taken chances all year long. Sometimes it has worked out, and other times it hasn’t. Tonight he took a good chance.”

“He knew the car that Dave had put underneath him,” Sarina adds as Chase nods his head. “It’s no coincidence that team has won three championships with three rookie drivers – and I may know the first of those very well.” She then follows him inside the motorcoach as he could only grin about the reminder.

“Are you saying that played into your decision?” Sarina shakes her head no, as she hadn’t put that together until someone else mentioned it tonight.

“The top two teams in the XFINITY Series are easily Joe Gibbs Racing and JR Motorsports. My choice was made for me when Joe didn’t have any room.” Chase had to smile a little as he liked the thought of her being at JR Motorsports. “If Joe had roo-”

“Something feels off….” Sarina then looks at him a little confused, remembering the last time he mentioned similar words.

“We changed the password. We changed the locks. They’ve increased secur-”

“You found a note at your trailer though.” She then takes a careful deep breath, remembering that. She had hoped it would’ve been forgotten amongst every else on Friday.

“Well, do you want to call someone?” Chase walks into the bedsroom, glancing high and low as Sarina stands in the doorway watching. “Are you tear this room completely apart before you’re happy?”

“I just know something is off. The door didn’t even feel right – like it was left half-open. We made sure to close it.” She was caught off by his confession as she hadn’t noticed that upon them entering.

“Chase, I think you’re just paran-”

“Is this being paranoid?” She looks over as he stands by the television, holding up a teddy bear.

“That’s my little bea-”

“It has been tampered with.” She then looks on with horror as he rips open the back, reaching his hand up inside and pulling out a small lens. “A camera was put inside the bear in the eye. We weren’t supposed to notice, and that bear would’ve spied on us the rest of the weekend.”

“How did you know?” Chase then bends down, picking up the piece of fluff and setting it on the dresser beside the bear. “Are you sure it wasn’t done yes-”

“No fluff, and the bear was moved. I set my phone on the dresser charging in front of the bear. Notice how my cord won’t reach the bear now?” Sarina finally enters the bedsroom, sitting on the edge of the bed.

“What do you want to do?” Chase lets out a sigh as he glances at the time. It was ridiculously late and he knew they both needed their sleep. If they went forth in doing anything, they’d probably end up being awake half of the night.

“Simply this.” He then picks up the lens, pushing his fingers together as the lens cracks within the tips of his fingers. “She can’t see anything. It’s late, and we need our sleep. Let’s go to bed and if we hear anything, I’m swinging without thinking. It’s the last weekend of the year. We don’t have to worry anymore.”

“I’ll make sure to wake you up if I have to pee then…” She then strips out of her clothes, changing into her pajamas before getting comfortable underneath the blankets. She waits for him to join her, immediately wrapping her arms around him. “Just hope that I don’t have to pee like Lindsay does.”

“It doesn’t matter to me. I’d do whatever it took for you. I love you.”

“I love you, too.” She then kisses his shoulder.

Sunday, November 18 – Homestead-Miami Speedway

“It’s been a fun year,” Chase says on the radio under the pace laps. “Let’s end it in a good note.”

Getting comfortable in her usual seat for the last time of the season, Sarina could only hope that the driver was right in his words as that’d be the perfect scenario.

“Are you okay?” Jordan asks and she nods her head in response. “Are you sure? If you need anything – food, water, comfort – just make sure to as-”

“Jordan, I’m fine,” she tells the interior mechanic. “I’ve been pregnant since August, and we haven’t treated any race differ-”

“Las Veg-”

“We haven’t treated any race differently than went according to plan. Let’s just stick with that, please.” He accepts her words, but knew that he couldn’t help but keep an extra eye out just in case.

Through the first half of the race, they weren’t able to make much ground, running just outside of the top-10. Though at the start of the third stage, Chase was able to crack the top-10, coming off pit road seventh under the latest caution. Beyond that, you could tell he was happy with the balance of the NAPA Chevrolet due to no adjustments being made over the past two pit stops.

The restart would go smoothly, with Chase keeping the track position he had gained solidly. However, Alan felt some nerves in knowing the track would be changing conditional-wise due to sun going down.

“Let me know how the car is if you have a minute,” the crew chief requests, trying to finalize his game plan for the final set of pit stops.

“I don’t have a minute,” Chase replies, which was understandable.

He was slowly making time on those ahead of him, and it was by using the same high line right next to the wall that Tyler Reddick had been able to use to his advantage the night before. The little space that you could get between the preferred top line and wall was narrow, but the gains you could make were worth it. However, a single slip up and your night could be done just like that.

Chase managed to ride the line with perfect perfection through the ensuing laps, all the way until Lap 227 when he would slightly brush the wall with the right side of the car.

“Pit this time,” Alan instructs after the contact happened. He didn’t want to take a chance on having a tire go down like Larson had earlier, and knew they’d be fine with it being close to the pit window.

The decision to bring Chase down pit road would see Denny Hamlin pit a lap later, followed by Kevin Harvick on the next lap. Alan kept tabs on each of the leaders pitting, with just three remaining on track. Currently running eighth and knowing they had to pit before the race’s end, it would bump them up to at least fifth in the final rundown. Considering they were barely a top-10 car at mid-race, it was a solid recovery for the bunch.

Then the tides turned as the caution would come out with 20 laps to go for an incident involving Daniel Suarez and Brad Keselowski.

“That stupid fucking 19,” Alan lets out immediately on the radio. “Good God!” He could only let out a sigh, knowing that’d throw everything off. They had run enough laps that everyone had to pit now to be on decent tires for the end of the race, meaning that there’d be no advantage held with strategy. After sniffing hope for a top-five, they would be back to where they had ran most of the night.

Chase would restart sixth after making his way down pit road, dropping back two spots in the first couple of laps due to the car not firing off strong. However, as the race got closer to the end, the No. 9 Chevrolet found it’s groove of strength on the long run and he was able to catch the car ahead of him, passing the pass to finish seventh.

“We really suck down here,” Chase tells the media afterwards. “Man, if we make this Final 4 one day, we’ve got a lot to work to do.”

The disappointment was obviously there as he had so much hope initially about this race after winning at Kansas Speedway. Instead, he was dealt with a reality check of where he truly stood, and Hendrick Motorsports current ranking against the other teams still, despite the countless hours put in by everybody.

“Can you talk about your season this year?” One of the reporters ask and Chase had to smile a little. While tonight stung, you couldn’t hang your head on three wins.

“Yeah, better than the first two for sure, but not what we want,” he offers before walking away.

Given the past couple of weeks, it was obvious that the emotions had taken a toll on him. While no racecar driver wanted the off-season, he was actually welcoming a break for a change as it’d be nice to get away.

Thursday, November 22 – Dawsonville, Georgia

“Sweetheart, you don’t need to help….” Cindy tells Sarina as Sarina sets the dish down on the counter.

As they had since the beginning of their relationship, the trip was made up to Dawsonville on Thanksgiving to spend it with Chase’s parents and sisters. It was odd in seeing the relationship between them and Chase, with the age difference and the fact they weren’t super close. There was a level of respect and love there, but not the sibling blond like Sarina originally had with her brother once upon a time.

“I feel bad though if I don’t,” Sarina comments. “You and Bill worked so hard to prepare dinner – which was amazing as always, and I want to be able to do something for you in return.” Cindy looks over at her as she begins rinsing off the dishes.

“You’ve already done enough sweetheart,” Cindy tells her, taking a glance into the living room. “Look at my baby boy. That smile that he has, the adoration for you, and the fact that he has someone to lean on no matter what – especially with everything that has happ-”

“That was my fau-”

“Alison wasn’t your fault one bit sweetheart, so I don’t want to start that argument with you.” Sarina takes a deep breath, knowing that still didn’t erase what happened prior to Alison with Chris and Bethany. That was a topic that neither her or Cindy would address together. “But seeing the way he looks at you, and how happy he is, that’s everything to me. as a mother, all I wanted for Chase was for him to be happy, to live his dreams, and find someone that he could share his life with who respected him. You do that, and that’s what matters.”

“He does the same for me in return – actually, he goes beyond that. I keep saying this, but I wouldn’t be where I am without him. He believed in me when a lot of people didn’t. He also helped me through a lot of things that others couldn’t.”  Cindy could only smile, remembering his original discontent with Sarina when they met. It was amazing to see how far they’d come over the past couple years.

“Besides, you need to take care of this baby….” Sarina nods her head, easily accepting that. She knew Cindy having her first grandchild was going to be special for her, too.

“Maybe I should take a bit of a break then.” Cindy points towards the exit of the kitchen, as if to empathize the point.

Whether she wanted to admit it or not, getting off her feet and relaxing with Chase was probably a good idea. The heart in her wanted to help, but the advice from Cindy was on point.

She had been ignoring it, knowing that it was part of being pregnant and would just continue, but her back had been sore a little all day. She had heard the stories – leg cramps, swollen feet, and sore back. It made sense considering the weight you were caring around. She was always one to do her thing, and that was the plan for the pregnancy.

Though being told to take a step back, knowing what was at stake, she took the seat on the couch beside Chase. Besides, watching the amount of pain and where she felt it was critical, according to Dr. Grayson. The position of the baby in the uterus was more important for her  than other mothers-to-be due to the dimensions and shape of hers. Keeping tabs on the baby’s growth, making sure there was adequate room, and it wasn’t affecting other bodily functions or parts too badly was part of the process now.

Sitting by Chase, she didn’t want to interrupt him as he shared in conversation with Starr and Brittney, glad he was taking advantage of the time he got with his sisters. So instead, she took her phone out, figuring she’d check various social media accounts to pass the time.

She stopped immediately after unlocking, seeing a new notification from Samantha and Kyle. She opens it, a big smile forming on her face as she reads the news they had shared.

“Can I see?” Chase’s questions, catching her off-guard as she hadn’t realized his attention had been grabbed by the message. Though glancing up from the phone, she saw both Starr and Brittney had left the room.

“Samantha’s pregnancy took,” Sarina tells him, handing her phone over. “Her and Kyle found out the news this morning. She’s officially has a baby girl due in August.” Chase couldn’t help but smile in seeing the joy on both of the Busch’s faces.

“Now that’s the perfect Thanksgiving present.” He then hands her back the phone, wrapping his arms around her, precisely placed on the stomach. “Just like I’m thankful for you, the love that we have together, and our baby to be.” He then leans close, kissing her stomach.

“Oh Gosh, are you going to be one of those dads that keeps kissing my stomach all the way until the baby comes out?” He keeps her a shy glance, as she just smirks back in return. “Seriously?”

“I want to show the baby just how much him or her, as well as how much I love the mother. I also want to tell stories, and feel every single movement.” She then lets out a sigh, knowing that it’d be a long off-season. However, she wasn’t about to complain about spending time together.

“Where’d the siblings go?” He then points out in the backyard, where they were chasing around their kids with Bill.

“Just think. That’ll be us next year…” Sarina shakes her head in disbelief as she looks back over at Chase.

“I can tell that girls run in the family…..” Chase had to smile as that further confirmed his theory. “It gets me thinking. Dr. Grayson asked if we wanted to learn the paternity, or if we wanted to wait. What do you think?”

“It’s up to yo-”

“You have left everything up to me so far, Chase. It’s damn time that you decide something.” He then lets out a sigh, as it really didn’t matter in his mind.

“I still say that you’re having a girl. Whether we confirm that in a couple weeks, couple months, or when the baby is born, it doesn’t matter to me.” She rolls her eyes as his stubbornness was a bit of annoying, even if adorable.

“I kind of wanted to wait and be surprised. The pregnancy was a surprise, so why don’t we just continue the tradition? As we’ve said, everything happened for a reason. If it’s meant to be a girl, then it’s a girl. It’s a boy, that’s fine too. I don’t care what gender the baby is; I just want a healthy baby.” Chase nods his head in agreement.

“I keep saying girl because that’s everything my intuition keeps telling me, but like you, it doesn’t matter at the end of the day. I’ll be happy no matter what.” He then gives her a small kiss.

“Can you believe that our brother is getting married in two months?” Starr asks as she comes back in the room.

“Absolutely not,” Brittney answers as she follows right behind. “I remember when I wanted to kick Sarina’s ass from here to the other end of the country.” Starr chuckles, remembering the first meeting. “Actually, I think I let her off easy…”

“Seriously?” Brittney nods her head as she remembers what she told her.

“I mean, I just threatened to kick her ass along with my fellow Air Force mates. I just told her a couple words. I could’ve spouted off every other feeling that I had that day.” Brittney then stops as she finally looks up to where Chase and Sarina were sitting on the couch. “But the second time that I saw you, I remember I was just as harsh and you didn’t back down. That’s when I knew you were strong enough to take care of him. Then I saw the love when he set up the meeting with Lindsay for you.”

“No matter what Thanksgiving memories I make moving forward, there’s nothing that’ll replace reuniting with her for the first time in a long time,” Sarina confesses as she places her hand on Chase’s lap. “But I have to admit spending time here, with all of you, is pretty fun.”

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The Tale of Love & Racing: Sarina’s Story – Chapter 143: “Why didn’t you tell us?”

Saturday, November 17 – Homestead-Miami Speedway

Chase walks into the No. 9 garage stall, ready for the first of two practices ahead of Sunday’s race. However, he stops immediately, noticing the eyes focused on him.

“Why didn’t you tell us?” Josh Kirk questions as he steps forward amongst the group.

“I thought you loved us!” John Gianninoto adds as Chase could only chuckle in response.

“I even helped made sure that you guys mad-” Jared Seate comments.

“Can you just let that go already?” Tom Gray interrupts. “The bigger issue here is Chase didn’t tell us before he told the world.” Chase kept chuckling as he glanced across the faces. This certainly wasn’t the way he was expecting to start the day.

“Since she shouldn’t had been racing while pregnant, we only kept it to a few people,” Chase starts with a glance towards Alan. “And she wasn’t supposed to originally tell everybody last night. We had planned to reveal at the banquet, and I was going to tell you the week before that.”

“You son of a bitch….” Jordan then lets out, earning a surprised glance from Chase immediately. “You knew!!” Alan just smiles back in response as Jordan shakes his head. “That’s why you immediately set forth on comforting Sarina at Las Vegas. You knew she was pregnant, and didn’t want her risking anything. I should’ve known something was up when you took my job.”  Alan walks over to Chase, leaning on his driver a little.

“Shouldn’t you guys at least say congratulations to our driver?” Alan questions, which just gets him back a series of scuffed glances in return.

“I want to know how this happ-” John starts.

“Are you serious?” Chase cuts him off, actually taken back by the comment. “I’d expect Jared to say that!” Jared’s jaw drops in surprise.

“Take that back!” Jared instructs and Chase shakes his head no. “Besides, we both know how it happened. They laid down together, stripped clothes and there you go.” Eddie could only shake his head.

“I don’t think I needed that image in my head,” Eddie comments as he walks over to Chase. “Congratulations, and I hope everything goes well for you both. You’re in my thoughts for a healthy baby.” Chase smiles, easily accepting a hug from the spotter before he heads off.

“See, that’s the proper way to congratulate….” Alan says before walking over to the toolbox, ready to put focus back to the task at hand.

“I still want to kno-” John starts once again, earning a series of eye rolls.

“John!” John then puts his hands up in the air.

“I meant keeping the secret and who knew before us; I didn’t mean the actual act!” Chase lets out a sigh, really not wanting to get into the details.

“Are they being typical immature boys as we expected?” Sarina questions, as she walks up behind him, wrapping her arms around as she places her hand against his shoulder.

“I wouldn’t expect anything less,” Chase replies, before turning around to face her, sharing a quick kiss which only increases the response in the garage area. “Are you okay?” She nods her head. “You don’t have to come out her-”

“I had the sex with you, I got pregnant, and I damn well agreed to go forth in the steps that I took from keeping the baby, to racing, to where we are today. If there’s going to be a tornado of reactions from everybody, it’s only fair that I face them with you.” He then places his hand on her shoulder.

“I just don’t want to stres-”

“I can handle it, Chase.” She then looks over at the crew guys, who were continuing to stare. “As for you guys, thanks for the congratulations in advance.”

“So that’s it?” Tom questions. “We don’t get a true explanation?” Chase then lets out a sigh. “I mean, it doesn’t matter either way. I just figured that we deserved it after everything.”

“Can we please not talk about Alison?” Jordan questions, not wanting to relive last week’s experiences. “Sure, we’ve gone a step above at times for these guys. But they don’t have to tell us everything that goes on in their life.” Sarina, meanwhile, knew the guys wouldn’t stop talking if they tried to just let it go.

“I found out at Indianapolis in August, okay?” She starts, earning a couple puzzling glances. “Remember the long ass rain delay that we had there? I called Samantha over, expressed some concerns, and I took the test. It was positive. I made the decision right then and there I was going to finish the season behind the wheel, no questions asked. Call it determination, call it stupid – I don’t care. That’s how it went down, right then and there.”

“So Samantha knew before you did?” Jared Seate questions as he leans back against the NAPA Chevrolet, earning a nod from Chase.

“Were you having regrets at Talladega?” Nick O’Dell offers, remembering the wreck that she had down the backstretch on the last lap.

“That’s why I was crying afterwards,” she replies, quietly and slowly. “I thought I had screwed up royally and lost the baby right then and there.” She then takes a deep breath, as Chase clutches onto her hand. “I feared the worst and knew that it was all my fault if that was the case. So certainly, there was a chance of regret and pain at Talladega. However, I made the bed, and I would have to lay in it no matter what happened.”

“So when did you find out?” John wonders, as Chase takes a deep breath.

“I found out that afternoon when I got back to the motorcoach after spending the day with Ryan,” Chase reveals. “I agreed to her plan immediately because I told her that I stood by whatever decision she made due to how much I loved and trusted her.” He then looks over at her. “And I wouldn’t change a single thing looking back now.” He then leans in, giving her a little kiss.

“Aren’t they adorable?” Jared questions as he just smiles at the pair. “All because of my dear handy work. I’m just so proud of you both…” Chase and Sarina both roll their eyes.

“Do you have any duct tape?” Sarina jokes, as Alan holds up a roll from the toolbox. “I may need some of that for the wedding.” Jared then gives her a glance as she just smiles back in response.

“Dale has working jail cells,” Chase offers. “We could just lock him up.” Sarina laughs in response, nodding her head in agreement. “The next person to find out was Kyle because she wanted him to know being the truck ow-”

“Isn’t Samantha the boss?” Chad Avrit interrupts, actually catching Chase by surprise as he had been quiet so far.

“So Kyle knew before us?” Jared asks, earning another eye roll from Chase and Sarina.

“Half-boss but Kyle calls most of the shots than she does,” Sarina states, which obviously everybody knew anyway. “He wasn’t happy, but he accepted. I believe Chase then told Alan next.” Chase nods his head, remembering the text messages sent from the motorcoach.

“I’m surprised you kept the secret this long,” Jordan comments, as Alan just shrugs his shoulders.

“I knew it was important to them,” Alan states as he locks eyes with Chase. He knew there was much more possible moving forward, giving no trace of Alison to date yet despite Homestead supposedly stepping up security. “Chase knows that he can trust me with any secret, no matter what it is, and I will keep it for him. That’s the brotherhood that we share together.”

“I went to JR Motorsports and told Kelley about what was going on Tuesday,” Sarina continues, remembering the steps that they took. “I wanted her to know what was going on since we were getting set to announce my new contract, and I didn’t want her signing up for something she didn’t bargain for. Obviously, I am probably going to miss the first cou-”

“Has the boss signed you up for those?” Josh interrupts with a glance over at Chase. Chase shakes his head no, remembering Kelley’s immediate words in the office after learning the news. The focus for Chase would remain on his own racing and Sarina; she was ready to take the pressure off them both.

“Sadler?” Tyler Semke guesses, as a small smirk forms on Chase’s face. “Seriously?”

“He said yesterday he was done racing full-time,” Chase reminds the crew. “He also stated he’d be open to running the odd race here and there. It’ll just be sooner than they thought.” The crew could only curse themselves in having seen signs, but yet nothing being figured out to date.

“So who else knew before us precious crew members?” Jordan wonders, as Chase lets out a sigh. he almost wishes he would’ve told Jordan as it would’ve made sense given his closeness to Sarina and role on race day.

“My parents found out Tuesday nig-”

“I bet Cindy wasn’t happy with Sarina’s decision to race,” Josh comments, which earns a simple nod from Chase.

“Bill wasn’t too thrilled either, but he was more accepting than Cindy,” Sarina reveals, remembering how tense she felt with Cindy raising her concerns. “We also told Ryan and Lindsay, too.” While the crew wanted to object, they couldn’t in knowing how close the pair were to them. “I told Rudy , and Christopher figured it out. Other than that, nobody else knew until last night.”

“Well, congratulations,” Chad says as he walks over, hugging the pair of them. “Here’s to a healthy baby Elliott in the new year.”

“Which run were you most comfortable?” Alan questions as Chase lets out a sigh.

“They both weren’t very comfortable if I’m being honest,” Chase answers, before glancing up at the speed chart. With having finished the session ranked 19th, he had to admit his outlook wasn’t very positive.

“I know you weren’t, but I want to figure which set-up we should start with and adjust from.” Chase takes a deep breath, trying to think it through. Which handling condition was easier to deal with?

“The last run we made felt better if we’re looking at race runs. It started off so loose, and started to come around before going tight. If you can get rid of the tightness, that would help.” Alan could work with that, as he knew long runs were their strong suit the past couple of weeks.

“Loose all the way around the corner?” Chase nodded his head. “Tightness is all arou-”

“Tight in the very middle of the corner.” Alan then thinks back through the session.

“I can work on the adjustments, but can you try to run a little higher for me?” Chase knew that was easily possible, given the space that Homestead offered. However, there was a risk involved.

“I’ll give a try if it solves our problems.” Chase then picks up his phone from the toolbox, unlocking it as he goes into Twitter. He quickly scrolls through, reading the various comments from drivers on handling conditions and progress. However, he could also see the reaction that everybody had to Sarina’s pregnancy.

“Positive or negative?” Alan could tell what Chase was looking at without even glancing away from his own notes that he had began to look through after their discussion.

“Surprisingly, it’s mostly positive. There are a lot of people that have said congratulations, they’re happy for us, they hope for the best, and even some who understand the struggle in making a decision like that if they were in Sarina’s shoes.” Alan glanced up with a slight smile in hearing the news from his driver. He knew that certainly would make things easier on his shoulders.

“That’s goo-”

“There’s some that also are upset that she chose to race for two full months while she was pregnant, feeling she put the baby in unnecessary danger. That has brought forth some to question if a change needs to be made to NASCAR’s policies, as well. You also have those who still are upset we’re together, perio-”

“Is that anything new, though?” Chase shakes his head no, having gotten used to it. There were some who still felt that she belonged with Christopher, and he belonged with Erin. There was also some who didn’t believe he belonged with either Sarina or Erin, and the couple crazies who wanted him to themselves. It was crazy to even see some of the girls inbox him with marriage requests.

“The best is this individual who tagged me in their message, asking if I had gotten a paternity test to make sure Christopher wasn’t the father.” Alan’s jaw drops in surprise. “And the other goes, ‘Well, if you could end up with Alison, it makes sense that she’d do that’ and others along those lines.”

“I don’t know if I want to be offended about the Christopher line, or the fact that they brought up Alison as if….” Alan’s voice trails off, realizing that maybe it wasn’t a good direction to be headed.

“As if they realized I brought it on and it wasn’t sexual assault?” Alan slowly nods his head.

“I didn’t mean to brin-”

“No, it’s fine. It’s actually a very important thing to think about that people out there can easily brush it off as if nothing happened. You wonder why it’s not recognized properly, and this is why.” Chase then glances down at his phone. “I get it because I didn’t want to accept the full pain, consequences, and feelings at the time, either. It took me a couple months to come to a full realization, and do what I needed to do.” He then slowly looks back up at Alan. “Let them think what they want, though. They weren’t there. It’s just sad.”

“Are you okay, though?” Chase nods his head, accepting, as he closes the twitter app.

“It doesn’t bother me. I have much more wonderful things to look forward to – like a sweet little baby gir-”

“So you found out the gender?” Alan was surprised to hear the mention, knowing that it had probably slipped from Chase accidently.

“Nope, we haven’t done that yet. I just have a really good feeling that it is a baby girl. I’ve been telling Sarina that for awhile now.” Alan had to smile as he remembered trying to guess the genders of his boys before they were born.

“Sometimes a dad’s intuition is right on point…” Chase looks over intrigued as Alan just smiles back in response. “I guessed mine right. That doesn’t mean that you will as well, but sometimes you never know.”

“I have a 50/50 chance, unless she’s having an alien.” Alan had to chuckle in response.

Alison shuts off the television screen, sitting back in her recliner with a smile on her face.

He wasn’t having the perfect weekend, and that was fine by her. It was actually nice to see him ranked 17th after the final practice session. Hopefully he finished there, or worse, on Sunday. It served him right for being such a pain in the ass to her.

It was also nice to see that he wasn’t the world’s perfect angel anymore, given the latest round of social media comments and articles. A good decent size of the population weren’t happy with him right now, and that was fine by her. They were obviously getting to see the side of him that she had gotten used to, and was ready to change.

She even felt a bit of pride in reading a couple of the messages, with people recognizing that he had fallen for her advances. That’s right, she could cast a spell on him after all and the world knew that it was possible. Why weren’t they sitting in the court room that day?

However, she couldn’t ignore the disappointment and anger she felt as she re-watched the interview from Friday night once again.

“I believed it happened for a reason,” she listens to Sarina say for what seemed like the millionth time. “I know I’ve taken a lot of your time and the light should be shining on our new series champion, which congratulations to Brett, so I’m just going to say this straight out. I am pregnant.”

This chick wasn’t supposed to be pregnant with his child. This chick wasn’t supposed to be this close to her man. This chick wasn’t supposed to be having her perfect reality begin coming true. Why was this happening? She almost wanted to hope that something happened between now and March.

“Happened for a reason my ass!” Alison lets out in a big scream, chucking the remote against the wall, causing it to break into a couple different pieces.

Though as she began to feel the fury against Sarina, she froze immediately.

Pregnant. Baby.

She takes a deep breath, her own hands landing on her stomach. She was in those very same shoes earlier this year. She was set to have a baby of her own and then it was ripped away just like that. she remembered the pain that she felt then, and how it still numbed her now.

It was why she could do nothing with Lindsay a couple weeks ago. it was also why she couldn’t bring herself to truly wish for something to happen, or for her to go after Sarina in the coming months.

“That just means there’s more loving for you in store, ‘ol Georgia boy,” she says quietly, licking her lips as she looks towards the poster on the wall.

She was still going to get another sweet taste of that peach and savor her taste buds. She also knew that was ready to take it further, and really showcase all those feelings perfectly. After all, she was still going to get her baby. She was still going to get her man in the end. She was still going to make him see what she saw, and knew that she needed to get to work on that immediately.

The Tale of Love & Racing: Sarina’s Story – Chapter 141: Security Breach

Friday, November 16 – Homestead-Miami Speedway

Smiles were the focus in the No. 9 pit stall following the first practice, as driver had no complaints about the car, having timed in fourth quickest. A fist pump, followed by a quick debrief, and both drivers and crew chief were confident for qualifying later on that day.

“So I hear you’re getting married at Whiskey River,” Alan starts, having received the revised electronic invitation that morning from Sarina. She had sent them out once finished both of her practices, wanting to have everybody on the same page.

“Dale has a really nice small town set-up in his backyard,” Chase comments. “It’s that perfect small size, down to earth feeling that you’d want with enough room in the church and saloon for everybody. Plus, as Sarina added, the security detail would be on point.” Alan nods his head, knowing that Alison would probably be trying to find a way to ruin the wedding.

“I think it’s a beautiful idea, actually. I was surprised that Amy and Dale didn’t get married there themselves.” Chase knew the reason already.

“Dale wanted to go a more traditional route, and they invited a whole lot of people – more than Sarina and I are – to their wedding. Besides, they also did it on New Year’s so there was a celebration aspect to it as well.” Alan easily understood the driver’s points.

“So does that cover all of the plans now?” Chase knew there were still a couple critical pieces, but he wasn’t worried. He had over a month and both of these shouldn’t take that long.

“We both decided to write our own vows, and I haven’t written mine yet. I also haven’t chose our first dance song yet.” Alan had to smile immediately, knowing without a doubt the direction Chase was going to go.

“It’ll be an Eric Church song.” Chase wanted to act shocked in response, but he couldn’t.

“Too predictable?” Alan shakes his head no.

“All that matters when choosing a first dance song is it means something to both of you lyrically, and you both like it. I’m sure there’s a couple of songs that Eric has in his collection that would fit.” Chase nods his head, already having a couple ideas in mind.

“I almost thought of going with a Jake Owen song instead.” Alan had to admit he was a little surprised. “But, the more I thought about it, it just didn’t fit.”

“Just don’t over think it or put too much pressure on yourself. The main thing at the end of the day is having fun, enjoying the love for each other, and the actual wedd-”

“All that matters to me is being able to stand up there and tell her how much I love her, and the fact that I want to spend the rest of my life with her. That’s why I told her the rest of the details didn’t matter.” Alan was glad that Sarina wasn’t one of those to go overboard in hearing that she had free reign from their driver.

“So you’d go for a big all-out insane wedding if she wanted?” Chase slowly shakes his head no as Alan laughs.

“I’d probably go crazy if I walked into something like that. But at the same time, I am not doing the city hall thing like Ryan suggested. I need balance.” Alan smiles, with a nod.

“That explains you perfectly, and that balance on everything is why you’re so easy to get along with and another reason I’m proud of you.”

“Chase!” Chase hears his name called, glancing over at the crew member standing there. “You’ve been called to the media center..” Chase was a little confused, but easily accepted the request as he begins to make his way through the garage.

Chase enters the media center, glancing around with a bit of confusion, which earned a couple glances in response from some of the reporters.

“You were asked to come via our track president Matt Becherer,” an individual walks over to tell Chase. “He’s over there with Elliott Sadler.”

“Thanks,” Chase replies, feeling the confusion still. However, he easily followed the instructions given and headed over to where Elliott and Matt were.

“Are you serious?!?” Elliott questions in response to something Matt said.

“We have a policy, and we always stick to it no matter what,” Matt answers, before noticing Chase had joined the discussion. “Chase, I hope I did not interrupt you, but I want to address something with you in front of Mr. Sadler.” Chase could only glance between the pair, still confused.

“Okay…” He slowly says, almost feeling like he was in the principal’s office with no clue on what he did.

“Mr. Sadler had an issue with our security personnel this morning. Due to not having the right credentials, he was not allowed to enter the area of the garage that he was wishing to do so. He basically called out my staff and our decisions in front of the media today. I was hoping that you could explain the importance of our security measures due to the events involving Ms. Reynol-”

“I am very well aware of what has happened between Chase and Alison,” Elliott quickly cuts the track president off. “I understand that she has attacked him, tormented him, done whatever necess-”

“Then why don’t you comprehend the importance of poli-”

“Because the policy should entail some common sense!” Elliott then takes a deep breath, looking over at Chase. “I showed up at the track today. I had my NASCAR hard card, but I didn’t have the parking pass as it was in the bus. They wouldn’t let me in the garage area despite the security guard saying he knew who I was.”

“Seriously?” Chase questions, and Elliott nods his head as Chase could only shake his head.

“I suggested allowing me to go get the pass, which I’d bring back and show him. I also suggested that he ride with me so I could get but he wouldn’t budge. So even knowing who I was and everything, he wouldn’t let me move due to a simple parking pass. Like, I understand the importance of security and protection. I understand the fears that are going around. It’s wrong of tracks that have let Alison simply slip through the back door and do thin-”

“All I said to them when I was sitting there with a NASCAR Official and my investigator was that they please monitor the situation closely. I just wanted to make sure that everybody credential was being looked at and faces matched names, and nothing slipped under the cracks.” Chase remembered the meeting they had earlier that morning, at the request of the investigator following Alison’s recent security breaches at the tracks and home.

“I get that, I honestly do. But please tell me that common sense should tell you that if the man matches his hard card and is a driver that we don’t need to worry about the other – or at least handle it more maturely than they did.” Chase nods his head in agreement.

“You’re not wrong Elliott….” Elliott was glad to hear that as he looked back towards Matt.

“I’m just saying that it is ridiculous. Racing in NASCAR For 23 years, and this is the first time ever that I’ve ran into an issue.”

“They just wanted to offer you a retirement memory.” Elliott had to chuckle a little. “Matt, I appreciate what you’re doing in listening to my request. But let’s be serious here. This is a little ridiculous.”

“We’re not changing policy, that’s final,” Matt states before walking away as Chase glances at Elliott with a sigh.

“I’m sorry,” Chase apologies as Elliott watches Matt leave the room.

“You can’t fix stupid, right?” Elliott offers, earning a chuckle from Chase. “It’s not your fault as it’s been their policy no matter what – stupid as it is. And hey, as long as you stay safe this weekend, I’ll put up with a small security issue. Just tell that girl of yours to win the championship tonight.”

“That’s the plan.”

Sarina climbs out of the truck, glancing at the board with a smile on her face. She had qualified third quickest showing the speed in her truck, but more importantly quicker than her four title contenders.

“So far, so good,” she tells herself before walking over to where the pit crew was standing. She gives Rudy a high-five, followed by a quick hug. “We just got to stay focused. We’ve got a good truck. We can do this.”

“Just do your thing tonight, don’t get in the wall, and don’t drive it too hard,” Rudy reminds her. “We’re going to be fine.”

“Better than fine, right?” She then gives him a wink as he just smiles back in return.

She then makes her way through the garage area, wanting to grab a quick bite to eat before the driver’s meeting. She hoped that it went quickly tonight as she wanted to the tail end of Cup qualifying. As she reaches the No. 18 hauler, she notices a folded up piece of paper with her name on it.

“Of course…” She quietly says, picking it up as she unfolds the piece of paper.

Sarina,

It’s amazing the fear that courses through your veins when you know there’s a ticking device. It’s amazing how your heart beat quickens in worry about your loved ones. It’s amazing how your hearing is heightened in listening to a small tick. Tick, tick, tick, tick – counting seconds, even milliseconds. It’s amazing in a time of fear how quickly the tears roll down your cheeks as your whole life flashes before you.

It was a beautiful thing to watch a couple weeks ago. I just loved watching you freak out with Rudy. I just loved watching the crew try to solve the pieces, while acting as normal as possible. You could see their skin crawling despite each careful action taken.

It just sucks that the police figured out the disarming steps so quickly, and Alan was able to accomplish them with ease. Like I said before, it’s amazing how many people will do things for you. Guess I should watch where I write the code numbers, huh? Although I admit it’s pretty clever using 918 as the code.

I just wonder how Chase is doing. He’s got the guilt of putting the whole crew in the face of death on his shoulders. He also has the guilt of an innocent life, knowing I killed Britney Teals for my own means. I hope he’s doing alright. It’s too bad that I couldn’t comfort him for you.

I can promise that I will see him soon and he will give me everything that I want. I look forward to exploring our feelings as I can tell that he likes me – probably more than he likes you, sweetheart. I can’t believe you haven’t realized that already either. Why do you think he gives into my sexual impulses every time he sees me? Either way, I look forward to tasting his lips, licking his lollipop, and everything in-between.

By the way, you’re not going to win the championship this weekend.  I just have a gut feeling that no matter what you do, it won’t be enough. Hopefully Johnny and Brett show you stinkin’ kids how it’s done as Justin should be torn apart, too. He should know better to keep his nose out of people’s business.

I wish you could’ve got to know my friend a little more, but it seems that Shelley didn’t know the first rule of business either. Hopefully she remembers the consequences for squealing or else she’ll have to meet a sad fate.

Look forward to you losing tonight while I taste you fiance’s lips, and feel him harden against me at the simplest touch.

See ya soon, Alison Reynolds

Sarina feels the note ripped from her fingers immediately, being folded right before her eyes.

“And they told me that security was in tip top shape,” Chase comments as he takes out his phone, sending out a text message. “Are you okay?” Sarina nods her head.

“Her words don’t bother me anymore,” she confesses. “Let her believe whatever she wants as none of it is true. I know what we have together, I know how much we care about each other, and she can live in her delusional bubble.” She then places her hand on his arm.

“Are you okay?” He nods his head as he glances over, giving her a kiss. “Chase…”

“I’m fine, trust me. It just pains me that she can get this close to the trailer, to you and drop this note like it’s nothing. I hate the thought of you being in dang-”

“I can defend myse-”

“I know, but I don’t like taking chances.” He then puts his phone back in his pocket. “I’m heading to pit road to qualify. One of your guys is staying here and making sure to walk you to the driver’s meeting and back. Be careful, okay?” She nods her head.

“Same goes for you…” She then gives him a kiss. “Go get yourself a pole.”

“Go get yourself a championship tonight. I love you.” He then heads off, knowing that the session was about to start and he didn’t want to be late.

The annoyance on his face could be seen a mile away. Here they were another weekend in the books at an intermediate track, set to start in the teens as he had qualified 14th for Sunday’s race.

“We have a good car for Sunday,” Alan tries to improve the mood, earning a glance from the driver.

“I don’t doubt that as it felt amazing that first practice,” Chase comments. “So why can’t we qualify any good?” Alan shrugs his shoulders. “This isn’t the first time this has happened. We haven’t qualified well through the entire playoffs at intermediate tracks = most of the season for that matter. It’s damn frustrating!” Alan couldn’t help but agree with his driver.

“I’m always searching for that comfort that you want in a car. With what we’ve done as a company to this point, and the set-up that seems to find speed in practice, it also doesn’t seem to fire off till you get 15, 20 laps into a run. So we get killed in qualifying and the beginni-”

“Also those late-race short restar-”

“Yes, those too, but yet we can find the speed and put together the fastest car that they’ve seen once you get over that period. Look at Kansas as that’s how we won there.” Chase nods his head, remembering that. “We just have to hope for long runs on Sunday, which I think we’ll get. Then this off-season, all of us crew chiefs need to sit down and see what we’re doing wrong so we can find the balance for the short and long run.”

“Like we said last week, we have a lot of work to do this off-season.” Alan nods his head, remembering those words.

“But for you, I want you to focus on a wedding and a pregnancy.” Chase smiles, knowing that both of those sounded amazing. The recent news that he had received was promising, too.

“I texted the investigator earlier when Sarina found the note. She called me back and told me that she wanted to keep it so she could take procession. She also said that she made progress with Shelley, who had been forthcoming with Alison’s plans and possible locations. They’re checking all of those out.” Alan almost chuckled in response.

“Do you really think Alison is going to be at any of those locations?” Chase shakes his head no. They had been through this before with Alison.

“But it may lead to clues and hopefully, maybe they can catch her soon. I’m not holding my breath, but any opportunity is better than none.” Alan couldn’t argue with that, either. “Would you be surprised if she wants to try and get pregnant once again, however this time guaranteeing it’s my child?”

“Oh really?” Chase had to shiver as he remembered the details spoken to him.

“Shelley said that she was told Alison would do whatever it took. She told Shelley, ‘I’m taking away the possibility this time. It’s going to be his baby, whether he agrees or not.’ She said that would involve either taking semen without consent, or….” Chase takes a deep breath. “She’d actually do it this time.”

“Are you okay?” Chase nods his head as he looks over at Alan.

“I’ve come to grips with what happened. It may have took longer than I wan-”

“Understandable so given what happened…”

“But through doing the therapy, and talking to Sarina, you and my dad, I’ve come to grips with it. That’s why when she went after me at Talladega, I was able to just put in the junk drawer so to speak and move on.” Chase takes a deep breath as he looks out towards the garage area. “I’m not letting her do it again, Alan. If we cross paths again, she’s done. I’m not letting her do anything, and she’s going to finally see how I feel.”

“Just be safe and careful, okay?” Chase then looks back over at Alan.

“I’m not taking any chances this time, Alan, I promise you.”

The Tale of Love & Racing: Sarina’s Story – Chapter 140: Post Phoenix

Sunday, November 11 – ISM Raceway

Chase climbs out of the NAPA Chevrolet, taking a deep breath before facing the swarm of media that had surrounded with questions.

“You had a fast car and got involved in that crash on the front stretch,” the reporter starts. “Was there any way to avoid it?” Chase knew the answer right away. They had gotten behind due to his mistake.

“Don’t speed before that and you don’t get caught back there in the back,” he answered. “It was completely my fault and when you make mistakes like that, you get put behind and that’s when you get wrecked. So, I had a pretty good NAPA Chevy, especially on the long runs. We could run with those guys. I couldn’t get going quite as good as I wanted to. But if you stay away from that penalty (speeding on pit road) you never know. I hate it, but we’ll try to get a win next week.”

“What do you take from this playoff experience?” The questions came just as easy as the answers in his mind. It was pretty obvious.

“You just have to make the most of opportunities. The whole year counts. Those guys, winning a lot of races throughout the season, is what kept them away from a pressure-filled situation. All the bonus points they built up pretty much got them to Homestead, and that that’s the way that step stone is meant to work. It pays to win. So, we’ll try to win more next year.”

He stands around answering some more questions, before the media members head off to talk to whoever they had to go see.

“Don’t beat yourself up,” Alan starts as he walks over. “We came a long way from where we were this summer, struggling with this car. We put together a heck of a season. It sucks it’s come to this conclusion, but we’re building and progressing, and I guarantee we’ll have something for them next year.” Chase nods his head, but that didn’t erase the pain and frustration.

“I just can’t believe that I sped there,” he offers. “Was I that much over?” Alan shakes his head no as Chase lets out a sigh. “We thought the first pit stall was fool proof, and boom – I make a mistake. It sucks.” Alan places a hand on his shoulder.

“I told you to not beat yourse-”

“I know, but it still keeps running through my mind. It’ll bother me for a bit and then I’ll move forward, focusing on next week, ready to not speed on pit road. It’s simple as that. Thank you for the hard work all season long, and you’re right – we’ve come a long way, but we got a long way to go.” Alan couldn’t help but nod his head in agreement.

“I can promise you that this company as a whole is going to be putting in a lot of work this winter.”

Sunday, November 11 – Charlotte, North Carolina

After a frustrating day like he had, there was no place like home – and he was glad to be there as he and Sarina entered later that night. Slipping their shoes off, he glances back, grabbing a quick kiss from her, before helping her with her coat.

“Are you okay?” She questions, having grown annoyed with the silence most of the way home.

“Yeah,” he answers before heading for the stairs. The shortness of his answer didn’t give her heart much relaxation.

“Chas-”

“I made a mistake, that’s all there is to it. I sped on pit road and put that whole thing in moti-”

“You had worked your way back up fro-”

“But if we don’t have that penalty, we have the track position and maybe we’re further ahead – not running right where Kurt decides to cross the track. I know it’s a matter of circumstance, anything is possible, but I still made the mistake.” He then takes a deep breath as they reach the top of the stairs. “I’ll get over it. Probably by tomorrow morning, I’ll be ready to focus on Homestead. Focus on trying to win a race, and hoping you bring home that championship.”

“That’s the plan, right?” They then walk into the bedsroom, flicking on the light as they enter. “What the hell?”

“Did you touch Miles?” Sarina slowly shakes her head no as Chase walls over, picking up the Monster trophy off of the bed. “How did he get in….” His voice trails off as he sees a white piece of paper.

“I probably don’t even need to say anything, do I?” Chase unfolds the piece of paper, reading the note.

“Change the locks, change the codes, change the security system, but I can still find my way in to see you.” He then scrunches the piece of paper up, before placing the trophy on the dresser. “Stay here…” Sarina could only look on confused as he reached for the baseball bat that he had left lying by the bed.

“What are you doing?”

“Checking to see if she’s still her-”

“By yourself?” Chase then looks over at her as he stands in the doorway.

“I am not taking any chances as she may be somewhere, and you don’t need to take any chances in your condition.” She could only sit there helplessly as she watched him leave the bedsroom, entering the bathroom first, before going through each of the rooms in the house.

“Ugh….” She felt every nerve swirl as she heard him go down the stairs to the main level, counting the seconds, followed by the minutes in her head, that he had been gone for. She had mentally set a time in her head that if he hadn’t returned, she was going to go looking.

“House is clear!” She glances up from the bed to see him re-enter the bedsroom, setting the bat on the dresser only to pick up phone. “I’m calling security to see what’s on the cameras and such. I don’t think it wouldn’t hurt to get somebody to be on-guard, either.”

“If it makes it easier for you, then I’m fully on-board.” She then stands up, kissing his lips, before retreating back to the bed as she watched him on the phone.

Friday, November 16 – Homestead-Miami Speedway

Sarina stood on pit road, sipping on a bottle of water. She had already drank a couple bottles of Gatorade, combined with half a case of water and some grapefruit – per Chase’s direct orders yesterday. However, she knew a long day with constant non-stop action could possibly bring forth dehydration issues, and she wasn’t taking any chances. If her and baby were going to accomplish their dreams, they had to be in tip top shape.

“I thought you’d be keeping your feet up a little longer…” She hears, half-expecting that comment from Chase. Though, that certainly wasn’t his voice as she glances over her shoulder with a smile.

“If you want to be on top, you need to be ready for practice,” she explains. It was odd to see Dale coming to check on her, but she wasn’t about to chase him away. She knew she’d better get used to it with driving for him next year. She could also take advantage of the timing, too. “I came out here to make sure everything was ready to go, and get any last minute advice from Rudy.”

“Well, I just wanted to stop by and say good luck. I hope you have a great night and make some history.” She smiles, nodding her head.

“Thank you. I never set out to be the best girl, but rather to be the best driver and win races. That’s what I’m here to do tonight.” Dale could easily appreciate the determined attitude.

“Just make sure that you’re taking care of yourself.” She holds up the water bottle, taking a sip.

“13th bottle of water in the past two days satisfy the boss?” He looks on a little surprised, but gives her a nod of approval.

“Don’t let having to go pee at the halfway mark distract you.” She had to make a face at the thought. She had never gone to the bathroom in her firesuit in her career, and she certainly didn’t want to do it with her new one. This firesuit was set to only have two races on it, having got it last weekend, and she was ready to hang it up for keeps later.

“While you’re here, I have a question for you…” He then looks at a little puzzled. “Chase and I are in the middle of planning our wedding. We originally were going to get married in Colorado, but there’s been some issues with the venue so we can’t do that. We decided to change it to closer to home, and came up with the perfect spot – if you’re willing. Could we get married in your Whiskey Town?” Dale was taken back by the request, having expected something more traditional from Chase.

“Have you talked to Chas-”

“I thought of the idea last weekend, and we talked about it this week. He approves as he feels it’s perfect for what we’re envisioning. He didn’t ask you yet because I told him I’d handle it, being that you’re my boss.” He glances at the smile on her face, having a chuckle to himself.

“You thought the eyes and smile would charm me better than he would and I would say yes easily?” She then shrugs her shoulders. “No matter which one of you asked me, I would say yes. I think it’ll be beautiful for you both, and will make sure to have everything rea-”

“My wedding party gals and I can handle the decorating. We’ve got everything picked out, and Samantha has already talked to who we need to order everything from. We just need your permission for the property, and promise to have everything in order when we’re done.”  He then warps an arm around her shoulders.

“It’d be my honor, seriously. I may have been a little skeptical when I first met you, and I may have been harsh on Chase for the first couple weeks.” She nods her head, remembering the first meeting at Hendrick Motorsports a couple years ago. “As I’ve gotten to know you, though, I can see why he fell in love with you. I’m happy to see the bond that you’ve both formed, and I’m glad to have you on-board as a driver next year.”

“Even if I’m missing the first couple races?” He had to smile as it may not be the best business position, but that didn’t matter to him.

“I told you originally – that child is going to change yours and Chase’s lives for the better. It’s worth it for the blessing that you’re going to get in return.” She could see the admiration that Dale had for Amy and Isla in hearing him talk about parenthood.

“I don’t think we need to wait until then. Chase and I are already fully on-board. We both can’t stop talking about it, he can’t stop rubbing my stomach, and I’ve already began planning the nursery.” He had an idea immediately as to the theme.

“Bulldogs or racing?” She laughs, shaking her head to both ideas.

“Jungle themed.” He looks on surprised, but was easily accepting.

“I’ll have to make sure to get you a couple stuffed animals then. I’ll see you later, but like I said – good luck tonight.” She watches Dale head off, smiling as she turned her attention back on the 18 truck.

Tonight was going to be fun, this pregnancy was going to be amazing, the wedding would be magical, and next year was already shaping up to be perfect.

She stands on pit road by the truck, thinking over the first practice session. She was pleased with the handling of the No. 18 Toyota Tundra as she had to admit that they were in the right ball park for where they needed to be. However, ranked 11th on the session behind fellow championship contenders wasn’t the biggest morale boost.

“I got something up our sleeve for the second session,” Rudy tells her, catching a glance as he gives her a wink.

“When you tell me that, it always ends with good results,” she replies. “I hope you’re telling the truth again.”

“When have I lied to you, my princess?” She thinks back through the time they spent together, spending no examples.

“Well, you kind of lied when you said you’d never warm up to Chase and I being together. Remember how upset you were the first couple weeks?” Rudy nods his head, having fond memories of then. He was about to yell at Kyle for partnering them together – that, or pack an extra bottle of Tylenol and ask for a raise for having to deal with her.

“You were also late those first couple of weeks, as well.” She hated the reminder, but it was a fact of life. She remember how Kyle turned the tables immediately on one of those.

“I still want to kill Kyle for having those comments about sex.” Rudy laughs, remembering how red Sarina’s face went then.

“He wasn’t wrong, though.” He then gives her a small pat with a laugh before heading off.

She then lets out a sigh, walking back over the wall. She makes her way through the garage area, knowing a trip to the bathroom before the second session would be welcoming. Maybe there was something to what Dale was saying earlier, after all.

As she walks to the closest bathroom, she signed autographs for the fans along the way, even stopping to take a couple photos. However, she couldn’t help but glance to her right in hearing a group of girls together. Appearing to be around the same age of her, their conversation stemmed to speaking about Sarina’s appearance, including one of them saying that she was fatter.

“Maybe it’s due to Chase’s southern cooking,” the one girl chalked it up too.

Sarina walks into the bathroom, slipping off the firesuit and going pee as she needed to. She couldn’t help but while she sat there rub her breasts, having been sore the past couple of days. It wasn’t no surprise to her that Wednesday involved shopping for a couple new bras, either.

“Is it that obvious?” She asks herself, as she glances down at her stomach, rubbing it. “Are you growing in there, sweetheart?”

After wiping, she does the firesuit back up before glancing at the mirror to give herself a look over. One more week, and it didn’t matter what anyone said. It’d be finally time to reveal to the world that she was pregnant and had been since August.

Taking a deep breath, she knew to be prepared for positive and negative reactions in response – but that didn’t matter. All that mattered was Chase, this baby, and the love between the three of them.

Sarina sat in the care center after finishing the second practice, glancing over at Chase with a smile. She couldn’t complain as whatever Rudy had planned for the second practice had worked out very well, timing in second quickest. With a break before Chase’s Cup practice and now getting to see her baby while hearing the heartbeat, there was nothing to complain about.

“So being 18 weeks pregnant, we have some important things to discuss,” Dr. Grayson tells the pair after the initial examination. “I want you to have a regular ultrasound schedule set in place moving forward for the rest of your pregnancy. Given your risk factor, I would like to see you have one every two weeks.” Sarina and Chase both nod their heads, accepting. They knew a trip to Charlotte could easily be accomplished as needed.

“Do you think we’re going to run into any problems?” Sarina wonders, knowing the possibility that laid ahead as the baby grew more.

“So far, your uterus and the baby are getting along nicely. Everything checks out as to where it’s supposed to be. However, I do understand why you were told those reasons at the beginning from doctors with the shape that you are. I want to always give my patients the best hope possible, and believe me, I want to see this work out for you both. However, I am still highly concerned depending what happens in the growth moving forward. I wouldn’t downplay the risk yet.” Sarina takes a deep breath, nodding her head. She couldn’t let the fear show, or the tears show in being afraid of the worst happening after everything she’d been through so far.

“Okay, I understand. We’ll keep watching for warning signs and follow your orders.”

“With these ultrasounds, you’re going to continue to see the baby grow more and learn more about this baby. Obviously, one of the things that is going to come up is gender. As early as the 20 week mark, we can sometimes tell a couple the gender of their baby. Have you guys discussed if you would like to know ahead of time or not?” They both shake their head no.

“I already know it’s a girl anyway,” Chase comments, earning an eye roll from Sarina.

“He’s been saying that for the past four weeks,” she informs Dr. Grayson as she just smiles back in return.

“Sometimes intuition is right, and sometimes it’s not. I wouldn’t advise buying any clothes based on that feeling, though, as I’ve seen many parents be wrong. I’ll let you guys think about the gender situation, then, and you can let me know if you’re wanting to learn ahead of time.” Chase already knew that he’d once again leave that up to Sarina, once again not focused on the minor details. Besides, despite the warnings, he believed in his own intuition. “The last time you guys saw me, we discussed doing the MSAFP test to screen for birth defects and more. Are we moving forward with that?”

“We’d like to be prepared as much as possible,” Sarina reveals, remembering the conversation they had earlier in the week. “So absolutely, I would like to get the test done.”

“Okay then….” Dr. Grayson stands up, opening the cabinet. “So the results will take a week to two to get. I just need to get some blood from you.” Sarina squirms a little in seeing the needle pulled from the cupboard.

“Lovely….”

The Tale of Love & Racing: Sarina’s Story – Chapter 139: Can-Am 500

Saturday, November 10 – ISM Raceway

With the second of two practices in the books, Chase could only let out a sigh. A glance at the speed chart showed they were only 12th quickest, along with being seventh on the fastest 10 lap spread. However, the No. 9 Chevrolet felt decent to the point he believed that he believed they had something that could easily win on Sunday. Hopefully, fingers crossed, he was on the right track with those thoughts.

Leaning back against the pit box, he watches as Sarina interacts with a couple of the crew guys, easily caught up in everything about her. No matter what happened tomorrow, she was going down to Homestead with a chance at the championship, and he believed that it was meant to be for her and KBM.

“Is there a problem, Mr. Elliott?” She finally walks over after the crew leaves the garage area.

“Not at all,” he answers as she stares right into his brown eyes, her breath hitching in her throat a little.

“You know standing there like that, all adorable and sexy, you just make me melt immediately…” She closes the gap between them, tugging on the collar of his firesuit. “It just makes me want to strip you right here and now, taste every single inch along the way, and get lost in everything that is you.” He reaches out, placing his hands on her hips.

“I can officially declare that these jeans bring out every single one of your sexy curves.” Their lips then meet together, as he brings his hands underneath the edge of her shirt, taking full grasp of the spin as she tugs at the collar once again.

“I know I wanted to watch the XFINITY race and make sure Bell got in for Homestead, but I can’t keep my hands off of you.” He then smiles as he knew waiting until that was over would be impossible.

“I’m glad that you said that because….” He kisses her neck, before bringing his lips to her ear. “I need you badly…” If she wasn’t melted enough already, that totally did her in, as she clashed her lips against his once again.

“God damn Clyde, I see there’s naughty side to you after all – and I like it.” He then chuckles as he kisses her neck once again.

“Let it be our little dirty secret, okay? Now, we have some place to be…” He then scoops her up in his arms as she looks over surprised.

“What are you doing?” He looks into her hazel eyes with a smirk.

“Taking care of you. You shouldn’t be spending all this time on your feet.” She then fights against his grasp as they begin to leave the garage stall. They reach the doorway, when she finally breaks free of his grasp. “Sarina!”

“What if I told you that I can’t wait until we get back to the trailer?” He then glances around the garage area, before looking back into her eyes. “Nobody is her-”

“There’s an official down there to make sure we leave without doing anyth-”

“So, let’s put on a show for him…” He then looks at her surprised.

“Seriously?” She then glances down towards the official, before looking back at him.

“Okay, so maybe you’re right…” He just rolls his eyes as they quickly head out of the garage area together, making their way back to the trailer in record time. They hurry through, reaching the lounge, with the door barely closed before her lips are back against his with him pinned against the door.

“You weren’t kidding….” She then brings his hands to her stomach.

“Blame my hormones and this child of yours.” He had to smile at the mere mention of their baby. “And you don’t need to hover over me, eith-”

“I told you that is not up for discussion as I am going to do it, no matter what. As far as that baby causing your hormones to go wild, suddenly this pregnancy just got even sweeter.” She had to chuckle back in response.

“Good, because I am going to be needing this a lot, I feel…” She then brings her lips back to his again, letting themselves get lost in another kiss before he finally gets her to back up, making their way to the couch that was in the lounge. She immediately lays back, allowing him to take control over top of her, back to fumbling with the collar of the firesuit.

“I don’t have any complaints about spending this kind of time together.” She gets it undone, slowly moving the zipper down the length of his body. With their lips back clashing together once again, she slips the top half of the firesuit off of him, followed by working her fingers back up his body by tracing every inch of him underneath his t-shirt all the way back up. She then slips it off, tossing it aside.

“I can’t say that I have any complaints….either….” He finds himself lost for words, getting more lost in her as she leaves a trail of kisses against his chest. “No complaints…” He then returns back to kissing her lips, as he runs his hands up underneath her shirt.

“None, ever, no matter what time we spent together.”She had to admit his gentle hands on her chest felt good, with a moan escaping her lips. “Clyde…”

“Oh, so that’s the magic touch?” She instantly relaxes beneath him, another moan escaping.

“They’ve been a little sore so that feels perfect.” She knew it was another symptom of the pregnancy, having read they would grow a little and begin the process of being ready for baby if she chose to breastfeed.

“That just means they’ll be ready for our sweet pee.” He then begins to suck on one of them lightly, another moan escaping. “I had to make sure they’re ready.”

“Clyde…” She then kisses his neck, before allowing just enough space between them so he could work both her top and bra off.

“They taste so good…” She wasn’t going to deny him, as honestly it felt better than anything else right now.

“Damn….” She then kisses his neck once again, followed by leaving a trail of kisses across his shoulder, before slowly working to his chest.

“Sarina…” She continues to kiss him, just barely, letting just the tip of her lips touch with each kiss. “You’re a beauty at what you do.”

“Maybe I could show you just how much I can do with these pretty lips.” He was fully open for that, along with anything else planned.

“Lead the way….” They then flip so she’s on top, resuming where she left the last kiss, before making her way to his stomach. The first kiss there brought an immediate giggle from him, which she had to chuckle in response. “Not..fair…”

“You told me to lead the way so I get to show and tell.” She then leaves a couple more, just wanting to hear the giggle once again, before letting her lips find his waist, going from left to the right completely. “Of course, I may have to make you wait…”

“Sarina….” The moan easily came as he felt her finger tips against his cock, slowly tracing it, before beginning to rub more.

“Is there a problem?” He knew that he couldn’t resist the temptation any longer.

“I need you, please…” She had to giggle in seeing him at the palm of her hand so easily, finally having found the true secret to getting him so flustered.

“Keep talking…” The frustration was seeping through, as another moan escaped with him continuing to harden against her hand.

“I want you in every way possible, please.” She glances into his brown eyes, purposely letting her finger barely stroke the tip. “Please, now…”

“Patience is a virtue.” He was almost ready to take control as his patience had ran out.

“I don’t have any more left…” She then finally begins to pull down the rest of the firesuit, using her teeth to do so as her fingers continue to play.

“Suddenly, I don’t know if I need this so instantly.” An instant groan of frustration escaped him, as she had to chuckle in response.

“You know you can’t resist me…” She then glances up into his eyes, knowing that for a true fact.

“Isn’t that the reason why I am marrying you?” She then pulls his boxers off with a quick yank, revealing everything she wanted to taste instantly – without telling him she needed so badly yet, of course. However, the resistance she had was gone immediately, as she licked the full length with the tip of her tongue.

“Oh my…Damn…” She then begins to suck, slowly at first – enough to keep him satisfied, but craving her even more. She then increases length and speed with each time in, as he feels himself thrust against her mouth.

“Damn, you taste amazing…” She sucks every bit of it, as he runs his hands through her hair, feeling himself getting lost even more with each motion.

Sunday, November 11 – ISM Raceway

Sarina climbs up on the pit box, taking her usual seat behind Alan as she glances at Jordan with a quick smile. Putting on the headset ready to take in the day’s action, she caught Alan saying that they were going to use the old turn names with comments on the car’s handling.

“It’s easier that way at least today,” Chase replies in agreement.

Sarina felt her head spin immediately, as she had gotten used to calling the turns what they were now. so that meant with his feedback, turn 1 was actually turn 3, and turn 3 was turn 1. Shaking her head, it all didn’t matter if she was confused – as long as the ones who needed the information knew what he meant.

As he predicted following practice, he had a car capable of running up front, remaining in the second spot through the first stage. However, with a couple laps to go, Kevin Harvick would slow with a flat tire, allowing Chase to take the lead and stage victory.

Sarina wanted to grin at watching Kevin’s trouble – knowing he’d be the only competitor so far that they could run faster than them. However, she knew that Kevin wouldn’t be done without a fight and there was still a long way to go.

The pit crew would give Chase the pit stop that he needed, getting back out first. restarting first, he would slip back to second in the early laps behind Kurt Busch, reporting to Alan the car was a little snug. The hits kept coming as he’d fall back to third by mid-stage with a tight handling car.

“We’ve got a long way to go here,” she tells herself, not wanting to lose hope in watching the No. 9 Chevrolet slip back a bit. All that mattered was the last lap, anyway, with how the points were shaping out at this point.

With the finishing being all that mattered, the decision to bring him down pit road for four tires when the caution flew with 15 laps to go in the second stage was a no-brainer. She knew it’d allow Alan to make the adjustments necessary, as well as opening the door for strategy when the stage ended. Restarting 11th, Chase was also able to make up some ground before the stage completed, crossing the finish line in seventh.

As predicted, Alan played the pit crew strategy by electing to bring Chase down pit road for two tires. The gamble would allow Chase to move up two spots to fifth for the restart, but he’d ultimately fall back to seventh on the initial green flag.

It seemed the style of the No. 9 Chevrolet all year had been crap on the short runs, fast on the long runs and that was the case once again. As they got 15, 20 laps into the run, Chase was able to find his groove and ultimately run quicker laps than those ahead of him. he would slowly making his way forward, taking the lead on Lap 227.

Green flag pit stops would commence, with a caution flying on Lap 230 before Chase had pitted. With a glance through the field in seeing who would be forced to restart tail of the field after having to take the wave around, Sarina felt herself breathing easy as everything was slowly falling in order for them.

“Four and fuel, 6 holes on the nose, don’t pass the pace car,” Alan instructs as Chase brings the No. 9 Chevrolet down pit road for their scheduled pit stop.

The pit crew would put in the work necessary – 5 lug nuts off, 5 lug nuts on tightly on each tire, along with getting the fuel in without a mistake – allowing Chase to leave pit road easily. Their hard work would pay off with Chase coming off pit road in second.

“We got a pit road speeding penalty, section one,” Eddie D’Hondt breaks the silence on the radio after hearing the call from the NASCAR official. Sarina didn’t know if she wanted to curse or cry in hearing the news, knowing that screwed everything that they’d worked towards as of that point.

“Unaware of that, but 10-4,” Chase replied upon receiving the news from Eddie. Sarina then glances at the laptop ahead of her belonging to Tom Gray, which showed layouts, before looking over at Jordan.

“How can you speed in section one if you’re the first pit stall?” She questions curiously as Jordan glances at the diagram.

“The first stall isn’t until section two due to how this pit road is,” he answers, showing her the small box on the diagram. “That’s how you can speed.” She then lets out a sigh, feeling the curse words and tears threatening to fall even more.

“Alright, we’ll battle back,” Alan tries to add encouragement over the radio to the situation. Sarina wanted to be upbeat like the crew chief as there was certainly lots of laps still to run and scenarios to play out, but she found it difficult. How were you supposed to gain ground on them starting behind? What if one of these lap cars at the back made a mistake?

“I was just bouncing the red and tried to back ‘er down,” Chase reveals as the caution is extended for clean-up. “I’ll back ‘er down more if we come again.”

“Make your way through here, we’ll make something happen.”

Sarina could only shake her head, knowing it was certainly on his shoulders. Being that it was a pit stop under yellow, you’d think he would’ve stayed off all of those lights for 100% certainty. She felt frustration in what he’d done, as well as frustration in the situation. However, blame wasn’t going to get them nowhere; they just needed to dig their way out of the hole.

Restarting back in 19th as a result of the penalty, Chase would make slow steady progress to run 14th with 73 laps to go when Kevin spun David Ragan. He’d then gain five more spots, running ninth when the caution waved with 49 laps to go.

Knowing that they had to make something happen so to speak, Alan made the call to take two tires rather than four when he brought Chase down pit road. The call would gain them track position, set to restart seventh.

The restart would see a crazy battle for the lead, with everybody splitting three-wide trying to make something happen. There’d be contact with Denny Hamlin getting into Kurt Busch, with Kurt and Denny making contact with the outside backstretch wall. Kurt would then come back across the track, and just like by luck, caught the side of Chase, practically ripping the full passenger side door off.

“Are you fucking kidding me?” Sarina questions in watching the incident happen on the TV monitor on the pit box. “Like seriously? Just our fucking luck we have to be right there when Denny makes yet another fucking stupid mistake.”

“It’s bad, we’re done,” Chase comes over the radio shortly afterwards. Sarina could sit there defeated, feeling her eyes get wet in knowing that was it.

Right then and there, their fate was determined; Chase would not race for the championship at Homestead-Miami Speedway. She could only shake her head, a defeated feeling threatening to bring those tears down her cheeks again. she also felt a seering anger for Denny in causing the contact, but knew that it wasn’t worth it. Denny had been racing for the win – just as he was supposed to as a racer, and got loose. That’s racing; shit happens, even if you don’t like it.

Despite being out of contention for the Championship 4, the No. 9 Hendrick Motorsports team did not give up. They knew every point still mattered as they wanted to finish as high as possible in the points, making the necessary repairs needed to get Chase back on track – even if he was now back in 24th, scored three laps down.

“Stay focused on what we’re doing here,” Alan reminds his driver, trying to keep him as upbeat as possible given the situation. “Let’s do what we can.” Alan then gives him the lowdown on the deal at the front of the field.

Essentially, if anybody but Almirola won, the big three make up the Championship 4 with Logano. However, if Almirola won, that’d get Almirola in and leave Harvick out. As of this point following the wreck, Kyle Busch led with Almirola second and Harvick third.

“We’ll see how smart that 18 (Kyle) is here,” Chase comments after hearing the breakdown. “Would be an interesting play. One less to deal with. I could also see them all wrecking each other.”

“Kyle isn’t going to let someone win so easily,” Sarina says with a glance over at Jordan, who chuckles back in response. “With him, it’s all or nothing. Seeing Kyle let someone win would be a miracle.”

Sarina also found herself sitting there with admiration. Certainly the situation that they were in now sucked – as evident by her own mess of emotions. However, she felt optimism and strength in not hearing one single word of bitching on the No. 9 radio from anybody. Instead, the guys had focused on doing what they could from here on out, while putting a focus towards on notes to be even stronger for 2019.

“Focus on winning there,” Alan says as they cross the finish line in 23rd. “Let’s go down there and give it all we got.”

“I told you Kyle wouldn’t let him win,” Sarina adds, as she watches Kyle lay down a burn-out on the frontstretch.

The Tale of Love & Racing: Sarina’s Story – Chapter 137: Code 918

Friday, November 9 – ISM Raceway

Sarina was standing by the 18 hauler, sipping on a bottle of water, trying to remember the rules of hydration. It was going to be a long day in the desert with both practices, qualifying, and the race all scheduled for one day. She just needed to pace herself accordingly, and do what she needed to do behind the wheel and everything would be set for Miami.

She then glances over towards her left, surprised to see Chase headed back her way. He had told her that he wanted to catch up with Alan and Josh before practice, but yet instead was coming back to her. What was on his mind?

“Would you like to start off your weekend with some good news?” He offers, as she looks back slightly intrigued. “Shelley was arrested trying to come into the garage area this morning.”

“Seriously?” She questions, earning a nod from Chase as he shows her e-mail. “Arrested on allegations and charges of conspiracy to assault, conspiracy of kidnapping, harassment, and conspiracy….of….sexual…” She then glances slowly up at Chase.

“You can say it.” He then takes a deep breath, thinking back to that day at Talladega. “Sexual assault, although I don’t believe that she had anything to do with what happened there personally.” Sarina hoped not as that’d be just another level of sick and disgusting in this mess. “So they told me that they’re going to try and question her as much as they can in hopes of getting her to reveal Alison’s locations, and any future plans. They’re also not publically announcing as they may use her as bait for Alison.”

“And they expect something like to work? I mean, have they not realized already they’re working with a criminal genius?” Chase then gives her a ‘seriously’ glance. “I know you’re going to tell me that she doesn’t deserve that much credit, that she’s just a little wired different in the head and been lucky. However, you do not escape being arrested twice by accident. You do not escape a mental hospital by accident. You do not go on the run for an entire year without being arrested by accident. Let’s face it, Chase – she’s a genius, an evil genius.”

“I know….” Sarina immediately noticed the change in his tone, reaching out for his hand.

“It’s no secret that you were scared of her before; I remember you telling me that. It’s no secret that she twisted your world so much that you couldn’t think straight – and that’s fine as the same would happen to anybody. You can talk to me about it if the feelings are there, again.” He then shakes his head no. “Yes, you ca-”

“I know I can trust you, but I promise those feelings aren’t there. Instead, I’m focused on doing whatever it takes for you, to take care of you and this baby.” She smiles, though makes sure to hold his hand back so it doesn’t reach while keeping her eyes on his. “Take care of yourself today, okay?”

“The same goes for you, too. You don’t need to always be my superman.” Chase knew that, but he also knew he couldn’t just let everything that happened go. He wasn’t about to let this cycle with Alison continue.

“I care about you. That’s why I can’t help but worr-”

“I’m a big girl, Chase. I can take care of myself. You just focus on the number goal one this weekend – winning. You’ve got a good car, a good crew behind you, and we both know that you have the talent to get the job done. Show the world.”  He had to chuckle as her speech was right out of his playbook for her plenty of times.

“Do what you do best. I love you.” He then gives her a kiss, before heading back off into the garage as she lets out a sigh. While he’d constantly worry about her and the baby, she couldn’t help but do the same with his emotions.

The first of the two practices went smoothly, as Sarina was able to time in second quickest – right behind her teammate Harrison – and felt happy with the handling of the truck. The debrief had also gone quickly, with Rudy taking a focus on trying some stuff to see if they could be even faster during the second session.

“Something seems off….” He comments once they’re done, catching her by surprise. “Yeah, something is off..”

“I’m fin-” She starts, having grown used to people with their comments. It seemed everybody was worried about the pregnant lady in the garage.

“No, that’s a lie Sarina.” The conversation got the attention of the teammates who glanced over.

“We can all see it Sarina,” Todd offers, as Sarina feels her stomach do a flip-flop. Was it that obvious that she was pregnant?

“It’s like your demeanor changed as Chase walked away, and then returned to normal for practice, but has changed back again,” Harrison analyzes, as Sarina looks over surprised. Were her young teammates always watching her that intently?

“Ahhh I think our girl is missing her boo right now.” Sarina just rolls her eyes as Harrison chuckles to Todd’s comment. “Are you infected with an Elliott addiction? Do we need to call Chase so he can make you feel better?”  She shakes her head no.

“It’s not that….” Rudy comments, earning a stern glance from Sarina as she was worried that he’d let the truth slip. While she knew she could trust her teammates, she didn’t need anybody else knowing the truth yet – till after next week that was. “What did Chase tell you earlier, anyway? It looked important.”

“Shelley has been arrested,” Sarina confesses, wanting to say anything to take the suspicion off her pregnancy in her mind. To be honest, though, that was still on her mind at this point. “She’s my aunt by the way, but stopped by the motorcoach last night to share some Alison tidbits, as if she knew privileged information. We put out word to the police, and they got her this morning.”

“So does that mean everything is over?” Todd wonders, and Sarina shakes her head no. Until Alison was locked in a maximum security jail cell, she would never admit to it being over.

“They haven’t found Alison yet. They’re thinking of using Shelley as bait to catch her, or at least get information with the slew of charges that they have coming for her.” She then glances down at her lap, with a sigh. “It just drives me insane that my family is so freaking crazy that they continue to torment me. First my brother, then my cousin, and now my own aunt. I thought I left this chaos behind when I started to establish myself, reset my life as I wanted, and yet here we are in the cycle once again.”

“Sarina…..” Rudy says as he wraps an arm around her to comfort her. “It’s not your fault, any of this. You can’t control or decide the decisions that others make. So you better not be blaming yourself one bit for what anybody has done to this point because it is never your fault. I also know, in my heart, that it will work out for both of you because it’s meant to be. You deserve your happy ending, your forever after.”

“Wow, Rudy does have a heart,” Todd comments, earning a slight chuckle from Harrison.

“With every person in my family seeming to have this, though, it worries me,” Sarina confesses as she looks up at the crew chief. “What if I am a bad mother?” The timing of the question brought shock over the room – Rudy with her mentioning that while trying to keep a secret, and the teammates wondering how that fit into her schedule. However, Harrison and Todd knew that question was really not important right now in seeing how upset Sarina appeared.

“I think you’ll make a wonderful mother when the time is right,” Rudy starts. “You have a very sweet heart. You’re always looking out caring for people, whether it’s Chase and what he’s going through, or your cousin Lindsay. You’re also sweet, and adorable with the fans. Look at how you spend time with the children in the garage, speaking at their level, and giving them extra time. Remember how you handled the situation at media day? Those are all examples that prove to me that you, Sarina Ott, will be an amazing mother. I know you’ll show that child the love that it deserves, and I know he or she will be glad to have you as their mother.”

“Thank you Rudy,” she comments as he gives her a squeeze closer. “I can’t believe I am saying this considering we started the year ready to bite each other’s head off, but I have really enjoyed working with you. I’ve enjoyed each weekend together, and I am going to miss your guidance every week. Thank you for the lessons and advice, on and off the track.” Rudy smiles as he had to admit – working with her was certainly making him a little softer at times.

“Marcus told me that you were special, and I sort of half believed hi-”

“I can understand that after working with Christopher and Eri-”

“But he was right, though. I still say that Christopher has more natural talent behind the wheel in what we’ve seen. However, you’re special in every other sense of the way in who you are, the young lady you’ve become, and everything moving forward. I admire your strength sometimes.” He then gives her a quick wink, knowing what that was in relation to, as she just smiles back in response.

“Good luck with those two next year.” Rudy looks over at the pair, before letting out a long sigh.

“I am going to have my hands full….”

Sarina climbs from the truck, smile firmly planted on her face as she walks over to where Rudy was standing. The changes had worked as they were able to gain speed over the session, giving her even more confidence heading into the night, despite once again being second to Harrison.

“I think we can beat him toni-” She starts, as she grabs a cold bottle of water from the cooler.

“There was a bomb found in the Cup Series garage,” Rudy cuts her off, which causes her to drop the bottle of water immediately, spilling it all down herself as she had loosened the cap.

“A…bomb….” Rudy slowly nods his head as he places a hand on her shoulder.

“It was foun-”

“You don’t need to tell me where it was found because we know who obviously planted it and why!” Rudy then reaches out, placing his other hand on her other shoulder. “Rudy….”

“You need to stay here wit-”

“Spit it out!” He then takes a deep breath, glancing over at the crew members, who scurry back to work rather than staring. “Rudy!”

“The timer is set to a full two hours. They haven’t found a way to deactivate it yet.” Sarina takes a deep breath, trying to remain calm as possible. The fact that there was a timer and they were still looking for a way to turn it off, it meant that it hadn’t gone off to cause any damage.

“So why are we still standing here? Isn’t the obvious to just clear the gara-”

“There’s a camera above with a note. Do something different than normal, and she’ll set it off earlier than scheduled.” Sarina takes a calming deep breath, resisting the urge to run right away as she knew Rudy would grab her anyway. Besides, risking tripping while pregnant wasn’t in the cards, either. “Alan texted me as soon as he found out and told me to keep you here so Chase isn’t worrying about you while trying to focus on practice like normal as they try and figure it out.”

“So we’re just going to pretend nothing is ticking in the garage stall right now?” Rudy slowly nods his head yes.

“They figure they’ll follow the instructions of the note for the duration of practice. If no answer is figured out by the end, they’re going to work with NASCAR on some sort of plan.” Sarina then glances towards the garage area, trying to maintain her composure. “Sarina….”

“Rudy, I’m scared….” A couple tears roll down her cheeks as Rudy pulls her closer, rubbing her back. “I can’t do this. I can’t los-”

“They’re going to figure something out, sweetheart. Everything is going to be okay…”

Chase knew what the note said – follow everything accordingly, or else it’d be activated earlier than scheduled. That meant it was left up to the experts to figure out the defuse process before then while he was supposed to practice as if nothing was going on.

Thankfully, the session had gone smoother than he expected as Alan and the guys had brought a real fast No. 9 Chevrolet, which made his job easy. Despite obviously being distracted, he had managed to post the third quickest lap.

With the session done, he tried to focus on the debrief in the garage stall with the engineers and team, though couldn’t help but glance up from the computer to see what the timer said. Taking a deep breath, time was running short quickly and having heard nothing from the bomb squad wasn’t encouraging.

“What the hell?!?” Tom Gray lets out as the laptop screen goes blank. “Josh!”

“I didn’t do it this time!” Josh confesses, raising both hands in the air innocently.

“I had just about finished putting everything in and it went off. Seriously?!?”

The screen then comes back on, but does not include the notes as Tom originally intended. Instead, it was a blank white screen with typed text in the middle.

“Chase….” Tom slowly says as he backs away from the computer. He knew the IT department would be intrigued and confused to hear what happened today. However, given the familiar ticking sound, the answer to the problem was also obvious.

“Did this just pop up?” Chase asks, and Tom nods his head.

“I was trying to do my not-”

“Please….” Tom takes the sign immediately, backing away to leave the driver with the message that was left on the screen. “Of course you’d do this to me, Alison.”

He then clicks the ‘accept’ box at the bottom of the note, which loaded a map on the screen. He follows the lines, figuring out what each picture meant, trying to figure out everything as quick as possible. He didn’t need to look up to figure out time was running out quickly.

“Bomb squad just called,” Alan states as he walks over with his phone in hand. “I have a series of deactivation instructions. There’s certain wires that need to be cut, and a code that needs to be entered. We only get one chance at the cod-”

“918,” Chase cuts him off immediately. “Look at the bottom of the map. She has that number written in tiny letters at the bottom. It’s got to be the code, and it makes sense. My car number, and then Sarina’s truck number.”

“We only get one chance at thi-”

“We have two chances.” Alan then looks over at him confused. “We have two chances to save all of our lives. I just need to do what she wants.”

“Hell no.” Chase was confused as he looked over at Alan. “That’s what she wants, Chase. Think about it. It’s the same thing that she did to you before. She’s manipulating your feelings, triggering your fears so that she gets what she wan-”

“It’s better than us being dead, though.” Alan knew that, but he also didn’t feel any comfort in having Chase anywhere close to her.

“I’m sticking with the first plan.” Chase shakes his head, feeling all kinds of worry as he watched the crew chief climb up onto the box, reaching the bomb on top. “Read me the instructions, please…”

“I don’t feel comforta-”

“Start reading!” Chase takes a deep breath as he picks up the phone.

“Cut the red wire, followed by the blue wire.” Snatching the wire cutters from his pocket, Alan follows both instructions as requested. “You’re going to cut the orange wire, and then will have 10 seconds to enter the three digit code.”

“Everyone hold your breath.” Alan then snaps the wire, followed by quickly punching in the three-digit code – 9 1 8. Everybody stands frozen around the garage stall, glancing up as they wait to see the result. “Breathe…” Alan then holds up the box, hearing not a single sound from it as he slowly sets it down on the pit cart.

“Nice job.” Chase gives him a quick hug, before Alan carries it out to the officers awaiting outside of the stall. Chase then leans back against the pit cart, letting out a long sigh of relief before taking out his phone to text Sarina.

“Can I go back to my not-” Tom starts and Chase shakes his head no.

“You’re getting a new laptop,” Chase tells him. “Alison just took procession of your screen. Do you think we’re going to let you continue to use that?” Tom slowly shakes his head no. “The police are taking that into evidence, as well. We’ll get you a new lapt-”

“He can use mine,” Josh instructs, opening it up immediately and typing in his password.

“Report the incident to Hendrick’s IT department. Security being compromised is no joke.” Tom nods his head in agreement, having already filed a phone call, as he watches his driver leave the garage stall.

“That was too close to comfort,” Tom offers as Josh takes a step back to let Tom get to work.

“She needs to be caught before it’s too late because I have a feeling it’s only going to get worse from here on out,” Josh comments, causing a glance of fear in return from Tom. “She’s getting impatient and upping her game each weekend. She also knows how to kill-”

“We don’t need a reminder, Josh.” Josh then grabs his checklist off the pit box, ready to get back to work.

Unfortunately, these incidents were becoming a part of the job, and he knew that they couldn’t use the incident as an excuse for not winning Sunday.

The Tale of Love & Racing: Sarina’s Story – Chapter 134: AAA Texas 500

Friday, November 2 – Texas Motor Speedway

Ryan was standing there posing for photos, forcing a smile the whole way as his heart was set on one thing – Lindsay. Where was she? Could he trust Chase’s words? When would they find her?

“I’ve got something!” A voice interrupts everything, catching Ryan’s attention immediately. He looks over, watching Chase walk over and unfold a note. “It was left by my hauler, probably during qualifying. But it has the coordinates.”

“Let’s go,” Ryan states, ignoring all the hustle around them as he follows Chase back out of victory lane.

“You’re going to bring that?” Ryan knew the rifle was in his hands for winning the pole, and it remained there for good reason.

“There was a good motivation for winning the pole. We can take care of business.” Chase wanted to be caught off-guard by the attitude, but totally understood it as they climbed in the rental car together.

“Buckle up and hold on children,” were the instructions from the front seat as the drivers did as instructed, while Alan peeled out of the parking lot, following the instructions in the GPS.

“Should we trust his driving?” Ryan questions, and Chase could only shrug his shoulders.

It didn’t take them long to reach their destination, which only earned a couple glances of confusion. The three climbed out of the car, Ryan still clutching tightly onto the rifle, as they walked closer to the building.

“Unit 9 – surprise surprise,” Chase states, looking back over the note.

They worked their way down the warehouse units, finally reaching the ninth. The pair glanced at each other, before Chase reached the door knob. It easily turned, as another glance was traded.

“Hello?!?” Chase called out as he entered first, slowly, hands in the air, half-expecting Alison to come out of nowhere and grab him. However, not a single voice could be heard. “Hello?”

“Lindsay!!” Ryan lets out as he followed Chase through the door, flicking on the light switch, seeing her tied up in the middle of the room. Ryan immediately runs over, undoing the mouth, followed by working on the ropes. “Are you okay?”

“My… stomach….” Lindsay slowly says as she takes a deep breath. As soon as her hands were loose, they found their way there immediately. “It hurts…” Ryan places his hands on top of hers.

“You’re going to be okay…” He then runs his hands down her shoulders, before resting back once again on top of hers. “You’re going to be okay, and the baby will be okay”

“She ran as soon as I complained of stomach pain, saying she never meant to hurt the baby….” Chase closes his eyes, remembering the notes that were left.

“She lost her own baby and regretted that pain,” Chase tells them. “She may be twisted, insane, and willing to do whatever it takes to get to me, but she will not harm a baby to do so. I am going to call for help, okay?” Ryan simply nods his head as he keeps his eyes locked on Lindsay’s, praying for the best.

Chase climbs the steps of the pit box, letting out a sigh as he grabs his headset from Rudy.

“Is Lindsay is okay?” Rudy asks, having heard from Sarina that was where Chase was.

“Yeah, her and the baby are fine,” Chase answers. “Go ahead and tell Sarina, please…” Rudy nods his head, accepting, before relaying the message over the radio.

“You’re not lyi-” Kyle starts, earning a glance from the young driver, who shakes his head no.

“She was in some pain, but the doctor says that she’ll be okay. The pain came from stress, and a bit of Braxton hicks.” Kyle nods his head, remembering when Samantha went through her first round of those. “She needs to be strictly on bed rest for a couple days, but everything will be fine, thankfully.” Kyle then palces a hand on his shoulders.

“And you’re okay, right?” Chase simply nods his head as he takes a deep breath.

“I’m just glad that she’s okay…..”

Starting second, Sarina put together a solid opening stage, running up front en route to a sixth-place finish. However, the race was set to go down the tube over the next several laps. She would lose several positions on pit road due to a fueling issue, followed by contact on track with Johnny Sauter.

“Are you flipping serious?” She questions on the radio, immediately growing frustrated, as the damage was significant.

Rudy got her to bring the truck down pit road a couple different times, continuing to make repairs to the damage, sending her back out to restart 21st. She would make her way back up to 10th by the end of the second stage, but was unable to make anymore ground up through the final stage.

Climbing out of the truck post-race, she was admittedly frustrated with how the night played out. However, that wasn’t the only thing on her mind as she was rather concerned about her best friend.

“Are you sure her and the baby are okay?” She questions Chase once she is done interviews.

“As long as she stays on bed rest and doesn’t stress out anymore, she’ll be fine,” Chase answers. “Ryan texted me that the pains have already died down, and she’s been chilling comfortably all night in his arms in the motorcoach.” Sarina nods her head, accepting.

“I can’t imagine going through something like that. I mean, what if something happ-”

“Stop right now.” He then places a finger on her lips. “Let’s just be thankful that she and the baby are alright, okay? Just like we’re thankful that your pregnancy has gone smoothly so far. Alison isn’t going to touch you, or Lindsay for that matter again.”

“How can you be so sure of that?” Chase wasn’t quite certain, but he knew he was going to do whatever it took.

“We’re putting the right protective measures in place. We’ll be fine….”

Saturday, November 3 – Texas Motor Speedway

The first of the two practices hadn’t gone as planned, with Chase once again timing in only 19th quickest. The lack of speed brought forth a lengthy debrief for driver, crew chief, and the rest of the team in the hauler as they tried to figure out what was missing on the No. 9 Chevrolet.

“Where’s Sarina, anyway?” Alan questions as they finish up, ready to leave the hauler and get set for the second practice.

“She’s back with Lindsay,” Chase offers. “Lindsay is stuck on bed rest, and Sarina didn’t want her to be by herself so they’re having some girl time. Personally, I can’t complain….” Alan nodded his head, remembering their discussion about Sarina possibly pushing herself too much sometimes last week.

“Was she mad that you let her sleep in last week?” Chase shakes his head no. “That’s progress.”

“She’s understanding that she needs to take care of herself for the baby.” Chase and Alan then walk through the garage area, only freezing to glance up at the BIG HOSS television screen on the infield. “Of course….”

“Chase….” Alan places a hand on his shoulder, as the video had caught his attention as well. Alison had managed to hack the Texas Motor Speedway system, turning off coverage of XFINITY Series qualifying to instead show a video reel that included stuff from the motorcoach camera hacking at Talladega, along with videos that she had saved of previous attacks.

“How does she continually get away with crap like that? You’re telling me that she snuck around their security and all that to do that?” Alan could only shake his head, feeling disgusted. “Someone had to have seen her. Someone had to have wondered what she was doing.”

“She was working with someone on the inside, before…” Chase didn’t even want to think about the possibility, knowing the access that could grant depending who it was. However, it made sense with what she was able to do on a weekly basis.

“I just want to get in the car and focus on making it better.” Chase then walks into the garage stall, fixing his firesuit as he goes to climb in the car.

“Chase, are you sure that you’re in the right fra-”

“Let’s just focus on our job, please.” Alan takes a careful deep breath. He hated turning moments into preaching like this with Chase.

“I’m just worried about how you’re fee-”

“To tell you the truth, I’m not surprised anymore. She has done everything in the play book pretty much, Alan. I’m done letting her run my life and my feelings. I’m done letting her get away with everything. Can we please just focus?” Alan takes another deep breath, giving a nod of the head in return. “Thank you.”

“Ugh….” Sarina lets out as the second practice finishes with Chase ranked 17th on the board. “I know I shouldn’t read much into the score sheet, but with no speed, how the heck are we supposed to run up front tomorrow and win?”

“What do you always tell me?” Lindsay questions as she glances over at her best friend.

“Have faith as he’ll di9 his away out of this hole.” Lindsay then just simply smiles in return as Sarina lets out a sigh. “I’m trying, but it’s so hard when you see that the team is struggling in practice, on top of everything that is going on.”

“Did they catch anything with her video deal?” Sarina lets out a sigh, shaking her head no. “I just don’t get how she can sneak around.”

“Alan says she may have someone helping her again.” Lindsay then made a disgusted face.

“Who in their right mind would help a freako like her?” Sarina could only chuckle in response, shrugging her shoulders. “I will say something felt weird about yesterday, though. Like there was some familiarity to her.”

“But yet you never crossed paths with Alison before, did you?” Lindsay shakes her head no, having avoided everything the first time around. She could attribute that to just having started dating Ryan then.

“But it still almost felt like I knew the person as I really almost recognized the voice.” Sarina already had an explanation in her mind.

“You were in the court room when she pled her cas-”

“I know, and it didn’t sound like that, but yet different and familiar.” Sarina was now getting a little confused herself.

“Were you standing on pit road when Britney Teals, or fake Britney bitch as I call her, was there?” Lindsay shakes her head no. “So it can’t be the fact that she’s using that voice…”

“No, I’m talking real familiar. Like family familiar, Sarina.” The confusion only grew more for Sarina – until she was hit with a realization.

“Shelley?” Lindsay’s jaw slowly dropped as she nodded her head. “She wasn’t happy about our last meeting, or the fact that I have blocked her. But do you think she’d go as far as helping Alison because of that?”

“We do have a strange family, even if Shelley never got involved before. If you’re looking for loose ends, I would have that checked out.” Sarina was ready to pass this by as another dead-on, but knew she owed it to Lindsay to follow through.

“I’ll make mention of it to the investigator..” Sarina then sends a text message, making sure it went to both Chase and the investigator. Perhaps they were finally getting a step ahead of Alison.

Sunday, November 3 – Texas Motor Speedway

Despite concerns about the car before the race, Chase was able to make his way forward once the race started. However, it wasn’t the progress they wanted as once he hit the top-10 at the start of the second stage, he was unable to go much further, stuck there for the rest of the day. Thankfully, he got a good restart at the end, able to make up some ground to finish sixth. But still, it wasn’t the win they needed now.

“Can you talk about your day?” The reporter asks as Chase takes a deep breath.

“Yeah, just a really frustrating race track ever since they ruined it two years ago,” he answers. “I hate that.”

“You pretty much have to win at Phoenix now.” Chase lets out a sigh, knowing that more than anyone else. It’s why it made today that much more frustrating despite the comeback to finish strong. “Do you feel pretty confident going in there having that one goal in mind?”

“I mean, yeah, I feel better about Phoenix than I did about today, for sure. Yeah, we’ll see. I mean, I don’t know till we get there. Yeah, tough spot to be in. But ultimately you got to be in a must‑win situation at Homestead if you ever make it down there, so you might as well get used to it and like it.”

“It looked like it was hard to pass out there for everybody. Was it as hard as it looked?” Chase nods his head.

“Yeah, I mean, absolutely. I don’t know what genius decided to pave this place or take the banking out of one and two. Not a good move for the entertainment factor, in my opinion.”

He then makes his way over to where Sarina was waiting on pit road, with Bill.

“Can we get out of here?” He questions, earning a nod of approval from both parties.

“We’re just waiting on Ryan,” Bill answers, as Chase lets out a sigh. The sooner he was out of Texas, the better.

Sunday, November 3 – Colorado

Chase wraps his arms around Sarina, kissing her cheek, before laying back on the couch. She easily got snuggled up against him, only trading a smile with Lindsay as she curled up with Ryan.

“Mom could’ve come….” Chase reasons with his dad as Bill shakes his head no.

“She didn’t want to come on this little escape this time,” Bill tells him.

“I just feel bad as we’re all cuddling and you….well….” Max then hops up in Bill’s lap.

“I’ve got the dog. That should matter….” Chase could only chuckle back in response.

“This was a really good idea,” Sarina comments, only to earn another quick kiss from Chase. He couldn’t deny that it was nice to get away from everybody and the chaos for a bit, and get some of the pressure that he was feeling right off of his back.

“I told you that we could always come here if you needed to get away,” he recalls, as she smirks.

“I just can’t wait to come back here in December and marry you….” He smiles as he had to admit that he was getting more excited with the date looming that much more closer.

“I can’t wait to call you Ms. Sarina Elliott.” She had to smile, and swoon a little at hearing the mere mention of the name.

“I thought we could stop by the spot, and make sure everything is good to go while we’re here.” Chase nods his head, easily accepting. That’d be a good distraction rather than thinking about Alison or everything on track right now.

“Oh, so you’re finally going to let your friends in on the details?” Ryan questions, with Bill looking over his way.

“Try also sharing with the parents of the groom finally, too,” Bill adds, earning a laugh from Chase and Sarina. They had been quiet about a lot of details, wanting to keep the planning as private as possible. They wanted to make sure everything was done the way they wanted, without everybody trying to throw in their sense.

“All the planning is done so I guess we could share,” Sarina quietly reveals as she looks back at Chase. “I mean, I think it’s beyond perfect.”

“Only the best for my princess,” he tells her, giving her another kiss. Max then barks, catching their attention. “Is there a problem, sir?”

“I think the dog is jealous,” Bill comments as Max lets out another bark.

“How did you manage to get him away from Mom, by the way?” Bill then looks down at the puppy.

“Do you want to go tell Chase what you did?” Max then jumps off the chair, burying his head in the blanket by the fire. “He decided that Bella was a chew toy, and ripped her head off.” Chase then looks over surprised, knowing that was one of Cindy’s special bears. “Needless to say, it was come with daddy or be stuck in the dog house all week.”

“I bet she would’ve let him out by mid-week….” Bill chuckles, nodding his head in agreement.