The Tale of Love & Racing: Sarina’s Story – Chapter 252: “She’s already growing up too quickly….”

Friday, May 24 – Hendrick Motorsports

As per the usual tradition during Charlotte Motor Speedway weekend, the Friday was reserved for fan day festivities. As a result, both Chase and Sarina were at their respective shops, signing autographs for the fans and participating in the activities.

Thankfully, Chandra had been gracious – along with Lydia’s big help of course, to watch Abigail while the parents were busy with the fans.

“Mommy, she grabbed my finger again,” Lydia comments as they lay on the floor together. Chandra had set up the blanket with her toys surrounding her, allowing Lydia to sit and play with her.

“That’s what babies do,” Chandra explains as she looks over at them. “They grab things because they’re curious about what they look like, smell like, and even taste like. That’s how they get used to you and things.” Lydia looks over at Abigail a little confused, before looking back at her mother.

“Did I do that?” Chandra chuckles, nodding her head. “Really, Mama?”

“Yep, you can even ask your dad when he’s done.”

“How do you know how to answer her questions?” A new voice interrupts the pair as Sarina walks over, kneeling down at their level.

“I just try to be honest, and keep it as simple as possible,” Chandra explains back in return. She was actually surprised to see Sarina there, surprised how quickly the day had gone by.

“I hope I can remember how to answer all of Abigail’s questions…” Chandra just looks over with a simple smile, remembering the same fears with Genieve.

“Don’t worry – you and Chase will be fine. You have nothing to worry about.” Sarina could only hope that Chandra and Samantha were right in their continued assurances, despite the amount of times that she expressed them. “By the way, she was very behaved once again today. She ate no problem at all, let me change her without any issues even if Lydia told me she was stinky, and she’s been very playful.”

“She loves moving around. Chase and I will go to hold her somewhere, and she just wants to bounce on our legs like no tomorrow.” Chandra nods her head, having noticed that in the time that she had spent with Abigail.

“I still have the jolly jumper somewhere in the basement that Lydia used. You can hang it in the doorway, and she can bounce up and down all day long. I’ll get Jimmie to undig it, or do it myself, as it’d be perfect for her.” Sarina smiles as it was nice to have friends willing to do that for them. “For now, though…look….”

“Oh my gosh…” Sarina couldn’t help but let her smile grow wider, as Abigail began to push herself up off of her stomach, onto her side, rolling over onto her back.

“Did she just do that all by herself?” A new voice chimes in, which the ladies recognized immediately.

“Yes she did, Chase,” Sarina replies with amazement in her voice, as she reaches over to tickle Abigail’s belly.

“She’s already growing up too quickly….” Both of the girls just chuckle in response.

“It won’t be long now until she’s crawling, sitting up on her own and talking….” Chase could only look on amazement, not believing that it was happening so quickly. Even though she was already four months, it seemed like she was just born yesterday in his eyes.

Friday, May 24 – Charlotte Motor Speedway Dirt Track

After their exciting day, the couple made the trip out to the dirt track – courtesy of an invite from Brad Sweet.

While the sprints were fun to watch on the TV screen, it certainly was nothing like being able to see them up close. From the roar of the raw speed, to watching your favorite driver on the edge of control as dirt is slung in your face, it was certainly an experience to take in. Though on top of that, they were treated to a show with the front runners close together all race long right down to the checkered flag.

Although Kyle Larson was able to lead the most laps, he wasn’t able to capture the win, ultimately being passed with five laps to go by Giovanni Scelzi. Brad Sweet also was able to put together a strong run, scoring a fourth-place finish.

“I think I understand why you want to try one of these sprint cars one day,” Sarina comments as they walk up to Brad’s car in the pits. “That was a thrilling race to watch. Say, when you put that deal together with Rick, can you squeeze my name in there?”

“Let me just focus on getting myself in one of these and then we’ll see,” Chase reasons with her, with Brad chuckling as he overhears the conversation.

“I still say that we should just get NAPA to put the whole deal together,” Brad comments, recalling a previous discussion they had. “Rossi, yourself, and me – oh heck, throw Ron Capps in there for good measure, too. Each of us can try an IndyCar, a NASCAR racecar, a sprint car and a dragster to see who can beat the others.” Chase wasn’t about to argue with that idea, knowing it’d  be cool to also try a dragster on top of the sprint car.

“You just want to drive Rossi’s car…” Brad looks over with a grin on his face that said everything.

“Can you blame me, though?” Chase chuckles, shaking his head no. “For the record, I wouldn’t mind letting your lady drive my sprint car and I bet Dale would be more open to the idea than Rick has been.” Sarina couldn’t help but agree as Chase’s face had a bunch of nerves written on it.

“Have you seen this girl behind the wheel of a racecar? She can be a little crazy at times.” The comment earned him an immediate playful punch from her, with him rubbing his arm afterwards. “And she’s abusive.”

“I’m surprised that she didn’t stick with Bell…” Chase just rolls his eyes, not surprised by the comment as it was common for Brad to sneak something in relation to Christopher in there. “Hopefully you can kick some ass on Sunday as I plan on going to victory lane tomorrow night.”

“Oh really? So you think that you can beat Larson now?” Brad was actually taken back by the comment.

“And here I thought that you were a fan of mine, but meanwhile you’re just using me for a chance to drive my car….” Chase laughs as Brad walks away, playing off the disgusted with his comment look. “We’ll see whose talking when I bring him the trophy on Sunday to show him.”

“Oh please do, because I will be showing you my new addition.”

“I wouldn’t be surprised if Rossi completed the trifecta,” Sarina adds. “He’s certainly talented and knows how to drive his ‘baby girl’ to her limits.” She then takes her own deep breath. “I just wish that I was right up there in that conversation, too.”

“Give it time,” Chase tells her as he warps an arm around her shoulders. “You’re getting stronger behind the wheel of that car each week, always learning something. You’ve gone from running top-10, to top-five. It’s only a matter of time before you’re celebrating in victory lane.”

Saturday, May 25 – Charlotte Motor Speedway

Alan walks over, looking at his driver slightly confused, before leaning back against the toolbox to observe over the crew. With the first practice in the books – having finished up in the 15th position, the guys had a strict list of things to check over on the No. 9 Chevrolet, with adjustments to make, ahead of the second session.

“Did you hit your arm off something in the car?” Alan wonders, earning a  head shake in return from his driver. “Okay, because it looks sore considering you keep holding it today…”

“Let’s just say that my daughter’s kicking habit became a problem this morning,” Chase comments, earning a confused glance from the crew chief. “She woke up before Sarina and I really wanted to get up this morning. So like we’ve done plenty of other times, I laid her between us to just relax for awhile. While, she got kicking and she kicked me in the arm pretty hard as she rolled over.”

“Did you just say that she rolled over?” Chase nods his head, still smiling as he thought back to the first time on Friday. “Oh my, she’s already starting….”

“Don’t remind me, please. I don’t think I’m ready for her to grow up.” Alan chuckles back in response, but could relate to the feeling with his boys.

“Relax, she’s still only four months. 18 years is still a long time away, Chase. You’ve still got plenty of moments to come with her.” Chase knew that, but still it felt sometimes it was moving too quickly. “Also, try and keep your arms from being kicked…”

“I’ll do my best…” He then lets out a sigh as he glances back up at the speed chart. “Now, can we talk about the practice?”

“I don’t want you to look up at the speed chart again. I don’t care where we’re ranked because right now, it’s brutal hot and slick, whereas we’re going to be running the race tomorrow in the evening. So rather than focus on handling correctly, I want to build adjustability into the car. I want to know what adjustments I can make, how you react to them, and have a notebook for when the track conditions change tomorrow.”  Chase wasn’t about to argue with the crew chief’s theory, as it made sense when you thought about everything together. Still, it wasn’t the most encouraging thing to not even be in the top-10 right now.

“Well, it felt better the first run compared to the second run. Does that help you?” Alan nods his head, as he reaches up for the tablet to look over the data as they continued discussing.

Sarina leans back against the car, taking a long sip of the ice cold water that Dave had handed her following the qualifying run. Just like they had been doing, it was another solid performance as she’d start 10th later on that afternoon. However, it was 10th – not the top-five that she desired.

“Make sure that you’re drinking a lot of water today and keeping yourself hydrated,” Dave reminds her as she simply nods her head in agreement. She didn’t need to be told, considering she could feel the heat through her firesuit. It was just the beginning of the hot summer to come.

“Don’t worry – heat has been on my mind all morning long,” Sarina replies. “That’s why Bill and Cindy have Abigail right now in the motorcoach keeping her nice and cool. I then told them, along with making sure Chase understood, that she needs her hat and sunscreen.” Dave wasn’t surprised to hear that Sarina was taking care of everything all angles in relation to her daughter.

“I don’t think you’d need to tell Bill and Cindy considering they have experience, but it’s good to know that you have everything under control. I wouldn’t want my driver getting heat stroke out there today.” Sarina nods her head in agreement, not wanting to go through that. She remembered experiencing that with Chase last year at Chicago, remembering how he was the night after the Xfinity race.  She had kept that in her mind, to make sure that she was hydrated each weekend.

“Why do you think I’ve been working so hard to keep this booty of mine in shape? You just worry about the car; I can handle myself…” Dave just smiles back in response, again not surprised.

“I know that you can take care of yourself, but remember what I told you on Thursday – it doesn’t hurt to have help sometimes.” She then lets out a sigh, hating to have reminders about everything. But given what happened, she knew that they were necessary.

“I appreciate what you did then, so thank you. But Dave, trust me when I say this – I have a handle on this.” Whether that was fully true or not, who knew. Maybe if she kept repeating it to herself it would come true.

“Remember what I told you…” Alan simply says as he walks over to where Chase stands following the second practice. They were scored even worse this time around, ranked 18th quickest.

“I know; that’s not on my mind right now,” Chase comments, catching Alan off-guard. He had simply assumed that based on the look on Chase’s face. He also knew that it couldn’t be Sarina’s performance as she had done decently. “Alycia sent me an e-mail.”

“I’m guessing it wasn’t the news that you were looking for….” Chase reaches up for his phone, handing it over to the crew chief. He then lets out a sigh as he goes back into thought about it. “So Alison told Kyle and Alycia that Carter took advantage of her mental issues in planning the attack? Can I call bullshit on that?”

“She’s obviously trying to escape the charges of attempting to drug me. However, there’s no way that she can prove this as she hired Carter initially.” Alan crosses his arms as he thinks it over. He understood Chase’s theory, but he found a new fear of his own.

“What if she is ready to twist the whole thing on its nose? What if she turns around and says that the whole thing through was Carter taking advantage of her mental capability and making her believe what she believed? Therefore, Carter takes the fall for everything that has happened and she gets a minimal sentence.” Chase felt a shiver escape from him immediately at the mere thought of Alison being loose from prison.

“She’s been sentenced and sent to prison for the previous charges. They can’t just turn them arou-”

“They could offer early parole due to misunderstanding, mental capacity, and good behavior.” Chase shakes his head no immediately, not even wanting to face that thought.
“Or at least that’s the theory that she could develop. The other theory is trying to escape the new charges, which it doesn’t matter either way because she’s still hung up for multiple years on the other charges. The main steak right now is making sure that Carter and Nellie pay.”

“This would certainly make Carter’s story look that much more fuzzy…” Chase lets out a sigh as he runs his hands through his hair. “I just hate the thought of any of them twisting anything and getting away with anything. I don’t want to deal with this anymore. I want to be done with this, Alan. I want them all locked up for multiple years so I don’t have to worry. I want to give Sarina that peace of mind so she can sleep at night.”

“The same peace of mind that you’re looking for, as well?” Chase looks away as Alan crosses his arm. “You’re still having nightmar-”

“I just hate that I couldn’t be there to do something to protect her from Carter. I should’ve been there, Alan. He shouldn’t been able to get into our own home and do that.” Chase takes a couple deep breathes. “It’s getting easier with each day, but I won’t get that comfort I need until I know that my girls are safe and the only way that happens is with Carter locked behind those cell bars.”

“It’s going to happen, Chase. He’s not going to get out of this, no matter what he or Nellie try to spin.” Alan reaches over, placing a hand on Chase’s shoulder. “You keep telling Sarina that it’s going to be okay, and now you need to believe in those words Chase. It is going to be okay. Everything is going to work out, finally.”

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The Tale of Love & Racing: Sarina’s Story – Chapter 251: “I bet Carter enjoyed the chance to touch you all over.”

Tuesday, May 21

Morgan walks over to where Sarina was checking over some messages on her phone, crossing her arms.

“Is everything okay?” Morgan questions, catching Sarina’s attention immediately, who simply nods back in response.

“Chase was just asking how you made out today,” Sarina answers. “I told him that you were able to pick out the dress you want for your wedding. So that’s two dresses picked out for my ladies this month. He asked what it looked like, but I told him no pictures of the one due to worries of Christopher seeing it.”  Morgan nods her head, smiling as she was glad that everybody had followed her rules in regards to images. “For the record, I think you look absolutely amazing. You’re going to look amazing when you and Christopher get married.”

“I appreciate that, especially from someone as stylish as you. I still can’t believe what your dress looked like when you entered the hall and walked down the aisle.” Sarina always smiled as she thought back to that day. Not just because of the dress, but the sentiments expressed that day. “Thank you for coming out today and offering your opinion.”

“No, thank you for letting me be part of this. Considering everything said about us together originally, it’s amazing to see how close we are.” Morgan couldn’t help but agree, remembering everybody thinking that the girls would be odds with each other over Christopher. However, there were obviously other reasons that came into play for creating their friendship.

“After everything that we’ve been through together, I wouldn’t have it any other way.” Sarina glances down, taking a deep breath, as that comment instantly brought her back to what had happened last month. It didn’t seem no matter what she was doing, she couldn’t escape what happened.

“I hate that you’re in the middle of that. I hate that you and Christopher are now part of the Carter’s games and everything that happened. it stings for me to have it happen, it stings even more watching Chase in pain, and then it stings the worse in watching my friends and family get caught up in it, too.” Morgan understood the sentiment, but it wasn’t the same for her.

“I’m just glad that Christopher and I could be there in the cabin to help you and Chase get through those couple of days. Could you imagine what you’ve done by yourselves?” Sarina shakes her head as she didn’t even want to think about the possibilities.

“I wouldn’t have known what to do about the wound. I mean, Morgan, you saved him…” She then glances down, taking a deep breath. “And Christopher saved me. I don’t think I could’ve ever gotten away from Carter myself. I know I tried, I pushed, I did what I could, but…” The tears begin to roll down her cheeks. “I just couldn’t stop him myself.”

“You fought hard, though. You were strong in holding him back, and how you’ve handled things since. You are still absolutely amazing. He doesn’t define you.” Morgan then wraps her arms around Sarina, pulling her close into a hug. “It’s okay. You’re going to get through this, and Carter is going to spend years rotting away in prison. Once word gets around what he did, I imagine someone will return the favor.”

“Look at me, ruining your special day with my tears….” Morgan immediately starts shaking her head as she keeps Sarina held tight to her.

“My day isn’t ruined. I still have my dress, and it means a lot to me to be there for my friends. It’s going to be okay….”

Thursday, May 23 – Charlotte Motor Speedway

Chase walks over to Alan following the first practice, giving the crew chief a high-five after timing in second quickest at the end of the session.

“We just need to lay down a lap like that later today and we’ll be fine,” Alan summarizes and Chase nods his head in agreement. He then leans back against the pit box, watching as the crew goes to work going over the car ahead of qualifying later that afternoon.

“Want to share some of your speed secrets?” Ryan questions as he walks over after a good five minutes. Chase could only chuckle in response.

“Don’t you have a win here?” Chase reminds him, as Ryan thinks back to the fall of last year in the dramatic last lap that took place.

“Some people claim that I got lucky.” Chase rolls his eyes, not surprised as he was used to the same critics.

“There’s no such thing as luck in racing. You put yourself in position to take advantage of the circumstances.” Ryan smiles as he had used the same logic himself a million times over. “If you’re looking for speed, why are you down here bugging me?”

“I wanted to offer you an update on my wedding.” Chase was used to these discussions by now, knowing it was just over a month until Ryan and Lindsay would be married. “So along with us having got the tuxedos, Lindsay was able to pick out her dress. She also decided on the bridemaid’s dresses, as they’re trying to go for a relaxed beach the-”

“So we have to go full tuxedos for your beach wedding when it’s going to be jaw-dropping hot, and yet the girls can go light?” Ryan lets out a sigh, having heard the same complaint from others.

“Hey, least you’re having to wear the jacket and tie. Lindsay could’ve enforced that.” Chase wasn’t about to argue as he wouldn’t be surprised if that was the case. He knew that Lindsay had certain details she wanted perfected. “Guest list confirmed with invitations sent out. The first reception hall that we checked out was fully booked, but the second was available and we have it booked. We also have a date picked out to choose our wedding rings next month.”

“So all that’s left is for me and Bubba to plan the bachelor party?” Ryan breaks out with a laugh, actually not surprised that his friends were thinking that already for him.

“First of all, I didn’t get to give you a proper bachelor party, as Jimmie and Dale wan-”

“Blame Alison for that…” Ryan takes a deep breath, actually not wanting to think about her at all considering everything that she had done.

“Second of all, there’s no Hangover happening as I would actually like to be fully present for my wedding. It’s also a race weekend, and I need some brain cells to handle Daytona.” Chase couldn’t argue with the stipulations as he knew he wasn’t going to be getting into much at the wedding for the same reason. “There’s also my vows. She was inspired from your wedding, thank you for very much, and thinks writing our own vows is a great idea.”

“Good luck with that. If I’m being honest, I struggled with mine for weeks and crumpled up a lot of paper in trying to write them exactly how I wanted. However, it came together. Just speak from the heart, and tell her what you think of her – ignoring everybody else in the room.” Chase simply places a hand on Ryan’s shoulder. “You’ll be fine, don’t worry. Regardless of what you say, she’s going to cry anyway with her hormones.”

“Geeez, thanks for the encouragement. I guess I’ll make sure to have a couple Kleenex in my pocket, even if I sound like a total ass in the process.” Chase simply smiles in response.

“It wouldn’t be the first time, would it?” Ryan playfully gives him a punch before walking away. “Aww poor Ry got his feelings hurt. Are you going to go cry on her shoulder now?”

“No, I don’t want to be the excuse for you being late going to get Abigail from your wife.” Chase then freezes, glancing at the time as he mutters a quiet ‘shit’ to himself before hurrying out of the garage. He knew he should’ve left sooner with Xfinity practice scheduled close to the Cup practice.

Sarina was glad to have an afternoon with two practices as it gave her a chance to focus on something other than her feelings. She had done decent across the pair of sessions, posting the 11th quickest time in the first session, along with the sixth quickest speed in the second.

“Like I was telling you before, the car feels real comfortable,” she tells Dave Elenz after having finished taking a glance over the data. “It feels like I can run solidly without any issues over the course of a run, not too tight or loose. It’s right where I’d want to be, if I’m being honest.”

“That’s good, and it shows on the clock as you maintain over 10, 20 laps,” Dave replies back to her having watched the lap times over the course of both practices. “I’d just feel a little more comfortable if we were a little quicker on the short run because you know how the races typically end up with one of those late-race cautions.”  Sarina nods her head in agreement, as she knew it’d also hurt in qualifying on Saturday.

“I just don’t want to give up that comfortable feeling as I’ve felt that we’ve been missing that a couple weeks, hence why we’ve faded in the late stages. If we can keep that feeling, we can run solidly up front all day.” Dave wasn’t about to argue as he knew a happy, comfortable driver produced better than someone complaining.

“I’ll look over things tonight and tomorrow, as I have a couple ideas that we could go with. But don’t worry – I will try and keep that comfort that you’re liking. Maybe it’s just the fact that car looks awesome blue.” She couldn’t help but smile as she had quickly became of the new paint scheme herself.

She then leaves the garage stall, ready to head back to the trailer and change ahead of Cup qualifying. She knew she could stand on pit road with Abigail in her firesuit, but it’d be much more comfortable changed into a t-shirt and jeans.

The fact that a crowd filled the infield didn’t surprise her, as that was the case every week. It was also why she kept a marker in her pocket, as she knew they’d want autographs. She easily accepted the offers as she began the walk through the garage, signing as many as she could, along with taking a couple photos along the way.

“Damn, I can see why Chase married you,” she hears one of the young male fans comment. She could only roll her eyes, having grown used to comments like that.

“Thanks for the compliment,” she easily responds, just like any other day. “I’ll be sure to pass along the appreciation.”

“So does he squeeze that ass of yours every night?” The comment was a little further than she expected the fan to go, but again, it happened every once in a while. She just ignored as usual, focusing on other fans. “I bet he slaps that ass every night, eh sweet thang?” She then feels a slap against her ass, causing her to snap in the direction of the fan.

“How about you keep your filthy hands to yourself, please and thank you?” She then takes a deep breath, trying to put it out of her mind, as she turns her focus back to the other fans looking for autographs.

“I bet Carter enjoyed the chance to touch you all over, fulfilling every guy’s fantas-”

“That’s enough!” A new voice breaks in the picture, as an arm wraps around Sarina’s shoulders. “Just so you know, this will be the last time that you’re allowed in the garage area.”

“Aww I’m sorry, did the truth hurt your wee little feelings?” The fan questions, but the comment was totally ignored as Sarina is led out of the crowd and to the hauler as she intended.

Dave leads her inside, sliding the door shut, before walking up to the lounge and doing the same thing. He watches as she slowly sits on the couch, still stuck in her own thoughts about what had just transpired, as he hands her a cold bottle of water.

“Are you okay?” Dave questions as he takes his usual seat, fighting between the urge of going into his notes as usual and letting her be, or being the comforting force in this situation.

“Thank you,” Sarina quietly whispers in response, as she continues taking small sips of the water, letting it slowly calm her down as she tries to let every thought escape her mind. “As soon as he mentioned Carter’s name, I just froze….”

“I was headed back here as planned, ready to go over notes before meeting up with Jason (Burdett) and I heard the comment. It caught my attention, and then I noticed you froze so I just took charge.” It was as if Dave’s words didn’t sink in for Sarina as she sat there, still froze.

“As he said Carter’s name, it brought me back to the bedsroom, and what happened. Touching me all over, I couldn’t get it out of my mind as I still remember what every single touch felt like and how sick it made me feel.”  She finally looks up and looks over at Dave. “I just wanted to puke on that guy in that very moment.”

“You should’ve as there was no right for those comments. Thankfully, he won’t have a chance to say those again.” Dave had already done the liberty of sending an image of the fan to NASCAR security, describing the incident to have his HOT pass removed.

“I probably looked like a fool standing in that sea of people froze like that…” Dave was about to put the issue to bed, but her comment instantly taught his attention. “The simple mention of his name, and I’m a statue.”

“Anybody who’s been through what you went through would be understanding of your reaction. They would be comforting to your feelings, knowing that you just don’t forget or let go. Don’t put much thought into what happened. Nobody will care or say anything. Just maybe for the next couple of weeks, have someone walk back with you in case. I know you wanted no special treatment, but it’s okay to accept a hand sometimes.” Sarina hated to admit that the crew chief was right, but she knew another incident like that wouldn’t be a good idea. Furthermore, incidents like that could turn ugly quick.

“I’ll keep that in mind, thank you…”  Dave pulls out his laptop as he originally planned, feeling as though the conversation was put to bed. He knew that they weren’t close as there was no chance that she’d go into further details with him.

“I texted Alan that you were running a little late in coming to get Abigail, sharing as minimal details as possible but enough to warn that there’s a couple crazy fans around. He appreciated the message, and said that the guys would watch Abigail as Chase headed out.” Sarina wasn’t surprised to hear that in return, as she knew how much the crew guys enjoyed spending time with Abigail. It seemed her giggles, and mumbles caused them to melt immediately, with her favorite activity being able to jump on their knees as they held her.

Sarina walks over to Chase, leaning over the roof of the car as she glances over at him.

“I know it wasn’t what you wanted, but it could be worse,” she offers, catching his attention. He then lets out a sigh, as he wasn’t about to be happy with qualifying 12th. “You could’ve qualified 22nd, or 32nd.”

“We were quicker in practice, and the car felt more comfortable, though,” he replies, summarizing his comments for Alan following the run. “I know it’s a long race and we can make our way forward, but I’d rather be starting up front than in the sixth row. We can’t keep giving up in qualifying if we’re going to start winning races.” She then makes her way over to him, leaning her head against him.

“One step at a time. It’s progress compared to earlier this season.” Chase couldn’t argue with there, and things could certainly be much worse right now as he wraps an arm around her shoulders.

“Alan said there was a brief incident in the garage with a fan. Are you okay?” She nods her head back in response. “What happened, anyway?”

“I was heading back to the hauler, and this fan came up and made a comment that he understood why you married me. I accepted the compliment, telling him I’d pass it along to yo-”

“I appreciate the sentiment, but he has to understand that you’re my girl and I don’t share well.” Sarina lets out a sigh, wishing that was something that’d always stayed true. Instead, another person had gotten the chance to get their hands on her.

“He then slapped my ass while complimenting it, which I told him to keep his filthy hands to himself. He then made the comment that Carter probably enjoyed his time with me – and I just froze like a statue. It took me right back to what happened, and I couldn’t move. Dave noticed and he led back to the hauler.” Chase pulls her a little closer, knowing that feeling as he remembered some of his past flashbacks to Alison.

“Just so you know, you’re not a fool for how you reacted. It’s understa-”

“Dave already told me what I wanted to hear, Chase.” She then takes a deep breath, glancing over the car before looking down at the ground. “I just want the day to come when it doesn’t bother me, when I don’t think about it, when we’re not talking about it. I don’t want it to always be like this. I don’t want to this to be what defines my thoughts.”

“It’ll come, I promise you that day will come. You just need to give it time, patience, and fully work your way through everything. We’re going to be okay.” He then leans in and gives her a kiss.

The Tale of Love & Racing: Sarina’s Story – Chapter 249: All-Star Race

Friday, May 17 – Charlotte Motor Speedway

Sarina glanced out on the track, watching as Chase started off with his first of two practice sessions ahead of tomorrow night’s All-Star Race. She couldn’t help but let out a sigh of relief as the weekend got started, knowing for once they didn’t have to worry about the Open or the fan vote as he was locked in this year, and next year already for that matter.

That left her mind to wonder about other pressing matters. The trial and what could come for Carter, Alison and Nellie wanted to take the next spot in her mind – but she didn’t want to allow that to happen. She still couldn’t stomach the thought of Carter after he had put his hands all over of her. That left only one topic on the table.

“So, can you believe you’re getting married in – oh, a month and a half?” She questions with a glance to her left. With both ladies having babies in toe, they decided to pick a quiet spot in the infield to watch together. Sarina couldn’t wait to see Abigail and Evelyn play together as they got older being only just over a month apart, nor could she wait to meet the new addition to the Blaney family.

“I’m excited, if I’m being honest,” Lindsay replies with a smile. “I mean, at first I thought I’d be freaking out as the day came closer due to such late planning. But the fact that we got everything out of the way early, including my dress, it just makes me smile now when I think about it. The only worry – making sure that the dress fits appropriately.” Sarina chuckles, in knowing Lindsay was just two months pregnant now, meaning she’d be three and a half on her wedding day.

“You shouldn’t be too much bigger as normally it doesn’t really pop out that much till the fourth month and beyond – or at least you should know from experience. I mean, at least you’re not getting married while you’re seven months pregnant.” Lindsay shakes her head as she remembered back to that experience with Sarina and Chase, and the last minute alterations that Samantha had to arrange for her.

“Strangely, this pregnancy is also going much better. I’m not feeling that morning sickness as much,  and the other symptoms that we both talked about oh so too much. They say that you can normally feel the baby sooner in your second pregnancy, so I hope that’s the case too.” Sarina couldn’t help but smile as she remembered the first time she felt Abigail kick.

“So, what are you hoping for? A boy this time, another girl, or does it really matter?” Lindsay hadn’t wanted to get into that discussion, but she knew that there was a preference.

“To be honest? I don’t care as long as the child is happy, and Ryan and I are happy together. But it would be nice to have a little boy to add to the family.” It was just another reason for Sarina to smile as she felt a boy and a girl would be a perfect combination for any family, just like she and Chase had originally envisioned for themselves.

“When Chase and I first started talking about having kids, we both came to the conclusion a boy and a girl would be perfect. He actually said he had a dream of us down the road, five years from now, with one of each. Sometimes I wonder if the baby that I lost was a boy.” Lindsay reaches over, placing her hand on top of Sarina’s as a sign of support. She couldn’t imagine going through what Chase and Sarina had been through together.

“Does it offer you any comfort now thinking about that?” Sarina shrugs her shoulders, as it was a touchy subject depending on the day.

“There’s some days where I can think about it and it doesn’t bother me. There’s other days where I wonder what if? Then there’s day where I just want to break down and cry, hating that the opportunity let go. Do you want to hear something cute? Brexton was telling me how his little sister is in heaven with great grandma and such – baby doinkey as he called her. I told him that she wasn’t alone, because I feel that she has a little boy to play with, Chase and my baby that we lost. He smiled and told me that they were probably dancing on the clouds.” Lindsay couldn’t help but feel a bit emotional in hearing that relation together.

“I don’t care what  anybody says about Kyle and Samantha, because they have become two of the most amazing people that I’ve gotten to know. Kyle may have this attitude on track that sucks at times, but he and Sam are raising one incredible little boy.” Sarina nods her head in agreement, still shocked that his birthday was tomorrow and he’d be another year older.

“She’s also inspiring for everything that she’s doing with spreading awareness about IVF. It inspires me sometimes to want to get up there, and tell my story, and let everybody know everything. But then I stand back and I don’t know she does it.” Lindsay nods her head in agreement, still in shock that Samantha went through the banquet weekend knowing she’d lost the baby without saying a word to anybody.

“You’re going to get there, too. You’re going to find your way through everything. I believe in you.” Sarina couldn’t help but smile, as her eyes finally glanced up at the scoring pylon.

She wasn’t surprised to see that Chase was only 13th quickest, given that he had been complaining about a free condition with the car as they got into the second run. The other frustrating factor of practice was them losing a tiny bit of time on track due to a flat tire.

Taking a deep breath, she brought herself back to the thoughts before the discussion with Lindsay. They had another practice, and at least they were locked in the show this year.

Alan walks over to the pit box, glancing at his driver with a bit of a surprised glance, before looking over the notes as he was originally going to.

“I know that we suck right now, but it could be worse,” Alan starts, catching Chase’s attention. The crew chief certainly was right as there was nothing comforting being only 15th quickest, out of 15 cars. “I mean, Jimmie was complaining about parts falling off with the new rule package – which I kind of get where he’s coming from, but we’re only 10 minutes down the road from the shop. It’ll be fixed.” Alan then focuses his attention back on his driver. “I mean, this is the all-star race. Let’s have some fun with it.”

“While I’m not happy being the slowest, that’s not what has me down,” Chase replies, earning a glance of intrigue from the crew chief. “Alycia just sent me confirmation that I have to testify on Monday.”

“Oh.” Alan then takes a deep breath, having wanted to originally discuss the handling issues and trying to solve their problems but knowing that was least of their worries right now. “Do you want to talk about it?”

“What else is there to say? I just need to walk in there, get up on the stand, and tell everybody exactly what happened from the moment I walked into the Delaware facility to when I woke up in the hospital. I’ve testified before. I know the drill.” Alan remembered the last time that Chase had to testify, and the time before that. He knew out of those experiences, the first of those telling the tale of Alison’s sexual assault was the worse.

“While it’s the same story, new dance, the emotions are still probably there once again just like before. I know she didn’t get to do anything much this time, but the thought of what she was trying accomplish.” Chase glances down, as he knew everybody thought his mind was stuck on what happened with Alison in the room. However, that wasn’t what he was thinking about.

“The thought of being stuck in a room helpless to her hands, the thought of leaving Sarina and Abigail alone in the house vulnerable while knowing Carter was out there, and knowing what happened – that’s what makes this harder than anything.” Alan wasn’t surprised, as he knew that Chase was willing to do whatever it took for his girls.

“You have to know that it wasn’t your fault what happ-”

“Damien told me that if I went along with his plan and Alison’s surprise, Carter would leave Sarina alone. I went through what I did to protect her – and what was that worth in the end? You don’t see her shivers and her tears at the mere sight of our bedsroom in our house where we were supposed to raise our kids. Half the time, she can’t stand to sleep in there due to flashbacks. How would you feel sleeping in the guest room of your own home? Then there’s the nightmares and screams in the middle of the night of pure terror, to where I have to cuddle and rock her back to sleep because she’s so afraid. Any time that I think about what being locked in that room, my mind goes to what Sarina went through.” Alan nods his head, easily understanding where Chase was coming from with his thoughts.

“Have she talked about anything to what happened?” Chase shakes his head no. “They say it gets easier with time, and you’ve seen that yourself. The fact that you can mention Alison’s name without shivering is progress. Sarina is going to get there, too. You just need to give her time. I also know that you want to fault and kick yourself in the ass, but damn it Chase, just keep telling yourself it wasn’t your fault and you couldn’t have done anything. Continuing to play the blame game is just going to hurt more.”

“I know, I keep telling myself that, but convincing my heart that I couldn’t have stopped her pain and taken it away isn’t easy.”

“I know….” Chase then clears his throat, glancing back at the notes, before eyes on the crew chief.

“So, what were you going to tell me before we started talking?” Alan wanted to continue discussing the topic at hand, but bit his tongue as he knew to not push Chase unless it was absolutely necessary. For now, it was time to offer the distraction that he needed.

“I wanted to discuss the dynamics of this package, running side-by-side with people, lanes, different feelings you had with the car. I just want to figure what direction we need to go with this. Like, when you were side-by-side with Kevin, what was the car doing?”

Chase climbs out of the car, making his way back up pit road to join up with Sarina. With a pure grin on his face, he accepts his daughter from her hands, before sharing a quick kiss.

“How do you think you did?” Sarina questions, in relation to the qualifying effort. “I’d say that smile means you did really well.”

“Actually, I didn’t even bother to looking at where we are,” Chase answers, smiling as Abigail chuckles in his arms. “That was too much fun to not smile about!”

“Oh really?” Chase nods his head as they watch the next driver take to the track for their effort.

“It’s just so surreal and strange coming down pit road with no speed limit – but yet so much fun at the same time. From the crazy arch that you take and feeling as you drop off the banking, to the sudden stop in front of the crew. That was way too much fun!” Sarina had to smile back in response, certainly looking forward to when she’d get the opportunity to do it herself.

“Can they give the Xfinity drivers a chance to do it one week for shits and giggles?” Chase nods his head in agreement as he knew it was an experience everybody should feel.

“I’d seriously try it if you are testing somewhere because it felt more amazing than I thought it would. But you know what, you’re talented enough that you’ll be in the Cup Series one day, in this race, and get to do it yourself.” She smiles back at him, appreciating the confidence. However, there were sometimes she wondered if it would happen considering this Xfinity Series season hadn’t quite gone so great yet.

“Poor Abigail will be asking herself in the morning which shirt to wear – mommy or daddy. At least your mom would appreciate that as she’d get plenty of time babysitting.” Chase couldn’t help but agree as he knew how much Cindy loved spending time with Abigial already.

“Don’t worry – I’d get my princess a shirt with both of our cars on it.” He then tickles her belly, earning a couple bigger giggles in response. That lasted until she was able to grab hold of his sunglasses, trying to take them off. “Hey now, you can’t eat those…”

“I heard plastic tastes good…” Chase just rolls his eyes as he takes the sunglasses off, placing them up on top of his hat. That only caused her to reach up and try to grab his hat off of his head. “She’s going to get them one way or another….”

“Oh no way…”

Saturday, May 18 – Charlotte Motor Speedway

With having ran up and down through the pack over the course of the stages, they knew that they had a decent car enough to run with the front pack. That was why the decision came easy to Alan when the caution came out before the final stage.

“Stay out,” Alan immediately instructs his driver, feeling that track position was going to matter. He was planning on everybody going crazy, with them being able to cruise away having the clean air in hand.

The plan started off accordingly, as Chase pulled out in front off of the green flag, taking the lead as he envisioned. However, with the package being utilized, he was unable to cruise away as Alan originally envisioned. Those who pitted also were able to make their way through the pack, with Kyle Larson leading the charge past Chase. Once he was out of the clean air, it was game over, as the free condition experienced through practice was back and he dropped back like a rock. Ultimately, he crossed the finish line with a 14th-place finish.

“If there’s a week that you’re going to gamble and be wrong, it is this week,” Sarina offers as she walks over to the No. 9 Chevrolet after the race with Alan in toe.

“I also don’t want it to be a reason that you don’t take gambles in the future as the theory was right – if this was a normal package,” Chase adds. “We have a win – we can afford to play.”

“I like your theory,” Alan replies with a smile of his own. With them finding speed in the cars lately and running in the top-five, it was time to start taking advantage and perhaps pick up a couple wins. “Here’s to a successful summer with hopefully some more black and white moments – not just for us, but also for the lady.”

“I think someone agrees with you,” Sarina comments, as Abigail lets out a chuckle from her hands, trying to jump up a little.

“Aren’t you supposed to be sleeping?” Alan then rubs her cheeks, causing a couple more chuckles. “I guess we can make an exception for tonight.”

The Tale of Love & Racing: Sarina’s Story – Chapter 246: Gander RV 400

Monday, May 6 – Dover International Speedway

Starting on pole, Chase was able to take the early lead, and cruise away with a decent advantage over the field. That gap was erased when the caution came out late in the first stage. While Alan Gustafson elected to put four tires on the NAPA Chevrolet, a couple others elected for just two tires. As a result, he’d finish the first stage in third.

He then started off the second stage well, taking the lead once again and pacing several laps ahead of the field. However, he was unable secure the stage victory, fading late for a fourth-place finish.

He’d consistently run in the top-five through the final stage, ultimately crossing the finish line with a fifth-place finish.

“It was just too free at the end,” he tells Alan after climbing out of the car post-race. “No matter what line I tried, that little bit of freeness in it didn’t allow me to get back in the throttle as quick I needed to so I could catch Kevin, Kyle.”

“I probably should’ve put a little more air in the right front under that last stop,” Alan summarizes as he thinks back through the adjustments they made through the event leading to the final run to the checkered. “I hate it because we had such a good car.”

“I know. It bugs me more so that we lost it at the end, then anything. It’s one to thing to lead early, but like we always say – the last stretch is what matters at the end of the day, and that was our weakest point.” Alan lets out a sigh as he leans back against the car.

“I’m sorry. I hate that I didn’t give you what you needed.” Chase looks over at him.

“I’m sorry I didn’t give you the feedback you needed.” Alan glances down pit road, before looking back towards Chase.

“It could be worse. We could still be running in teens struggling with the car. It feels much better to be up front.” Chase couldn’t argue with that as it was nice to see the hard work that they were putting in paying off.

“We could also be worried about making the playoffs, when we know right now that we’re locked in. I could also be sitting somewhere else right now.” Alan didn’t want to mention back to yesterday, but he knew that Chase was referencing that with his comment.

“You totally didn’t deserve to go through everything that you did. I am so glad that you have Alycia in your corner and she’s kicking ass.” Chase nods his head, as he couldn’t complain about the outcome so far.

“I hope that it pans out right, and she manages to get them all locked away in all the charges.” He then runs his hands through his hair with a sigh. “I want to believe it it’s over, Alan. I want it to be over. I want to move forward and help Sarina move forward. But I can’t do that until I know everything is done.”

“Basically, you’re saying that you need the closure…” Alan reaches over, giving Chase’s shoulder a little squeeze to catch his attention. “You’re going to get that this time. You don’t do what they’ve done and get away with it forever. There’s no way that they can weasel out of this one.”

Tuesday, May 7 – Hendrick Motorsports

Alan walks through the shop, stopping as he reaches his driver. He glances into the box, picking up one of the Styrofoam pizza slices before looking over at Chase confused.

“You can blame Sarina,” Chase starts as Alan was even more confused now. “Little Caesar’s sent the box as part of their sponsorship and it’s been kicking around the house. She thought it’d be a cute momento to hand out to the crew guys with the stickers for the win. I think she just sent it with me because she was afraid Fletcher would get into them.”

“Actually, they’re kind of cute,” Alan muses as he twirls the piece in his fingers. “And she is right – it’d be fitting given the sponsorship. So, are you ready to push the bell around campus?” Chase smiles as it was always a nice treat to do following a victory, even if a couple weeks past it.

“I hope you took some Tylenol because there’s going to be a lot of ringing going on….”

The pair began to make their way through the Hendrick Motorsports campus, stopping at each department along the way with Chase leading the bell to the employees. Each person took their turn ringing the bell, before receiving a small decal and Styrofoam pizza slice from Alan.

As they head towards the gym where the pit crew was working out, Chase hears his phone go off. He then reaches into his pocket, checking the message.

“Really?” Alan questions as he stops the golf kart at the door opening. “I need your help unloading, let ‘em ring, and then you can do whatever you wan-”

“It’s from Alycia,” Chase cuts him off, knowing that’d solve any answers as to why he was bothering with it.

“Take your time.” Alan then sits back, giving Chase the odd glance as he watches him type a couple messages back and forth with her. No matter what they were discussing, he knew it was important and he wasn’t about to mess with legal business. However, it also didn’t help he was getting more curious with each passing second.

“She wants to meet up tonight to talk about Damien. He is looking for a plea deal.” Alan glances over puzzled. He thought they weren’t about leaving any loose ties this time around.

“We allowed Alison to get a plea deal before, and Carter got to play around. Do you realize where that got us, Chase?” Chase nods his head, taking a deep breath. He still regretted the decisions he made through the process with Alison the first time. It was why he promised himself to be extra careful with it ever since.

“I already told Alycia that he isn’t getting off scott free as I want each of them to receive jail time and the punishment necessary for what they did. However, we’re also trying to avoid forcing Sarina to testify.” Alan could understand wanting to draw that line as he knew how tore up she was about what happened – and reasonably so. He couldn’t imagine forcing her to testify under those circumstances.

“So we’re going to let him get away with this for Sarina’s sake? I don’t want to sound rude or as if I have no sympathy for Sarina’s situation as I do, but I don’t want you taking chances and then regretting them later because something happened. Besides, isn’t there enough evidence?” Chase had believed that, remembering his own words that he had told Sarina multiple times since when the discussion of her testifying came up. However, he was beginning to doubt his own theory in speaking with Alycia.

“Alycia says the evidence can be twisted different ways to make Carter appear not guilty, or a little less guilty that he is. Hence why they’d prefer to have final word from Sarina to lock down everything. However, she also understands where I am coming from. If we can get Damien to plea to a deal with lesser jail time, he would testify and offer the connecting dots – Carter’s explanation to him to be at the facility, and how he cornered me. Now if then connect that with my testimony, Carter’s history as described in court already, combined with the evidence, he won’t be able to weasel his way out of that.”

Tuesday, May 7 – Dawsonville, Georgia

Chase takes a glance over the papers that Alycia laid before him when he arrived, which included the statement from Damien.

“He submitted that through the court himself,” Alycia starts. “He called upon a meeting with (district attorney) Kyle (Gates) and got him to draw up the paperwork for your review. The fact that he is doing it without legal advice or counsel further proves the theory that your dad came up with.” Chase remembered that discussion, and how he believed it all – except Nellie originally. However, the more he thought it over, the more it made sense.

“Nellie is in co-hoots with them about what happened?” Chase offers and Alycia nods her head. “So if he was to go to Nellie and suggest taking a plea, she would do anything in her power to not allow that to happen because she’d be worried about her own doings coming out.” Alycia nods her head, glad that Chase was putting the pieces together as easily as she had upon receiving the notice from Kyle.

“So not only would his testimony further place and back-up what happened to you and Sarina, it’d also help prove the conspiracy theory that we’re creating with all four of them. Now once this gets in the open, I’d be interested to see what Nellie does – whether she tries to spin it, or will she bail in hopes of saving what’s left of her dignity?” Chase glances back over the paperwork, thinking if he wanted to start a trail of allow plea deals – the regret of Alison still creeping in at the back of his mind.

“Nellie is the least of my worries, if we’re being honest. So she got talked into playing a role in what happened. If anything, we could bet that she was possibly coerced by Carter.” Alycia nods her head, having debated that theory herself. It had almost brought her to set-up a meeting with Nellie to discuss the trail of events. “But I am not taking chances with Alison, Carter, or Damien. I told you when I started this with you – I’m done playing games. I want this over and done with so I can move on with my life. I can’t do this anymore, Alycia.”

“I know, I understand completely given what you’ve been through, as well as Sarina and everybody else. That’s why on Sunday, I told you that I am sticking with this to the very end and doing what I can in my power with Kyle to make sure that they’re locked away. I want to be the person to end this for you, okay?” Chase nods his head, accepting, as he lets out a sigh.

“I appreciate everything that you’re doing.” He then looks back down at the paper. “So what are we going to do about this letter of intent from Damien?”

“He’s currently being charged with conspiracy of rape, conspiracy of attempted rape, conspiracy to drugging, robbery in relation to the drugs, impersonation of a law official – plus he has the previous harassment charges on your behalf and Laiken’s behalf. He’s always been convicted of two counts of harassment – that comes with a year in pris-”

“Then why was he allowed to work at the Delaware Facility?” Alycia shakes her head as she’d been trying to wrap her arms that for awhile now.

“He was allowed freedom at the time due to no sentence being levied yet with the trial still in session, and bail with a clean record. However, that does not explain the Delaware Facility’s choice to hire him. once I am done making sure that these four co-hoots are dealt with, the Delaware Facility will be next on my hit list with a full detailed investigation, followed by possible charges and such to follow.” Chase was glad to see that was on her radar as he still shook his head in how the trail of events took place. “Getting back to Damien, if he was convicted of those other charges, 13 and a half years would be added to his sentence – bringing him to a total of 14 and a half years.”

“Would he be credited with time served?” Alycia shakes her head no, but was impressed by Chase thinking to ask the question as they were discussing this. “What’s the plea deal that he is looking for?”

“He’ll do the duty of testifying for us, telling the full story of Carter getting him involved with you in the beginning to try and do your security detail, to what happened at the Delaware Facility if he only has to serve half of the sentence. So essentially, that’d be seven years. He’d also be placed on the sex offenders list for the conspiracy to rape and sexual assault.” Chase glances down, taking a deep breath. It never got easier no matter how many times the words ‘rape’ and ‘sexual assault’ were mentioned in passing conversation.

“So he’s been in co-hoots with Carter since the very first meeting that we had?” Alycia nods her head, pointing to the line in the letter of intent that points that out. “I was surprised at how quickly Ron Malec jumped on him in Daytona and called him out. However, I am glad that Ron was there because he deserved that. For what it’s worth, though, seven years is worth it because he serves the time that needs to, and as you said, it accomplishes a bunch of other goals that we had in mind.”

“As soon as you give me the go ahead, I will contact Kyle and let him know that we are agreeing to the plea deal. He will then get Damien to sign off on the paperwork. The next court session, we will begin with the statement being made of the plea deal and his testimony.” Chase nods his head, accepting. He was actually interested to get some truth in the matter from Damien for a change.

“You have my permission.” Alycia smiles as she hands over the piece of paper for Chase to sign accordingly.

Thursday, May 9 – NAPA Store Opening in Tennessee

Chase takes a couple more photos, followed by a couple autographs, as the festivities of the store opening finish up. While he was glad to be there and support the sponsor, his eyes kept finding their way over to Sarina and watching what she was doing.

Once the final image of the day was taken, he makes his way over to her, slowly wrapping his arms around her. He feels her initially jump at the slightest touch, though then feels the relaxation through her as she looks at the hands.

“Are you okay?” He questions and she simply nods her head. She then turns around to face him.

“Did you do everything you needed to do?” She wonders, and he nods his head back in return. While she wouldn’t say it, he knew that she didn’t want to be there longer than necessary. “Abigail was very behaved. She slept most of the time, thankfully.”

“It seems she’s getting used to constantly traveling with her momma as we hoped. But what about you? I want to know how you’re feeling, Sarina..” She then lets out a sigh as she takes her eyes off of him.

“I thought I could move forward like nothing happened. I could do what I needed to do, be me, race and do my job, as if nothing happened. But I can’t do that, Chase.” He then begins lightly rubbing her shoulders.

“It’s okay. Everybody that knows what happened understa-”

“But I don’t want to the special treatment, Chase. I don’t want to be treated differently, more delicately, because some man touched me all over and took advantage of me. I don’t want to be this perceived delicate flower.” Chase shakes his head with a chuckle.

“I think it’s the complete opposite. You’re seen stronger than ever because you’ve shown that you can stand up to him, and you can do what you need to do to power through everything. Those who knew admired and were shocked by your courage shown since what happened. Kyle even said that to me when we were at the infertility discussion. Alan has mentioned it to me. So just because people want to reach out and help you, they aren’t seeing you as a small or weak; they just want to help take some of the pain away.” She then slowly glances up at him, her eyes glassed over.

“I just wish the pain would go away entirely. I wish I wouldn’t feel it. I wish I didn’t remember what happened. I wish I didn’t see the images. I don’t want to remember, Chase!” Chase pulls her close to him, allowing her to bury her head into his shoulder as the tears come to the surface.

“It’s going to be okay. We’re going to get through this together, one step at a time. I’m not letting you go or giving up on you. I love you.” He takes his own deep breath, fighting against his own emotions showing through.

The Tale of Love & Racing: Sarina’s Story – Chapter 245: “Copy, Right on Time.”

Sunday, May 5 – Dover International Speedway

Chase lets out a sigh as he sat on the couch. Since the appearance from the officer, he couldn’t find any way to distract himself. His mind kept running the scenarios over and over, debating which way things would go. Sarina tried to distract him with Abigail, followed by a game – but that didn’t work.

It also didn’t help that they hadn’t heard anything lately from NASCAR in regards to whether they’d be racing today or tomorrow. He had gone through the motions of driver introductions at 2:30 pm, but wasn’t confident in anything moving forward with the wet weather persisting.

As Chase glanced out the window, his phone buzzed. He picked it up, prepared to carelessly discard the message, though looked at it surprised.

“Are they serious?” He questions, catching Sarina’s attention. By the tone of his voice, she thought it was in relation to the court scenario. “NASCAR wants all the drivers in their cars, ready to go for 4 o’ clock.”

“Guess that means you better get ready,” Sarina comments as he lets out a sigh. He then brings up the radar, glancing over it once again as he had done every half hour through the day already.

“Yeah, I am going to get ready and then we’re going to be back sitting around once again.” He then turns the phone so she can see what he was looking at, which was a big green blob headed their direction. “You might as well stay here snuggled up with Abigail nice and warm.”

“You don’t have much faith there sweetheart….” He then tosses his phone back as he stands up.

“I’m just being honest.” He then heads into the bedsroom of the motorcoach, grabbing his firesuit out of the closet.

As specified by NASCAR, Chase was in the car and buckled ready to go at 4pm as specified. Rolling off pit road, he still didn’t have much hope that they’d be getting far. That’s why if the green flag flew, he was going to make sure his grip was tight on the wheel knowing it’d be slippery as soon as the incoming rain did hit.

“Rain is about 10 minutes out,” Alan reports over the radio as Chase rolls up on the speedway. “It’s right on top of us.”

That just added to Chase’s confusion in why NASCAR was having them out doing pace laps as he knew that wasn’t any small sprinkle that was coming, either. He began going through the motions of warming up the tires, while keeping himself aware with worries about moisture still in track. He followed the instructions of doubling up, not believing that NASCAR would be dropping the green flag in about two more caution laps.

Then, as expected, droplets began to form across the windshield, growing bigger and more consistent with each one that fell.

“Big drops,” he simply reports back, hoping that NASCAR was monitoring radio traffic as it’d be insane to drop the green flag right now.

“Copy, right on time,” Alan replies back, monitoring NASCAR’s official radio traffic to make sure they heard the complaints from the drivers.

“They’re bringing you down pit road next time by,”  Eddie reports from the spotter’s stand as he begins to make his way off of the roof out of the rain himself. “We’re done boys. See you tomorrow.”

Sunday, May 5 – Phoenix, Arizona

Chase follows the instructions as he allows the officer to lead him through the hallways towards the court room. Once the race was called, he didn’t even have a chance to change out of his firesuit before the officer had met up with him to escort him as scheduled.

Although the flight was only four hours, it seemed a lot longer without proper discussion to be had – on top of being uncomfortable. Then once landing in Arizona, it was a short drive over to the court house – but felt like an eternity with the officer insisting on handcuffs.

“Are the handcuffs really necessary?” Alycia comments as she watches Chase walk into the court room.

“It’s procedure ma’am,” the officer states, before taking them off.

“Finally,” Chase says as he stretches his arms out a bit, undoing the zipper on the firesuit a little.

“You should’ve told me that they didn’t allow you to change,” Alycia starts as he sits down beside her. “I would’ve brought you a change of clothes or somet-”

“I just want to get this over with, okay?” She nods her head in agreement as she lays down a couple files before them.

“When they ask you about the charges, you are going to plead guilty because you, indeed, did not follow those terms as specified. However, the argument is going  to be that it was not due to your own fault and therefore you are not deemed guilty. Once that is in place, I am going to bring forth the additional charges for each of them – including Carter’s trusty lawyer. Once that is stated, I am going to request all charges be dropped against you. Then we’ll see what happens next – but my main objective is getting you in and out today.” Chase nods his head, accepting. He didn’t like the thought of pleading guilty once again, but what other choice did he have?

Chase hears the door open, watching as Carter walks in along with Damien, Alison, and their lawyer. He takes a couple deep breathes, focusing his eyes on the floor. He couldn’t deal with the thought of Carter as every single inch of him  just wanted to rip the guy apart. He couldn’t stand the thought of Alison with everything that he’d been through at her hands.

He could only hope that everything was handled and dealt with soon, via the plan that Alycia was putting together.

“All rise!” The baliff states, as everyone stands up in the court room just like weeks prior. “Presenting the Honorable Judge Jackson Pruitt.” Jackson once again walks out of the doors and up to stand, taking his seat, as he had done before as well.

“We will begin with the series of documents that have landed on my desk with additional charges for individuals involved,” Judge Jackson Pruitt begins. “These charges have been filed courtesy of the state of Arizona through district attorney Kyle Gates, as well as additional charges in connection to this case from other states through motions filed by Ms. Alycia Burrows. Ms. Burrows, do you have the documents from the state of Delaware and state of Georgia to support these filings?”

“Yes sir,” Alycia states as she holds up the documents in her hand. The baliff takes them from her, taking them up to the judge accordingly.

“Mr. Chase Elliott, we will begin with your additional charges courtesy of the state.” Chase takes a deep breath, standing up as he tries to keep his eyes focused on the judge solely. “The state alleges that you broke the terms of your bail in regards to your previous charges by not wearing the ankle monitor for the past two weeks as required. Are they correct in this stance?”

“Yes sir,” Chase replies as there was no way around that. It had been a lot more comfortable at least.

“By breaking the terms of your bail, you give up any allowance to have bail on future charges and will be in a jail cell until the completion of the trial.” Chase glances down, letting out a sigh. He knew that was coming and it wasn’t a pretty thought. However, he remembered what Alycia stated earlier. He just had to trust in the process, somehow. “You also failed to have the psychological evaluation done as requested. Are you aware that is carries an obstruction of justice charge?”

“Yes sir I am aware of the reprecautions. However, I attended the facility on Monday as requested by the courts fully ready to comply with the standards. Well within the facility awaiting for my appointment, I was attacked and drugged, which resulted in being taken to the local hospital for treatment. I was ready to state that once returning to the courts to determine the next step moving forward.” Alycia smiles as certainly having him in her corner ready to explain the situation helped in situations like these.

“The defense is prepared to present documents as provided by the Delaware Psychiatric Centre, Delaware State Police, Delaware State Hospital, and Northeast Georgia Medical Center that prove the scenario as described by my client,” Alycia adds as Chase takes a deep breath. He honestly didn’t want to look back over those and experience reminders as to what happened.

“May I please see those documents?” Judge Jackson Pruitt requests, as Alycia gathers them out of the file, holding them out. The baliff takes them up to the judge, just like he had done before with the other documents. “The Delaware Psychatric Center’s document is proof of Mr. Elliott’s appearance and the happenings. Therefore, the charge of obstruction of justice is dismissed. The evaluation will still need to be completed, and that will be arranged between you and the courts.”

“Yes sir,” Chase simply replies, remembering to just follow the due process no matter how uncomfortable it seemed. There was nothing that felt right in pleading guilty and hearing you were stuck in a cell due to having presumably broke your bail.

“Until that is completed followed by being heard in court, you are to remain in the court’s custody on the charge of assault against Carter Williams. You may be seated.” Chase takes a his seat, actually smiling to himself. It still felt nice to know that he got a couple shots in at Carter through everything; he just wished that he had done more to make it worth it. “Mr. Carter Williams, the state alleges that you broke bail by making an appearance in the victim’s home. Is that true?”

“Yes sir,” Carter Williams states as Chase keeps his eyes forward. He almost glanced over at Carter, but was sticking to his guns of avoidance for now.

“In addition to the current charges you are facing, the state of Georgia has charged you with breaking and entering a residence. How do you plead?” Sarina’s eyes focus on the ground, as she tries to chase any flashback that she was having out of her mind. However, she still hated the thought of how easy he was able to enter the house.

“Not guilty.” Chase shakes his head in disgust, knowing that pleads of that nature would bring more testimony and evidence discussion, meaning that they weren’t anywhere close to this being over.

“Additionally, the state of Georgia is charging you with the rape with Sarina Elliott. How do you plead?” Sarina takes a deep breath, feeling a couple tears roll down her cheeks, as she feels her hands clutched tighter on either side of her by both Bill and Christopher.

“Not guilty.” Chase wasn’t surprised by the plea, as he knew it was just a way to make the torture continue. Carter wanted Sarina to have to testify and face what happened, just like Alison had done with him. If they couldn’t get to them physically, they’d do so mentally.

“On the charge of conspiracy in relation to the attack against Mr. Chase Elliott and Mrs. Sarina Elliott, how do you plead?” Alycia looks over at Chase with a smile and nod, as everything was beginning to show through in her plan.

“Not guilty.” Chase still didn’t know if he believed in her process, but he was glad that Alycia was addressing every angle.

“You are to remain in court custody through the remainder of the trial. On top of the charges from North Carolina of breaking & entering along with rape, there are also outstanding charges in this case – attempted murder and harassment of Mr. Chase Elliott, sexual assault of Mrs. Sarina Elliott, harassment and coercing Laiken Baumgartner, breaking and entering, as well as another charge of harassment and sexual assault of Laiken Baumgartner.”

“There’s no way I can do this…” Sarina lets out quietly, tears fully running down her cheeks. “I can’t testify. I can’t do this…” Christopher looks over at her, nodding his head understandingly.

“Don’t worry – Alycia won’t make you do something that you’re not comfortable doing,” Christopher assures her, having built trust via the work that he’d seen her do to this point.

“I can’t do this…” Sarina then gets up leaving the room, with Christopher and Samantha closely following behind her. The pair follow her into the immediate washroom, where she immediately leans over the garbage, bringing up everything in her system.

“Breathe, you’re okay…..” Christopher rubs her back, holding her hair back, as Samantha goes over to the sink to wet a piece of paper towel.

In the court room, the eyes were focused on Alison Reynolds as it was time for her to hear the latest additions to her rap sheet.

“The state of Arizona has charged you with the drugging of Mr. Chase Elliott,” Judge Jackson Pruitt states. “How do you plead?” Alison looks over at Chase, with a smile on her face.

“Guilty as I wanted to loosen him up some,” Alison confesses as Chase takes a deep breath. He couldn’t say thank you enough for the fact that his dad got there just in time.

“The state of Arizona has charged you with the attempted sexual assault of Mr. Chase Elliott. How do you plead?” Alison chuckles as she keeps her eyes focused on him.

“Guilty as you could say that I am attracted to him and I want him every day of my life. I just wish he’d give into his desires and return the desire. After all, he was ready for me to have his baby.” Chase had to laugh himself now at the thought, remembering the discussion about the child.

“You were never pregnant with my child,” he states firmly as he keeps his eyes locked forward. if there as anything that got under his skin with Alison, that was the matter right there.

“On the charge of conspiracy in relation to the attack against Mr. Chase Elliott and Mrs. Sarina Elliott, how do you plead?” Judge Jackson Pruitt asks, getting the case back on-track.

“Guilty because I will do whatever it takes to see my boy. I’m just glad that Damien Krane was so willing to help.” Chase had to chuckle and hand it to Alycia as it seemed everything was writing itself perfectly.

“With the guilty charges, you will be transported back to the Delaware Psychiatric Facil-”

“I’d like to file a motion to have Alison Reynolds moved out of that facility to the facility located here in Arizona,” Alycia interrupts. “The Delaware center has shown their lack of competence by allowing those events to take place against my client while he was there. They also showed they could not handle Ms. Reynolds when she was able to escape. For the public’s safety, it’d be in the best interest to not use that facility moving forward.”

“Motion accepted,” Jackson Pruitt agrees, bringing another round of smiles from Chase and Alycia. The next part of her plan was completed accordingly. “Mr. Damien Krane, on the charge of stealing drugs in the state of Delaware how do you plead?”

“Not guilty,” Damien Krane states, which didn’t surprise Alycia. He actually had rights within the facility due to being part of the staff. However, it allowed the next question to be asked.

“On the charge of conspiracy in relation to the attack against Mr. Chase Elliott and Mrs. Sarina Elliott, how do you plead?” Damien looks over at Alycia surprised, which just earns him a smirk back in return from her.

“Not guilty.” Alycia shakes her head no as she knew the videos would immediately disprove the events.

“You will be held in the court custody due to previous connections to the case.” Alycia then looks down at Nellie Martin as Jackson Pruitt shuffles through the papers. “Ms. Martin, on the charge of conspiracy in relation to the attack against Mr. Chase Elliott and Mrs. Sarina Elliott, how do you plead?”

“Is this really happening?” Nellie Martin questions, earning a nod from Alycia. “You can’t be serious! How is this humanly possible?”

“You insisted that my client go to the Delaware facility where Alison was being held, therefore beginning the chain of events,” Alycia explains the theory that she had developed after conversation with Bill. “Considering the chain of events that occurred, it makes me believe that you were working with your clients to my clients in danger.”

“Not guilty is the obvious answer!” Alycia had expected that answer, but she’d done her duty. She connected the dots in front of the court, especially for the jury and the judge. Furthermore, it wouldn’t take long to prove everything together given the chain of evidence they’d built already.

“With those charges being filed, I would like to request that Nellie Martin be reviewed  by the law ethics committee and have license to practice law removed. Furthermore, I would like to have it suspended until the end of her tria-”

“Seriously?!?” Alycia looks over at her with a smirk, before turning her eyes back to the judge.

“It is protocol per previous trials and situations, so therefore it should be followed.” Alycia didn’t even need to look over at Nellie to know that she was steaming from stealing one of her own lines.

“Your honor, this is a tactic being used by the defense due to being scared of their own case, as well as the case presented against my clients. She’s just trying to screw me over.” Alycia chuckles as she looks over at Nellie.

“Isn’t that the same way that you screwed my client over by insisting on district attorney Kyle Gates filing the charges against him, along with insisting on the location to bring forth more travel demands? I also heard that you were the individual that filed the motions for why my client had to be arrested and appear today.”  Chase looks over, actually surprised by how strong the comments were coming across from Alycia right now. Maybe she did have something when it came to putting this plan together.

“Order in the court!” Judge Jackson Pruitt lets out, quieting both lawyers down immediately as they turn to face him. “Ms. Martin, your license is hereby suspended moving forward as a result of the charges of conspiracy being levied against you – with one stipulation. You may finish this trial out for your clients Mr. Carter Williams, Mr. Damien Krane, and Ms. Alison Reynolds – but you are not to serve any other clients during this time until your license is fully reinstated. However, if you are found guilty of conspiracy, then indeed your license would be revoked by the law ethics committee. Are we in understanding, ma’am?”

“Yes sir,” Nellie Martin states as Alycia smiles. Now came the grand slam to finish the day.

“With the new evidence brought forth, I would like to file a motion for the charges to be dropped against my client Mr. Chase Elliott,” Alycia reveals. “The ensuing events and connections across the board reveal that my client was doing what he needed to in order to protect himself and his family. He showed belief in the justice system by calling for the appropriate help that day, but was let down with another trail of events being put together. It’s only fair that the situation is made fair by dropping the charges.”

“And here she goes looking for special treatment once again….” Alycia just rolls her eyes, but she was worried that the judge would have the same view. This was a big gamble, but it’d be the only way to keep him from spending a single night in jail. If the charges continued, he’d be held there for at least a couple days until the evaluation was drawn up.

“Motion accepted,” Judge Jackson Pruitt offers his approval, as Alycia looks over at Chase, the pair trading a smile back and forth. “We will reconvene at another date to begin hearing testimony against the new charges. That means for the jury, you will be suspending the delivery of the verdict until the new additions are sorted out as well. Court adjourned!”

“Thank you…” Chase says as he stands up, offering a hug to Alycia. “I appreciate everything that you’ve don-”

“I’m not done yet, either, as I am going to stick with this until they’re all locked up for good,” Alycia confirms. “Kyle Gates and I have plans to work on this the rest of the way together.”

Chase then heads out of the court room, making his way down the hall as he sees Sarina sitting on the bench between Christopher and Samantha. He walks over, kneeling before her.

“I thought you were supposed to remain in the court’s custo-” Christopher starts, recalling the judge’s words to him.

“Alycia got the charges against me dropped completely,” Chase reveals, bringing forth three shocked faces before him. “I don’t have to worry about it anymore ever again.”

“I wanted to be there for you, but I couldn’t sit there any longer….” Sarina quietly states, catching his attention.

“It’s okay, I understand,” Chase replies as he clutches her hand with his own. “I know what it feels like and how it tears you apart. I appreciate the effort that you made today, but trust me – you don’t need to do this.”

“But I need to testi-”

“Alycia won’t make you testify if you cannot do it. We have video proof of the confrontation between me and Damien which states Carter’s intentions. They have the rape kit and evidence of him breaking and entering the house via the security video.” She nods her head, accepting, knowing that was a comforting feeling.

“I want to be there for you. I want to be there to comfort you….” Chase appreciated that, and wanted that for his own selfish benefit, but he wasn’t about to force her.

“I’m going to be okay. I can handle Carter as I did before. I can handle Damien as he isn’t going to swim past me any day. Alison, I’m still dealing with her and so thankful that she didn’t get any further than she did….” He begins to bite his tongue immediately, knowing that Sarina wasn’t as fortunate as he was that day. “You’re going to be okay; I’m going to be okay. We’re going to get through this together, one day at a time. but for the days that you cannot be there, I have my dad, my mom, Alan – I will be okay.” He then leans in, lightly kissing her forehead. “I love you, forever and always.”

The Tale of Love & Racing: Sarina’s Story – Chapter 244: Allied Steel Buildings 200

Saturday, May 4 – Dover International Speedway

“Is it still raining?” Sarina questions as she glances out the window with a sigh.

“Nope, and I heard the jet dryers start up,” Chase answers as she looks over at him sitting at the table with the laptop. She then sits down beside him, glancing over at the screen.

“Are you really going through those photos, again?” Chase smiles as he scrolls through the gallery of photos they took of Abigail last month, along with the family images thrown in.

“I still can’t decide what photos we should print, and what size. There’s too many good ones. But I want to get some done because it’d be nice to have up in the house.” Sarina nods her head in agreement, knowing they’d also be nice in the motorcoach for the weeks that they will be apart this year, too. She takes a deep breath, not even wanting to think about that thought at this very moment. “Besides, it’s much better to look at than think about rain and lack of practice.”

“You guys have a fast car, and you know how to run well here. I don’t think missing a single practice is going to be that hurtful.” Chase gives her a glance as she keeps her eyes locked on his. “I’m serious, Chase.”

“I just don’t want to be overconfident and I want to make sure that we can get the most out of the car possible. It’s one thing to be fast on Friday, but it’s another totally different thing on Sunday. What if we suck on the long run?” She then simply shrugs her shoulders.

“Last race restarts still be the name of the game lat-”

“But what if?” She then lets out a sigh as she picks up her phone off of the table.

“You need to stop overworrying.” He shakes his head no as he grabs his phone.

“I’m not overworrying as I believe in Alan and this team. I’m just thinking about the scenarios, and wanting to make sure we’re the best that we can be. It’s all about striving for the best, right?” She nods her head in agreement.

“Xfinity Series qualifying is still on as scheduled…..” She then stands up and walks to the back, grabbing her firesuit out of the closet.

Chase, meanwhile, focuses his thoughts on the text messages to Alan about how they were going to approach practice in knowing they only had an hour, versus the original two hours.

“Nice solid effort,” Dave comments, giving her a high-five.

“I think we’ll be fine today,” she replies back as she glances over the starting grid. “Like I said yesterday, I am comfortable with the car over the long run and we have speed. We just need to be there when it matters at the end.”

“I like your theory….” She then goes to walk away, causing him to look at her surprised. “We have the driver’s mee-”

“I need to go get my daughter from Chase so he can practice.” He was ready to say something, but bit his tongue instead with a nod of the head. “Go on….”

“I would’ve liked to discuss a couple last minute things, as well. However, I have to get used to the fact that you’re a mother and taking care of your daughter is unique compared to say other drivers.” She then crosses her arms.

“Are you saying that you’re going to treat me different before I am a female?” He shakes his head no.

“It’s rather working with your schedule differently than I have in the past with others. I have to continually get used to that, and understand the reasons.” She was ready to snap back in return, but a deep breath to relax herself worked it’s magic for now. Besides, the thought of holding her sweet daughter close also helped.

“If there’s any big issues, don’t hesitate to be honest and tell me as I’ll understand and can work at adjusting my schedule with Chase and Abigail. Just right now, I want to spend as much time as I can with her in-between racing.” Dave nods his head, accepting, having heard everything that she’d been through to get to this point. He could also appreciate a parent that wanted to be involved hands-on with everything.

“Honesty is the best policy, right? You better go get your daughter before the crew plays hot potato. I’ll meet you at the driver’s meeting.” Sarina nods her head back with a smile, before heading off to the Cup garage.

She actually had to chuckle at the times when she was a little late, as it was always a different crew member who was holding her as Chase headed out for the first practice run of the afternoon. It also gave her a special comfort, in knowing that these guys were like family and she could trust their safety and security with them. it never hurt to have a couple extra eyes watching out for you.

While it wasn’t the perfect practice, it also wasn’t the worse practice for Chase. He was able to find comfort in the car, and had decent speed ranked 10th on the chart at the end of the session.

More importantly, though, as he glanced over the car, he felt confident in their chances for a successful race on Sunday.

“It seems parenthood has taken to both of you naturally,” Alan comments as Chase holds Abigail in his arms. Sarina had dropped her off as she headed out to the grid for driver introductions, with Chase promising to come meet back up with her for opening ceremonies.

“I can’t describe the feeling sometimes,” Chase replies as he looks at Abigail with a smile on his face. “She’s absolutely amazing. I knew I was in love with her from when Sarina and I began to go through the pregnancy, but it just grew even more once I laid eyes on her. Is it just me, or are babies fascinating in the smallest things that they do?” Alan chuckles, remembering when the boys were smaller.

“Shannon and I were the same way. It’s like nobody exists in the room at times.” Chase nods his head in agreement, having lost track of the amount of times he got lost in simply staring at her.

“I remember when she first gripped my finger. I didn’t want her to let go as it felt perfect. Then there’s the giggles; she’s got the cutest laugh.” Alan nods his head, having heard it a couple times when over at the house.

“Just wait until she mutters the word ‘Dada’ for the first time….” Chase smiles, as he actually couldn’t wait until they got to that point.

“She’s beginning to mutter some words at times….” Alan debated whether now was the right time to ask the question, or to the avoid the topic, but curiousity got the best of the crew chief.

“So I remember you both being so afraid of parenthood and a pregnancy, and yet now you’re both totally in love with Abigail and handling everything like champs. Does that mean that you’re going to expand the family one day?” Chase takes a deep breath, knowing that was certainly a topic they’d be facing moving forward. plenty of others had already brought it up in knowing Sarina had some eggs frozen.

“We’ve talked about our options, and we’ve certainly left the door open with freezing some eggs. Now whether that happens one day or not, I don’t know…” Chase glances at his daughter. “I just want to focus on giving her the best life that I can right now.”

“I’d say that you’re doing a good jo-”

“But what about Carter? What about Alison? There’s still so much to take care of, Alan, and some days I don’t know if we’re going to get there. I keep thinking about what Sarina went through, and the pain she felt. I keep thinking about Alison, and every emotion. I was ready to move forward – but I can’t get that out of my mind. I still have to go back to court and face them one more time. I don’t even know if I can do that.” Alan places a hand on Chase’s shoulder.

“I know that you can do that because you’ve done it before. I know that you can do that because you are strong, and you will do whatever it takes for your girls. As we’ve always discussed – one day at a time, you’ll get through this.” Chase nods his head, hoping the crew chief was right in his comments.

Starting inside of the top-10, Sarina was able to run up front all day, keeping herself in contention for another strong finish. However, it wasn’t meant to be…

“Coming to you guys,” she radioed at the start of the third stage. “Loose wheel.”

As a result of the unscheduled trip down pit road, she’d fall a lap down, unable to make it back up by the checkered flag, crossing the line with a 19th-place finish.

“We had speed,” Dave comments as he walks over, handing her a bottle of water. “We showed that we can run up front. We’ll get them next week.” Sarina slowly nods her head as she takes a long sip of the cold water.

“We can’t keep doing this every week, though,” Sarina replies. “We know that we can run up there – that’s what JRM is known for. However, we got to turn these decent runs into good runs, and start making ground.”

“Patience rookie, we’ll be fine…” She could only roll her eyes, knowing this was going to get old fast if this kept happening.

Sunday, May 5 – Dover International Speedway

Sarina walks into the bedsroom, stopping dead in her tracks as she looks at Chase laying on the bed with Abigail beside him on her stomach.

“Aren’t you supposed to be getting changed?” She questions and he shakes his head no. “It’s race day. You cannot go racing in that outfit, mister.”

“I’d be super comfortable,” he reasons as she just rolls her eyes. “Besides, it’s going to rain all day. There’s no point in putting my firesuit on to just have to take it off when they call it.”

“But at least you’d be ready for when they call you out to the car….” He shakes his head no as she follows suit, laying on the bed with them. “What? Are you superstitious now?”

“I’m not one of those who believe once you put the firesuit on you have to leave it on until you race. If that was the case, there’s a couple Snowballs I would’ve been very uncomfortable.” She chuckles, remembering a couple of those weekends in watching the Snowball Derby being postponed due to weather.

“Do you remember the year when they dropped the green flag at like midnight?” Chase nods his head, still remembering the shock when Ricky told him to get ready that night.

“We had kept putting off getting food due to not wanting to be eating dinner and get the call to go racing. We finally gave in to temptation, ordering a whole bunch of stuff for the guys. We never got to eat any of it because the call came five minutes after the food arrived.” She shakes her head in disbelief, though could only chuckle at those memories. “I don’t care if it rains all day, anyway….”

“Awww, is daddy loving his time with Abigail?” He smiles as he watches her stretch her arms and legs out.

“She almost rolled over earlier. I thought she was ready to finally do it, and then just flopped.” Sarina shakes her head in disbelief as she watches her.

“It’s crazy, Chase. It’s like she was just born yesterday to me, but she’s going to be rolling over, then crawling, and then walking. Our daughter is growing up…” Chase nods his head in agreement.

“Don’t worry – she’s still got a long time before she moves out.” Sarina looks over with a bit of horror. “And I mean a really long time. She can go to college and stay at home.”

They then hear a knock at the door, with them glancing at each other confused. Fox had already been by for an interview. Who could be there now?

Chase gets up off of the bed, making his way to the front and opening the door with an instant wave of confusion.

“May I help you?” He questions the officer standing before him, who holds an envelope in his hand.

“Are you William Clyde Elliott?” The officer asks and Chase slowly nods his head. He had been through enough court dealings that he’d given up on trying to tell him that he went by Chase and not his full name. “I have a package for you from the state of Arizona.”

“Okay, thank you…” Chase takes the envelope from the officer, glancing over with a whole lot of confusion over his face.

“Inside of that envelope is an arrest warrant in your name.” His confusion grew even more, with a look of horror mixed in.

“Arrest warrant? I haven’t done anything wrong.” He then opens the envelope, slipping out the piece of paper that was inside. “Sarina!!” Sarina then walks out of the bedsroom with Abigail in her arms. “Call Alycia right away and send her a screenshot of this.”

“Arrest warrant?” She questions as she takes the piece of paper from him, looking it over with confusion. “Serio-”

“Please just do what I said,” Chase instructs and Sarina nods her head as she takes it over to the kitchen table. “So what happens now, officer?”

“Did you read the full document?” The officer questions and Chase nods his head. “You’re aware of the three reasons as to why the warrant was issued?” Chase nods his head once again, half-listening to what Sarina was doing at the same time. “For the sake of discussion, I do need to sta-”

“Just tell me what happens next, please…” The officer takes a deep breath as he pulls out his own copy.

“I have to follow protocol and state the charges, before we proceed.” Chase lets out a sigh, as Sarina feverously sends the message to Alycia, followed by one to Bill and one to Alan as well. “For starters, you are currently out on bail in relation to other charges in the state. Per the courts, you broke that bail by not wearing an ankle monitor for the past couple weeks.” Chase was aware of that, but hadn’t given it a thought in the midst of the chaos that happened with Alison and Damien. “You also failed to have the psychological evaluation done, which could be seen as obstruction to jus-”

“Is it also included in those documents that I attended a facility in this state for that matter and was awaiting my evaluation when the staff allowed a convicted sexual predator to drug me with the help of a guard who was also out on bail?”

“Sir, with all due respect, I only have the copies to the one document as handed to me to issue to you.” Chase shakes his head in disbelief. Was this really happening?

“With an arrest warrant, I am supposed to bring you in to our local police station, to where you will be transferred to Arizona’s custody for further handling.”

“Unbelievable,” Sarina comments, having overheard the whole discussion.

“Failure to comply could result in other legal precautions, as well as legal force if necessary,” the officer continues as Chase hears his phone ring.

“This is unbelievable,” he replies as he takes his phone out of his comment. “Alyci-”

“A copy of the document was also forwarded to my office from the courts,” she cuts him off immediately. “No doubt it’s another stunt by them to try and push their boundaries, while knowing the case that we have against them after what happened.”

“I’m getting sick and tired of them getting away with this. So do I have to go with the officer?” Sarina bit her tongue as she glanced out the doorway, seeing the rain had stopped. This wasn’t going to work into their favor.

“Put me on speaker phone, Chase.” Chase does as instructed, holding her phone in-between himself and the officer. “Officer Ron Reynolds, I appreciate the visit in which you’re paying my client. I understand that you’re fulfilling your duty for the Delaware State in carrying out an arrest warrant. I would have you know that my office has been in contact with the Arizona State Courts, as well as your office. As of right now, the arrest warrant is to not be carried out against my client until following the event today at the speedway. You should be getting a message from your superior shortly as I just got the district attorney’s office to agree in Arizona. Following the completion of the event, my client will make the trip to Arizona as specified. If the race is rained out today, he will make the trip out following the cancelation. Does everybody hear me loud and clear?”

“Yes ma’am,” the officer states as his phone goes off with a message from the office stating the words delivered by Alycia.

“If the race is cancelled, will you have me back to Dover for tomorrow?” Chase questions. Although he was willing to do whatever it took to make sure this got handled fully and comply with any law matters, a line needed to be drawn in the sand.

“I can promise you that I have this handled already, Chase,” Alycia answers clearly. “I’m filing the paperwork. As soon as you land, this is going to go through the courts quickly.”

The Tale of Love & Racing: Sarina’s Story – Chapter 243: A Monster Pole

Friday, May 3 – Dover International Speedway

Chase leans back against the pit box, satisfied with a smile on his face. He and Miles could continue their friendship as he was solid through the first practice, posting the ninth quickest lap. More importantly, the handling of the No. 9 Chevrolet felt comfortable – which was always a plus.

That didn’t mean he was going to stop working on trying to get better, grabbing the Ipad off of the pit box as he began to review the data. He loaded the throttle and brake trace for himself, along with his teammate William Byron who was quicker. That then proceeded to loading the data for the Chip Ganassi Racing teammates, seeing as they were 1-2. He was glad that Tom Gray had also loaded a couple laps of Kyle Larson from practice so Chase could compare and contrast the line that he was running,

“Considering you’re in the playoffs locked in, I thought you’d be kicking back this weekend,” he hears, catching him by surprise as he glances up immediately. He knew not to take chances of other people seeing the data that he had to look at.

“I thought you would’ve learned last year the importance of playoff races,” Chase replies with a smile seeing that it was Ryan who had walked over. Though while eyes focused on his friend, he turned off the video, putting the Ipad back.

“I say that’s an excuse and cover-up. I bet you were watching some fun video on there, hence why you shut it off so I wouldn’t catch on to what you’re doing.” Chase laughs, shaking his head no.

“Nah man, I’m just trying to figure out how to catch your ass.” Ryan smirks back in response, having timed in fifth quickest through the session. “What brings you my way, anyway?”

“Well, you do realize that I am currently in the process of planning my wedding.” Chase nods his head, remembering the discussion Lindsay and Sarina had on Tuesday.

“I heard from Lindsay that she’s got her ladies together – your sisters, Sarina, and one of her dance buddies. She was also happy that they’ll all be able to attend.” That was something that caused Ryan to smile as well, along with a bit more as they weren’t the only confirmed attendees.

“I also heard that a special flower girl, and ring barrier will be there.” Chase couldn’t help but smile as he’d knew it’d be cute for the Blaney family in having Evelyn and Louie as part of the wedding. “That just leaves a couple missing pieces. I already asked Cale and Jeremy to be part of the wedding. But it doesn’t mean as much to me as someone else does. I’m here to return the favor. Will you be my best man?”

“Seriously?” Ryan nods his head as Chase walks over, wrapping an arm around Ryan’s shoulders. “You don’t need to ask twice. Of course I’d be your best man. I’d be honored to be your best man.”

“Oh, and the missing groomsmen is obviously Darrell. I asked him last night if he’d be able to be one of my groomsmen. His response was shock in not being my best man.” Chase chuckles, almost having said that initially himself.

“I actually told Sarina that I thought you’d ask Darrell before you’d ask me.” Ryan lets out a sigh, as he had thought about that. It was why he had taken his time before asking them because he wanted to be sure.

“In addition to the fact that it’s returning the favor for your weddi-”

“You don’t need to feel oblige-”

“I’m not, but we’ve also known each longer. We spent our late model days together, on-and-off. You were one of my first at the track friends that I could race hard as nails on-track, but have the best fun off together. We’ve also traveled together, and shared a lot of first experiences together. Heck, we’re marrying cousins here. It just seemed right after everything that we’ve been through.” Chase smiles back in response, knowing there’d certainly been some great times through the years. It also reminded him that there’d been some tough times, too.

“I appreciate you always being here for me, so I look forward to returning the favor to make sure that your wedding goes off perfectly.”

“I don’t doubt that.”

Sarina glances up at the speed chart, seeing that she ranked 10th quickest at the end of the first practice session. It gave her confidence in knowing that the car was handling as it was supposed to.

Beyond that, she was able to find some comfort with the Monster that she felt she was missing with other races to date thus far this season. Whether it was knowledge of the track, confidence from running well in the past, or starting to get used to the Xfinity cars, she wasn’t going to complain.

“I have some suggestions from Jason (Burdett) and Taylor (Moyer) to try for the second session,” Dave Elenz catches her attention as they sit in the JR Motorsports trailer lounge together. She was glad that she had his company, still not perfectly ready to spend much time alone yet.

“In past weekends, to be honest, Justin’s set-up has been more comfortable then what Taylor has been doing, whether for Zane or Ryan,” she comments, earning a nod of approval from the crew chief. She appreciated the ability to work close with her teammates, get ideas, and learn things from their experience. Another glance at the speed chart and she knew that’d be critical considering she was the slowest of the four JR Motorsports cars.

“We’ve got an hour. So I think we should start with Justin’s set-up, and then you can let me know whether you like ours or Justin’s better. Then we can try and tweak to further improve upon it before making a quick qualifying run to close out the session.” Sarina was game for the practice plan, feeling it was a good balance ahead of tomorrow.

“I’m just glad that we got the session in after everybody talked about the possibility of rain all weekend. The forecast for Sunday still looks ugly….” Dave couldn’t help but agree with his driver, having took a quick glance. However, he wasn’t about to concern himself with that for too long, knowing the focus was on tomorrow for them.

“Are the speeds approaching a danger zone?” They hear on the monitor, causing them both to glance up. Sarina had turned on the video feed from the Cup driver media availability, curious as normal to hear what Chase had to say. “Do you agree?”

“You’re paid to go fast, so let’s go fast,” Chase replies, earning a small chuckle from Sarina. She knew what the discussion was in reference to – with earlier comments from others saying the Cup cars had a high rate of speed through the corner, possibly creating an issue. She knew what it was like to hit the wall hard at Dover – ala last year while battling Johnny Sauter for the win in the truck race herself. However, she couldn’t see herself echoing the same concerns that were being expressed. “It’s not fun hitting something real bad anytime you do, and certainly isn’t going to feel good when you do it at these speeds. Definitely it’s physical for sure, and I think this is going to be a very physical race on Sunday, especially if the sun comes out and it’s hot. It’s fast. Is it too fast? Like I said, this is our job, what we sign up for, and I think it is what it is.”

“Typical political Chase….” She comments to herself, with another chuckle in reference to his closing comments. Just like he had done in previous discussions about the package, there was no point in leading discussion further since they couldn’t change things it seemed when NASCAR stuck in their ways.

“Can I have the inside scoop true opinion on your husband’s take on this package?” Dave questions, having overheard the comments while working through his notes.

“I’m sorry, but that’s classified information.” Dave then lets out a sigh as he focuses back on his notes. “But really, let’s be honest here. You struggle to make passes in traffic. Is that really what this package was supposed to do? As Christopher referenced, these Xfinity Series cars are a lot of fun to drive – maybe more fun than the current Cup package.”

“So if a car owner came to you and offered you a ride in the Cup Series, would you turn it down?” Sarina lets out a sigh as she carefully considers the option.

“At this present time, I would have to say yes – and not because of the package. I don’t feel that I am ready yet to go up against the best of the best on Sundays and be competitive. I still feel that I need to grow as a driver in a couple different departments and gain experience. I’d rather do that correctly than move up too soon and fuck up.” Dave stops what he was typing, looking over at Sarina sitting on the couch with Abigail in her arms, feeding her.

“That’s a very smart, mature approach. I like your attitude….”

Sarina walks out to pit road, seeing where Chase was standing on the sidelines with Abigail in his arms. She makes her way down, smiling as she walks upon the pair together.

“Now this sweetheart, is traditional proper qualifying,” she listens as he talks to Abigail. “This is the way grandpa always qualified. This is the way the format should have stayed. This is where it matters most. You better just hope that daddy gets up on the wheel and does his job.”

“I’m sure you will do that,” she comments, catching his attention. He could only smile, leaning in for a quick kiss, while not giving up on holding Abigail.

“You could’ve stayed and debriefed with Dave longer. I am one of the last cars to go.” She shakes her head no, easily accepting her daughter from his arms. The adjustments they chose to make paid off as she was able to find additional comfort and speed, ending the second session ranked seventh on the chart. “Well aren’t we Ms. Confidence for tomorrow.”

“I know we’ve talked about it other weeks, but this is really the most comfortable practice that I’ve had thus far this year at any track with Dave. Everything just went right the final practice. I know we’re not quickest, but I feel that we have a car capable of being up front all race long tomorrow.” Chase smiles, as he wouldn’t mind a second week in victory lane with Abigail. It’d also be nice to take home a pair of Golden Monsters to go with Miles at home.

“You just want to give Miles a friend…” She nods her head, catching the reference immediately. “Let’s hope that Alan and I did the right thing following practice to make it better.”

“Do you think that you can beat William?” Chase wanted to say yes as he felt comfort in the No. 9 Chevrolet. However, he had to admit that his teammate was adapting quickly and showing a lot of speed.

“We may have something up our sleeve as you know Alan pulls out the best stops when it matters.” He then leans in for another quick kiss before making his way out to pit road, joining Alan and the guys as they pushed the car down the line.

Although there was fun conversation amongst the group, with a couple laughs, his eyes kept glancing over towards pit road. He smiled each time he caught a glimpse of Sarina standing there with Abigail in her arms, watching her cuddle and talk to their little girl. While his conversation with Ryan earlier brought him back through some of the tougher moments they’d experienced, this sight made every bit of it worth it to see all of their dreams coming true one by one.

“I felt like I got a little tight in one and two, and I was afraid that it wasn’t going to be good enough,” Chase tells the reporters. “But the car had a really good three and four. I haven’t seen the data yet so I really don’t know. If I had to guess, it would be that. I could be wrong because when I guess, I usually am wrong. But it was a great lap. I appreciate the effort, and it’s been a great week. Things can go south a lot quicker than they can go good. It’s just a starting spot, but we will try and take advantage of it with that good pit box on Sunday.”

He then walks over to where Alan was standing, giving him a high-five. He then follows through the rest of the crew.

“You were right that you were wrong about the data,” Tom comments as Chase makes his way through the team, causing him to roll his eyes. “You were better than William through the other end, strangely.”

“Chad probably over adjusted a touch as you were both equal the other end,” Alan adds. He then smiles as Chase walks over to where Sarina was standing, giving both her and Abigail a kiss. “Are they the lucky charms now?”

“I’ll take whatever lucky charms I can get,” Chase replies, before heading over to do the series of photos.

Once everything was done, the pair retreated back to the motorcoach, both getting changed out of their firesuits into something much more comfortable. As Sarina slipped her top on, she looked into the mirror with a sigh. Running her hand down her side and along her waist, there were still some faint bruises that remained.

“Are you okay?” Chase questions as he walks up behind her, and she nods her head. He then wraps his arms around, tracing a couple of them with her fingers. “They’re slowly going away.”

“Not fast enough,” she comments as she focuses her eyes down with a sigh. “I just want the reminders to disappear. I want the bruises gone. I want to know that he’s locked up for sure. I don’t’ want to have to face a single thing in relation into it ever again.”

“I know how you feel….” He then bites his lip, thinking back through his experience after things went down with Alison. “But remember, continuing to run and pretend it didn’t happen without any reminders isn’t the right way. Eventually, it comes back to you 10-fold.”

“That’s what everybody keeps telling me – and I know that myself. But just for a day, 24 hours, I wish I didn’t think about it for a second.” Chase runs his fingers up her body, rubbing her shoulders.

“Let me take care of you then. Let me show you a way to forget and not think about it…” She shakes her head immediately, as tears begin to slide down her cheeks.

“Chase, I can’t do that….” He then freezes, knowing where her mind went right away.

“No no, I didn’t mean it like that. I meant – let’s go out to dinner tonight, us with Abigail. Let’s go somewhere for dinner, and then go get desert together.” She then slowly looks up, seeing their reflection in the mirror together.

“You’re not mad at me?” He was confused immediately. “You offer to take care of me, and immediately I turn that offer-”

“Because I know the fear that you’re feeling, and I know that you’ll come to me when you’re comfortable and ready, just like you let me to come to you. The same way that you’ve been patient about what I feel comfortable with and not. I’ve told you this before, but it’s worth repeating – I am willing to do whatever it takes to make you feel better. I love you.” He then kisses her shoulder.

“I love you, too, forever and always…” She then turns around to face him, kissing his lips, before putting her shirt on as originally planned.