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

Sunday, November 11 – ISM Raceway

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“I told you to not beat yourse-”

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

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

Sunday, November 11 – Charlotte, North Carolina

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

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

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

“Chas-”

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

“You had worked your way back up fro-”

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

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

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

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

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

“What are you doing?”

“Checking to see if she’s still her-”

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, November 16 – Homestead-Miami Speedway

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Have you talked to Chas-”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Lovely….”

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

Saturday, November 10 – ISM Raceway

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday, November 11 – ISM Raceway

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Tale of Love & Racing: Sarina’s Story – Chapter 138: Lucas Oil 150

Friday, November 9 – ISM Raceway

Chase stands back, smiling as he watches Sarina take the required photos. She had done her job, laying down a perfect lap to snag the pole for the truck race later on that night. Step one complete. Now it was just up to him to do the same, followed by hopefully a celebration.

“Congratulations,” he says as she walks over once done the last shot, wrapping her arms around him immediately. “Easy….” He then rubs her back as she buries her head in his neck.

“I don’t care about the pole, I don’t care about tonight,” she starts as she looks into his eyes. “All that matters to me right now is that you’re okay.” He then pulls her back close, continuing to rub her back.

“I’m okay. We figured it out in time. Breathe…” She feels a couple tears roll down her cheeks, which immediately Chase reaches over to wipe away as he felt them fall on his shoulder.

“I was so scared. I literally practically fell apart in Rudy’s arms waiting to hear that everything was oka-”

“And it is, Sarina. It would’ve worked out no matter what. We had a plan no matter the situation. I’m okay.” He keeps her held close, debating if he would’ve followed through with Alison’s note. Would he been easily able to accept what she had to offer knowing everybody would be okay? “You don’t need to worr-”

“I can’t help but worry with her crazy ass on the loose. I love you, I care about you, and I want everything to be perfect for us, and…” He caught where she was going immediately, as he kept his hands rubbing her back to resist reaching there again.

“I know, and I love you, too. That’s why I want you to breathe, calm down, and not stress. It’s not good for you.” She smiles a little.

“Look at you, right back to caring for me as if nothing happened. Meanwhile, you just stared a bomb in the face like it was nothing.” It wasn’t quite nothing, but he wasn’t ready to admit that to her in wanting to keep her calm.

“I knew in my heart, I believed that it would work out. it’s meant to be, right?” She nods her head.

“I don’t know what I would’ve done without Rudy, if I’m being honest. I probably would’ve came running and sent everyone into a panic and went completely nuts.” Chase easily nodded his head, remembering when he sent the text message.

“That’s why I wanted you to stay with Rudy so he could keep you calm, and somewhat distracted.” Rudy had certainly accomplished that, as they reviewed over notes while discussing things – ultimately finding the secret to this pole.

“Trust me, he did a good job. He actually gave me some advice that I can really take to heart. I confessed some worries, and I was genuinely surprised but happy about what he said to me in return. Heck, even Todd said that I found the sweet side of him.” Chase had to chuckle, remembering everyone’s reservations at the beginning of the season.

“Kyle doesn’t hire people for stupid reasons.” She nods her head, remembering how everybody offered tips of confidence when she was curious how it’d play out, and ready to ask for Marcus back.

“I wouldn’t change things now. I mean, in some ways, I can’t thank Rudy enough for what he’s done.” Chase was willing to stand there and talk with her all day, but he also knew that the schedule wouldn’t allow that.

“I’ve got to go qualify….” She then slowly lets him go, only to clutch his hand tightly.

“I’m coming with you.” He looks at her a little surprised, but wasn’t ready to argue as the couple walked out to pit road together.

Sarina walks up behind him, wrapping her arms around as she lays her head on his shoulder. She had just gotten back from the truck series driver’s meeting, and was surprised to not see him in her hauler. They had agreed following qualifying, she’d go to the meeting and they’d meet back at her hauler before heading out to pit road for the truck race.

“Are you okay?” She questions, as he lets out a sigh.

“Is it okay to be disappointed in qualifying second?” He offers, and she couldn’t help but smile in response.

“You’re asking a fellow racecar driver, who tries to find the edge even more so than you always do. So what do you think my obvious answer will be, Chase?” Chase had to chuckle as he had seen enough of her frustrated incidents to know better.

“With how we practiced and how the first round felt, I told Alan that we had a good car and he had done everything right. It just felt like a pole winning car that would do what I wanted. But I just missed corner three – or one, or whatever – a little and boom, we’re second.” She had to chuckle at the corner comment, knowing that everybody’s feedback was all over the place with ISM switching the front stretch to the back, and vise versa.

“Second isn’t bad, and at least it’s not Sunday….” He nodded his head, knowing that she had a point.

“Qualifying has never been my strong suit, and I so badly want to get a non-restrictor plate pole. Today was my shot and I blew it..” She rubs his shoulders, knowing the frustration was not only coming from that, but rather the fact it was win or be done this weekend.

“You’ll make up for it on Sunday when you do everything right and end the day in your rightful place. Believe in yourself, believe in Alan, and #di9 hard because this team is behind you all the way.” She then kisses his cheek, causing him to look back over his shoulder at her.

“Look at you dropping the advice….” She knew what he was referencing, as it was certainly a change in attitude compared to the beginning of the year.

“I guess you could say that your influence on me is paying off.” He then turns around to face her, keeping her held close.

“While that may be the case, I want to make sure you’re not losing yourself in the process. I don’t want you to change. I love every  bit of you the way you are.” He then leans in, kissing her lips, which she easily accepts. “Shouldn’t be you getting ready for driver introductions and a race?”

“I couldn’t go out there without my man there for support.” He smiles, taking her hand as they head out of the garage area together.

They made a quick stop at the hauler – allowing him to change and a bathroom trip for her – before heading out to pit road for the truck race.

Starting on the pole, Sarina led the first couple of laps, before falling in line to finish the first stage second. Everything looked to be going smoothly until she headed down pit road, with the crew performing a slow stop, causing her to fall back to 19th for the restart.

“Of course…” Chase comments to himself, knowing that the night couldn’t go smoothly in trying to lock up her Championship 4 chances. It also wasn’t the first mistake by the pit crew this year, either, and it was getting to be a bit of a pain. Why hadn’t Kyle and Rudy addressed this yet?

Taking a deep breath, Chase kept himself calm as while it was a short race, there was still plenty of time for her to get back up there as she had a fast truck underneath her. On top of that, she just needed a decent finish; no heroics were necessary to make the Championship 4.

The climb back through the field would come naturally, with Sarina making her way back up to eighth by the end of the second stage. Now running back in the top-10 and the math looking promising, he could relax a little for the final sprint.

The pit crew redeemed themselves, getting her up to fifth for the restart. She also kept doing her job behind the wheel, moving up to third by the time the caution flew with 22 laps to go for John Hunter Nemechek spinning out of the lead.

“Never change bud,” Rudy comments quietly, earning a chuckle from Chase.

However, that quickly disappeared to be replaced by nerves. Late race restarts never seemed to go in Sarina’s favor and they couldn’t afford that to happen again. This time, though, she did her job once again as she was able to take the lead and began to cruise away from the field. Everything looked to be in their favor for a victory as she was out to a two-second lead, when the caution came out with eight laps to go for Riley Herbst going around on the frontstretch.

“Are you kidding me?!?” Chase questions, with a long sigh. Things just couldn’t go simply as planned.

The restart would see her get stuck in a side-by-side battle with Grant Enfinger for the lead, including some contact as they leaned on each other. That would allow Brett Moffitt to get the run down the frontstretch, using the dog leg to get by the pair of them.

Sarina was able to hold on, though, finishing second. most importantly, she was qualified for the Championship 4 next weekend at Homestead.

“Nice job,” he tells her after the race, handing her a cold bottle of water, which she immediately drinks. “You did a good job all night, fighting hard and staying focused to get the job done. I was especially proud of how you handled the adversity.”

“We had to do one job tonight and I wasn’t going to fail at that,” she offers, handing him back the empty bottle. He then glances over a little surprised. “It’s warm in the desert.”

“Do you want another one?” She shakes her head no immediately. “Are you sur-”

“What did I tell you about constantly worrying about me?” He then lets out a sigh.

“And what did I say about that as well?”

“Ah, look at the cute couple feuding,” Rudy comments as he walks over, offering a hug for Sarina. “Nice driving all night. You make me proud. Let’s do the same next week.” She nods her head in agreement.

Saturday, November 10 – ISM Raceway

Sarina glances up from her corner in the garage stall, smiling as she watches Chase closely. She could sit there all day and just stare as every butterfly fluttered inside her as she did so each time.

She had caught herself staring at his lips, licking her own in knowing how well they tasted, while he was talking with the crew guys in what they needed to do to be faster during the next session. They weren’t that bad off, though, having timed in sixth quickest.

She also caught herself letting her eyes trail down the full length of him, from those perfectly toned arms that held her strongly, to the perfect shaped ass, as he was looking over the car in-between runs.

Let’s face it – she was one spoiled girl, and she wasn’t going to forget that, or let him out of sight. Certainly sitting in the motorcoach or trailer would be more comfortable, but having a set of eyes locked him was certainly more satisfying.

“What are you doing?” Jordan asks, snapping her out of the thoughts as she looks back down at her Ipad. She couldn’t let on that she was checking him out the entire hour long practice, and half-hour since it was over.

“Figuring out wedding venue plans,” she answers, earning a curious glance from the interior mechanic. With Jordan not having much to do while the rest of the guys worked on the mechanics of the car, it usually left him to spending time with Sarina.

“I thought you had everything plan-”

“The venue called earlier this week, and told us there was a double-booking by accident. They took the first one whom booked, which was not us. So now we need to re-plan the venue.” Jordan was taken back by the news, however didn’t see it as complicated.

“Couldn’t you just choose another cabin in Colorado?” She shakes her head no, which brought another glance of confusion from Jordan.

“Nothing else seems to work, and really, having a chance to re-plan made me reconsider everything. Well, actually, it made Chase reconsider having a wedding in Colorado since that’s our getaway spot, where we go when we want to leave everything behind. Do we want to bring everybody there?” Jordan could understand where they were coming from.

“So what are the options?” She then shows him the Ipad, which had included a rough list that she had drafted over the course of the past couple days. “So you’re doing a home wedding now.”

“It makes sense to do it close to everybody that we love, and obviously we want to be special in how we plan this. It’s also easier on travel since it’s the off-season, and well….” She then pauses, as she couldn’t divulge the final reason in her pregnancy quite yet. What could she use as an excuse instead? “My maid of honor Lindsay is eight months pregnant so I want to make it easy on her, too.”

“I can’t argue with any of those points, to be honest. I was actually surprised originally when the invitation said Colorado so hearing it’s back home is welcoming.” She smiles as she knew there was no way she’d let this wedding go off without key members of Chase’s team there. They had been instrumental in helping the couple during the tough moments, and they deserved to witness the celebration. “Georgia or North Carolina…..”

“They’re both home for us. We spend so much time in both states, almost split if you ask me. We’re in Dawsonville at least two days a week, and then we’re in North Carolina because of team meetings and commitments. Besides, North Carolina is practically home for me since it’s where I started everything over.” Jordan knew her story, so the connection felt special in return. “We also want to keep it simple, like we are. I’m no Cinderella or Bridezilla, so there’s no way I’m doing one of those all-out insane weddings.”

“Thank Gosh because a bridezilla racecar driver would probably drive everybody insane.” She had to chuckle, knowing that was probably already going to happen with pregnancy symptoms and cravings in the midst of it all. “How traditional do you want to go? Do you both need to get married in a chur-”

“Chase told me he doesn’t care how it gets done, as long as he gets to tell me how he feels, and the words that matter. Ryan suggested City Hall, but that got a smack from Chase.” Jordan shakes his head, not surprised in hearing that from Ryan.

“So we want something special, but it better not be so simple like City Hall….” She slowly nods her head, accepting. “I also can understand wanting privacy, too.”

“Privacy and security are very important, given the fact that Alison has been on the loose.” Jordan nods his head, accepting. The close encounter from yesterday gave him enough warning, if that was really even needed with her history.  “Although hopefully she’s arrested before then, but I’m not holding my breath.”

“I’d hope not as you’d probably pass out by then.” Sarina wanted to chuckle, but couldn’t as it was a brutal realization in how things had gone. Instead, though, a glance back at her list gave her an idea.

“What if I ask my future boss a favor?” Jordan then looks over a little confused. “What if we have the wedding in the Whiskey Town?” While he was confused, it actually started to make sense.

“Dale has the security and privacy with the property, and there’s even a church there, plus a saloon for the reception. I would ask him and see because that’d work, if that’s what you and Chase really want.”

“I’ll ask Chase and see.” Jordan then stands up, knowing the second practice was about to start.

“Where are you having the honeymoon, by the way?” She then stops dead in her tracks, as she shakes her head.

“I don’t know. Probably just head up to Colorado to the cabin and spend some quiet time together.” She knew that’d be a good thing to do as their lives would be crazy next year with a baby and both of them racing, combined with the usual chaos.

When were they going to sneak in some sleep?

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

Friday, November 9 – ISM Raceway

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“I am going to have my hands full….”

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

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

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

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

“It was foun-”

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

“You need to stay here wit-”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“I was trying to do my not-”

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

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

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

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

“We only get one chance at thi-”

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

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

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

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

“I don’t feel comforta-”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Tale of Love & Racing: Sarina’s Story – Chapter 136: “We have a wedding crisis.”

Wednesday, November 7 – Utah

After driving all day, the group finally decided that it’d be a good idea to stop for dinner. Ryan ultimately chose the stop, remembering it from a previous road trip for having good food.

“Anybody know what they’re getting yet?” Sarina asks as she scans over the menu, trying to find something that looked good.

“I just know that I am starving and I want to eat some big and good,” Lindsay answers as Sarina could only chuckle in response.

“Considering how many times we stopped for you to pee, I would think you’d be hungry,” Chase comments, earning a glance from Ryan.

“Keep talking Elliott,” Ryan warns. “You’ll be regretting those words when it’s you dealing with her symptoms.” Sarina then glances over the top of her menu at the boys.

“He’s already a pain in the ass about those,” she confesses as he just shrugs his shoulders in return.

“So it’s a crime to care now?” He questions, as she just smiles back in return.

Eventually they all settled on what they wanted, placing their order with the waitress – along with Ryan ordering a pizza for the table to split.

“Don’t tell nobody, but I did it just for you so you’d have something extra,” he whispers to Lindsay, earning a simple kiss back from her in return.

“So when are you two getting married?” Bill questions, earning a shocked glance from the couple. “You don’t have to answer, but you seem great together.”

“He hasn’t even asked yet,” Lindsay comments, with a glance over at Ryan. He could only wonder if she was implying something.

“He’s scared what his sisters’ reaction would be,” Chase adds, earning a kick from Ryan under the table. “Ouch!”

“Why do you always bring Emma and Erin into this?” Ryan wonders as Chase just shrugs his shoulders.

“Easy target…” Ryan lets out a sigh, knowing a certain reputation had been grown over the years. However, considering they had both warmed up to Lindsay while she was pregnant, he didn’t feel he had anything to worry about.

“Cale and Emma still happy?” Bill questions, earning a nod of approval from Ryan. “That’s great to hear. She deserves someone that makes her happy, as well as Erin.”

“Erin is having more fun right now enjoying life, between spending time with her girlfriends and school,” Ryan offers. “She’ll find someone when the time is right.” Bill knew that as both Blaney girls were sweetheart, and he even remembered the days he and Cindy pondered whether Erin and Chase had a future together. Of course, that all changed – slowly – when Sarina entered the picture.

“Are you kidding me?” Sarina questions, earning glances from everyone at the table as they looked over at her with her phone in hand. “We have a wedding crisis.”

“What’s wrong?” Chase wonders as she slides her phone across the table so he could read the e-mail. “Why didn’t they warn us while we were there yesterday?”

“I don’t know….” She then lets out a sigh as she takes her phone back. “You’d think an establishment would have a keen eye on their schedule, and realize if they were double-booked.”

“Venue problems?” Lindsay questions and Sarina nods her head.

“They’re double-booked so they’re taking the first person to book – which wasn’t us,” Sarina confesses, earning a couple moans from around the table. “They offered us another weekend, but it’s getting too close to media week and we need to be back in North Carolina due to needing to spend time getting ready for the seas-”

“You also have to be taking care of yourself then, too,” Chase adds, earning a low groan from Sarina in response.

“So what are your options?” Lindsay asks, beginning to feel bad as she looked between the couple.

“We do the wedding a weekend earlier,” Sarina starts as she glances back over the e-mail. “Or we change the venue, which means either way I have to re-send out all of the invitations.” Lindsay then reaches over, placing her hand on Sarina’s.

“If you need any help with anything, don’t hesitate to ask. I’m stuck on bed rest so I might as well help with decorating and invitations to give myself something to do.” Sarina gives her best friend a quick smile back in response.

“I just hate it because we had set our hearts on that, found every perfect reason to have it there, and planned everythin-”

“So let’s go for a week earlier,” Chase suggests and Sarina shakes her head no. “Why not?”

“While I understand the reasons Samantha and Kyle got married on New Year’s, and I get why Dale and Amy did it, I don’t want to repeat everybody else’s idea,” she confesses. Chase had to admit that it wouldn’t feel as special and unique to them to do so.

“There’s other cabins and locations in Colorado,” Bill comments. “I’m sure you both can find another spot – if not more magical than the first spot.” Sarina slowly nods her head, having a thought of her own.

“While Colorado is special to us, maybe it’s not meant to be the wedding location anyway…” Chase then looks over at her confused, but maybe there was a reason for the comment. “Colorado is our special place to run away, spend time just us together to escape everything. What if it we’re not supposed to bring all of our friends to our hide-out?”

“If you want to get married in North Carolina, Georgia, or even Florida, I don’t care,” Chase tells her. “I just want to be there that day to tell you how I feel, and say the words that matter. At the end of the day, all that matters to me is that it’s the wedding you drea-”

“I didn’t drea-” She cuts him off as he reaches over, placing his hand on top of hers.

“I know you didn’t dream of a wedding as a little girl, but I’ve seen you get caught up in everything as you’ve been planning it. The details don’t matter to me as I know you’ll make it special. Just make sure to give me the details so I know where to be standing.”

“So you’d accept City Hall?” Ryan questions, earning a small smack from Chase in return. “Sorry!”

“I don’t even know where to begin….” Sarina confesses as she tries to figure out what to search next on her phone.

“Then don’t begin right now,” Chase instructs as he takes the phone out of her hands, placing it on the table. “Take a break. Let the news slowly sink in. Then think it over slowly and fully, and figure out what your heart desires. Then start looking for a location.” She nods her head, accepting. “And for the record, I’m not doing a cliché race track wedding. That’s my only objection.”

“Oh hell no, I wasn’t even thinking that.” She then leans over the table, kissing his lips.

Their dinner was brought to the table shortly after, with everybody digging into their meal of choice. The pizza in the middle of the table also got picked apart, with slices being taken throughout the meal until there was only one piece left.

“Anybody want this?” Chase questions, with everybody quickly shaking their heads.

“Is that on your diet?” Ryan teases, as Chase peels the cheese off of the pizza. Chase then glances over, realizing that Ryan was filming it.

“Get away!” Ryan begins chuckling.

“You should’ve just ate the damn pizza, crust and all.” Chase shakes his head no.

“Is he always like that?” Lindsay questions, earning a nod from Sarina. “Suddenly, my pregnancy cravings don’t seem so strange.” Chase just gives her a quick flip of the bird as she laughs.

“Was it worth it?” Ryan asks, and Chase simply looks over with a smile. “You’re strange….”

Thursday, November 8 – Phoenix Raceway

With Ryan having to be back in North Carolina for a sponsor announcement, Bill had offered the gesture of flying him there to take part before flying him back out to Phoenix. Meanwhile, that left Chase to keep both ladies out of trouble in the process.

“Did you tell Chase about the theory that I had about last weekend?” Lindsay questions, earning a nod from Sarina as she glances over at him.

“He said he would keep an eye out as nothing surprised him anymore,” Sarina answers. The girls had agreed to share simple conversation and relaxation, while Chase played fortnite. “Well, obviously except the person that just killed him.”

“I almost lasted until the end that time,” Chase comments, pointing up to the fact that only four other players remained. “I was so focused on trying to kill that guy, I didn’t realize someone had been following me.”

“Gotta always keep yourself on a 360 and watch out for anything – just like you tell me.” He simply glances back with a smile, glad that she had picked up on the advice. He had been tying to share anything he could think of for times that they were split apart in the garage area.

“Damn that car looks good….” Lindsay offers, as she glances at the live stream of the announcement. She then shows the image to Sarina, who simply smiles in response.

“That’s a nice greenish blue actually,” Sarina comments.

“Do you even have any idea what color the car is next year for you?” Sarina shakes her head no.

“We’re still finalizing sponsor plans.” She then looks back over at Chase as he starts another game. “I’m just glad that the white firesuit back for Mr. Peach over there with Hooters.”

“Been checking out my ass?” He questions as she reaches over, giving it a little smack as he lays on his stomach on the floor. “Hey, that’s a foul mood. You’re going to distract me.”

“I wouldn’t want to do that as you find your own ways to die in that game…” He gives her a quick flip of the bird as she laughs.

“I’ll get you back later, don’t worry….” Lindsay could only shake her head watching the pair of them together.

They all then heard a knock on the door, immediately glancing around confused at each other as Chase stood up immediately.

“Were you expecting anybody tonight?” Lindsay questions, earning a shake of the head from both Chase and Sarina.

“Who is it?” Chase questions as he leans against the door, hand resting on the knob. He also was strategic and reaching for the broom that had been sitting by the door.

“Shelley,” they hear, with Chase instantly rolling his eyes as he glanced over at the girls.

“I thought we told you that we were done with you.” Shelley takes a deep breath, almost set to walk away and leave him to Alison’s mercy. However, her morals kept her standing there.

“I came here to warn you about something that Alison is planning.” Chase was now a little intrigued as it seemed weird that Shelley would have the information, given Alison’s record.

“How do I know that I can trust this information?” Shelley rolls her eyes.

“Isn’t any information better than no information?” Chase knew that was a valid point.

“How did you come by this information, though?” Shelley glances down, taking a deep breath. She couldn’t reveal the full truth.

“She reached out to me in hopes that I would help and I turned her down.” Rejection was one thing, but that hadn’t fulfilled the necessary goals.

“So why haven’t you gone to the cops and turned her in?” Shelley begins to raise her fist, set to punch the door in frustration, though resists.

“Do you want to know or not?” Chase had to admit his curiosity was pegged given Alison’s recent track record of doing at least one thing every weekend. However, he also wasn’t very trusting of Shelley given her track record as well.

“I don’t need to open the door for you to tel-”

“I’m not going to tell you unless you open the door, Elliott.” Chase was taken back by her tone, and knew that meant only one thing.

“Then you can take your information to the police. Besides, I am going to let them know that you were here and said you had information, making you an accessory to anything that Alison does moving forward. Furthermore, Lindsay heard your voice. We can put you in the warehouse.” Shelley had to chuckle in response, knowing that was only partially true in what he said.

“Heresay is one thing, darling. Good luck proving it.” Chase looks over at the girls of the admission that they were just given.

“You’ve said all that I need to know. Excuse me while I call the cops.” Sarina tosses him his phone, and he dials the number that he had gotten to used to dialing at least once a week for the past several months.

It didn’t take them long to get there, though by the time they did, Shelley was gone without a trace left behind. The investigator promised to pass word to NASCAR security to not allow Shelley on the grounds moving forward, as well as put out a warrant for her arrest in connection to the events.

“Just make sure you do your job for once,” Sarina comments with a quick wave as the investigator leaves the motorcoach once they were done discussing. “What do you think she was going to share from Alison?”

“I don’t know,” Chase confesses. “For all I know, it was a trap to get her hands on me for Alison and she had nothing to share.” He then sits back down on the floor, picking up the controller. “I can’t worry about the what if. We just need to focus on the here and now, and making sure we all stay safe this weekend. That includes you too, Lindsay. Make sure you listen to everything that you’ve been tol-”

“I know how to take care of myself, Chase,” Lindsay cuts him off.

Though she had to admit that last weekend had scared her more than she wanted, and she would be glad when the weekend was over and she was back home with Ryan.

The Tale of Love & Racing: Sarina’s Story – Chapter 135: Time Away

Tuesday, November 6 – Colorado

Chase makes his way into the living room, seeing the girls curled up on the couch.

“Are you okay?” Chase asks as he leans over the back of the couch, placing his hands on her shoulders.

“Absolutely,” she answers as she glances up, giving him a kiss. “I was just texting Kyle. Samantha had her embryo implanted today. He says according to the doctor, everything went smoothly so now it’s just wait and see…”

“When will she know for sure if it worked?” Lindsay wonders as she looks over at Sarina.

“After Homestead. I hope it works for her and Kyle because I know how much they’re both looking forward to a second child.” Lindsay had to chuckle at her own thoughts.

“Just imagine if you have a little boy and she has a girl…” Sarina had to laugh in response as Chase just shook his head. “Oh come on. You could have a boy and it could end up with Taylor.”

“Hey now, Denny and I are finally cool,” Chase concedes, earning a bit of a surprised glance from the girls. “We talked it out and we’ve been fine all year. I’m over what happened.”

“Have you told your fans that?” Sarina wonders and Chase lets out a sigh, knowing they probably wouldn’t let it go for awhile.

“So we’re going to go out now finally. Are you sure that you girls are going to be fine by yourself?” Sarina and Lindsay nod their head yes.

“I’m not supposed to be doing anything so I’m staying right here on the couch by the fire,” Lindsay confesses.

“And I’ve got my snacks, the remote, and lots of goodies to watch so we’ll be fine,” Sarina adds.

“Text me if you need me, okay?” Chase tells her and she nods her head back in return.

“Make sure you boys be careful as well…” He leans over, snagging another kiss. The same could be for Ryan as he snagged one from Lindsay before they headed out.

With using the time to get away, the boys had decided to go on a skidoo ride through the trees. There was enough snow on the ground to have some fun, but not enough to go skiing quite yet.

“Lead on sir….” Ryan instructs, as he hops on his, ready to follow the Elliotts through the forest.

Having spent several years up there, both Chase and Bill knew a trail that was always fun to ride, with a couple little tricks up its sleeve. It was that trail they had chosen on Tuesday.

The ride was set to take them around an hour as they weaved through the trees, sharing a couple jokes along the way. As they picked up speed, the scenery of the outdoors was no doubt the perfect escape before next weekend.

Alison could see the squad riding up through the trees, and having stalked them for long enough, she knew the exact route that they were planning on following. It was just a bummer that two others had chosen to come with Chase that day as she had a pretty clear plan in mind.

“Now what are you going to do?” Shelley asks, standing over Alison’s shoulders.

“There’s no way that we can take down all three easily and do what I want with Chase,” Alison starts. “We’re going to have retreat and re-plan for another day.” Shelley simply nods her head in return.

“We could go back and see the ladi-”

“Not a single chance that is happening.” Alison then instantly spins on her heels, facing Shelley. “Lindsay is pregnant. I’m not taking a chance of causing harm to that baby. An innocent life shouldn’t be lost due to a difference of opinion.”

“Your miscarriage really had an effect on you, huh?” Alison then begins to walk away from Shelley, who simply follows quietly. It was odd in trying to understand the girl that she now called her boss. “What were you thinking of doing to Chase, anyway?”

“I told you that I wanted Chase for myself. You told me that you wanted the perfect revenge for Sarina in watching everything that she had done fall apart, piece by piece. I almost accomplished both with one thing…” Shelley nods her head, knowing what she meant already.

“They were at odds the weekend that Sarina found out that you were pregnant, and possibly with Chase’s child.” Alison smiles as she remembered hearing about Sarina stomping out of the room in tears. Everything would’ve worked out perfectly if not for that DNA test getting in the way.

“I’m taking away the possibility this time. It’s going to be his baby, whether he agrees or not.” Shelley knew what that meant, and found herself once again questioning whether being involved was really worth it.

“So this is where we planned the wedding for….” Chase starts as they walk up to the cabin.

After getting back from their fun, the guys had picked up the ladies with Chase and Sarina ready to share the details surrounding the wedding. It was a short drive from their cabin, but the bigger log cabin that they had found was perfect.

Once they were inside, it was enough room to set-up a full isle and seating area for everybody to enjoy the ceremony.

“This is beautiful…” Lindsay comments as she walks around, checking everything out.

“We were going to do the reception here as well,” Sarina adds. “There’s enough room upstairs for everybody to chill and relax, as well as the perfect scene outside for photos. That’d give time to quickly turn this around for our reception because you will absolutely enjoy the food.”

“It’s nice,” Bill comments as he takes a look around, before stopping to glance over at Chase and Sarina together. it was almost surreal to think that his son would be married in a matter of months.

“This is where we’ve always found our peace together,” Chase starts. “No matter what is going on – racing wise, Alison wise, or even her family drama, we could come here and just be ourselves. We could escape from everything and just get back to the love that we knew together.” He then wraps his arms around her from behind. “That’s why we decided that we wanted to get married up here. White dress, white and blue flowe-”

“Please tell me there’s a snowball touch in this somewhere,” Lindsay interrupts, earning a chuckle from Sarina.

“Hence the big white flowers that I got – they’re like mini snowballs,” Sarina confesses, earning a little shout of excitement from Lindsay.

“I had to throw it back to where you guys officially decided to tell the world that you were together.” Chase chuckles, remembering how that discussion came about and their initial fears.

“The next year we went down here was more special, though…” She then reaches up, clutching her fingers around the snowball necklace. “It’d be easy to do a beach wedding, but we wanted to do something different, and special to us. It’s not hom-”

“Home is where the heart feels fondest,” Bill interrupts her, catching her attention. “Georgia is home because that’s where Chase grew up, and he feels most comfortable. North Carolina is home because that’s where you guys are spending so much time. I’m sure that you have a connection to Michigan, too.” Sarina nods her head, accepting. “Finding a place that you can go and just be yourselves, escape, and finding that even footing again – not everybody has that. But it’s good that you have that as you don’t want to get lost in everything that’s going on, either. This may not make sense to everybody, but it makes sense to me as to why you would do this. It’s why Cindy and I come up here quite a bit in the winter.”

“Ya’ll are just a bunch of crazy snowbirds,” Ryan comments, earning a couple chuckles.

“If you endure the cold for their wedding, I’ll make sure you get your beach,” Lindsay says as she wraps an arm around him.

“I just have to make sure that the wedding dress fits on the day of,” Sarina comments as she glances out the window. With a glance down at her stomach, she could tell that she was beginning to pop out just a little bit, having already noticed the firesuit being a little tight last weekend and bras not quite fitting.

“Samantha made sure that the tailor is available that day, right?” Chase questions and Sarina nods her head.

“She’s available for whenever I need her before the banquet, and before the wedding. I just need to call 24 hours in advance. I already told her that she better be there the day of both, and she has locked those dates up for me.” Chase smiles as he honestly couldn’t wait to see her dressed up for both, remembering just how magical she looked last year. “Oh, and I told Samantha to put the order in for the new firesuit, a little bigger. I think I would’ve broke the zipper in Miami if I tried to use the same one the next two weeks.”

“Maybe the new firesuit will bring you some luck.” She smiles, hoping that was the case as she was willing to do whatever it took to bring home that championship for her, Kyle, and Samantha – as long as it meant keeping Baby Elliott safe in the process.

“Has anybody made any comments in the garage about it?” Bill wonders as Sarina glances back at Chase with a smirk.

“Christopher made mention that somebody has been touching my belly a lot,” Sarina comments, earning a smirk back in return from Chase.

“I can’t help it,” he tells her, as he wraps his arms around her once again in the familiar spot. “I’m just so excited already, and I can’t wait until I can feel the baby….”

“It’ll feel weird at first, but it’s so magical,” Ryan comments as he stands to the side with Lindsay.

“Other than Christopher, I’ve avoided comments from everybody – so far,” Sarina adds. “I just need to make it these next two weeks and then boom – confetti.” The room was filled with chuckles.

“Could you imagine the reporter who comes up to ask you about winning the championship, and then you add that you’re pregnant?” Lindsay offers, as Sarina couldn’t help but chuckle. She was actually excited to see what the various reactions were going to be.

“Don’t count your chickens before they hatch. Let’s win the championship, and then we’ll discuss how to drop the bombshell.” Though with a glance back at Chase, Sarina knew that waiting until the banquet probably wouldn’t work as she knew a photo with them like this would be in the cards.

Wednesday, November 7 – Utah

With Lindsay being told to rest and limit flying as much as she could, the decision was made to drive out to Phoenix rather than fly from Colorado. As the group piled into the car, they didn’t think it’d be too bad of a drive being only 12 hours.

However, they also forgot about one single detail.

“I have to pee again!” Lindsay lets out from the backseat, four hours into the trip. They had only been four hours into their 12 hour journey, and this was set to be the third stop for a bathroom break.

“Didn’t you just go?” Bill questions as Lindsay nods her head.

“I literally thought I pee’d out a lake, but I got to go again.” She then glances over at Sarina. “The joys of pregnancy. Having to pee a lot, leg soreness, cravings – sometimes I wonder if this is a demon child.”

“It is a miniature Blaney after all,” Sarina offers, earning a smack from Ryan as Chase simply laughs.

“Oh you just laugh it up Elliott,” Ryan starts. “Wait until we get to January and you’re dealing with the same symptoms.”  Chase holds up the bags of chips in the backseat.

“Do you know how many times she’s woke me up at 3 in the morning to go get her these stupid chips?” Chase questions as Ryan just sticks his tongue out in return.

“Can we can the jokes please?” Lindsay requests. “I am going to pee my pants if I keep laughing. Where’s this next bathroom, Bill?”

“Soon,” was all he offered from the driver’s seat as he looked on both sides of the highway for a place to stop. “If we’re stopping every hour, we might as well add another two hours to this trip boys.”

“Aren’t you just glad that you decided to come spend a week with us?” Chase asks with a smile.

They were able to find a bathroom in good time, each of them getting out of the car as they let Lindsay hurry inside to go. Sarina was set to follow her, wanting to give her company, though stopped suddenly.

“Hey….” Chase says as he grabs onto her shoulders. “Are you okay?” She slowly nods her head as she easily accepts him for support. “Sarina….”

“I’m fine,” she replies after a couple seconds, before standing straight back up. “I just got a little dizzy. I’m fine.” She then goes to walk away, but Chase keeps hold on her hand. “Chase, I said I was fin-”

“That’s the second tim-”

“In the span of three weeks. I talked to Dr. Grayson, remember?” He nods his head, remembering the conversation as he was in the room when she brought it up. They were told it was normal sometimes during pregnancy, due to a change in blood flow with the body ever changing. either Dr. Grayson was only concerned if it continued to get worse, but advised against getting up quickly and insisted on remaining hydrated.

“I’m just concer-”

“I know, and I appreciate it Chase, but I don’t need to babied by you 24/7. I probably just go up too fast wanting to make sure to follow her quickly.” He could easily understand that, given that she had been sitting in the car for awhile. However, he wasn’t quite set on letting her wander off.

“Ryan is in there in case Lindsay needs anything. So how about you just take a seat, and I’ll go get you something to drink?” She was ready to argue, but knew it wasn’t worth it as she simply nodded her head, letting him head inside.

“Are you sure you’re okay?” Bill questions, as they were the only ones left waiting by the car now.

“I’m fine,” she answers as she looks over at him.

“So you’re not hiding anything from Chase?” She shakes her head no.

“I wouldn’t dare do that to him, Bill. I’ve learned my lessons about secrets, and I want him to be fully there for the pregnancy every step of the way and that means being honest. That’s why he’s attended every single appointment with Dr. Grayson. That’s why he knew why not to be overly concerned right away.”

“Just take it easy, okay?” She lets out a sigh, nodding her head. There was no point in arguing with anybody anymore as let’s face it, she was going to have to get used to this for the next several months.

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

Friday, November 2 – Texas Motor Speedway

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“I’m just glad that she’s okay…..”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday, November 3 – Texas Motor Speedway

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday, November 3 – Texas Motor Speedway

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday, November 3 – Colorado

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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