Saturday July 28, 2018 – Pocono Raceway
Chase makes his way into her room, walking over as he immediately lets her clasp his hand.
“You didn’t need to come,” she offers as he shakes his head back in response. He knew the second practice wouldn’t have gone as planned without a visit.
“I was worried about you after Tyler told me what happened,” he replies as she sits up a little in the bed.
“I didn’t really pass out like they all claim, okay? I leaned up against the wall because….okay, I was tired and when I leaned against the wall, Tyler asked me if I was okay. I was slow responding so he got Rudy’s attention and next thing, I’m here.”
“Dehydrated again?” She slowly nods her head as she glances up at the IV.
“They ran a couple more tests or whatever to make sure it’s stomach virus and nothing something else – like pregnant, or food poisoning. Everything came back clean so we’re stuck with it being a torturous stream and my body barely able to handle it.” He brushes the small bit of hair out of her face.
“That’s because you’re not following what everybody told you, and focusing on yourself. You should’ve been in bed still, catching up on sleep, sipping Gatorades, looking after yourself. Let this weekend go…” She then lets out a sigh as she glances down at the bed.
“I guess I have no choice now, huh? Doctors won’t clear me due to the incident as they’re worried about my hydration levels and conce-”
“I don’t blame them, as I would be as well.” She then looks over at him.
“I can handle driving while I’m sick. It seems nobody understands how strong I am.” Chase lets out a sigh as he looks into her eyes.
“Don’t ever let anybody question your strength. We all know how strong you are, how hard you push, how determined you feel. We also know your limits, and today is one of those. NASCAR has given you a waiver so take it, embrace it, and let yourself get better. You always tell me to take care of myself. Well, now I’m telling you to do the same.”
“But I know I have a winning truck for today. You saw how quick we were in practi-”
“You’ll have many more chances to win races this year, next year, and for many years to come. But you need to weather this storm first, so it’s time to focus on you and get better.” He then kisses her forehead. “Did they say how long you have to stay for?”
“They want to make sure my hydration levels are steady, that I can keep the fluids somewhat in my system, and I’m not feeling faint anymore. I think I have a room reserved for the afternoon, unfortunately.” Chase then glances down at the chair, shifting a little.
“Then I guess I have a seat reserved here for the afterno-”
“Uhh, you have a final practice to run so I suggest you get your ass out there and run it.” He then looks at her surprised. “What? Don’t let my sickness change your schedule. I can take plenty care of myself here while you go make circles. If I’m giving up my damn weekend, then you better have a car underneath you that can win tomorrow. Besides, a trophy would be a nice get well present.” Chase couldn’t help but smile.
“I’ll do the best that I can, but I can’t make any promises.” She nods her head, accepting, as it was better than nothing. That said, she knew how strong Hendrick Motorsports was at Pocono, and she knew that the No. 9 team had been on a upswing so her chances looked good. “I love you, and I hope you feel. I hate to see you sick.”
“I hate being sick. I get sick looking at my own vomit.” He shakes his head as he knew that wasn’t a pretty sight.
“You’ll be feeling better soon….” He gives her one final kiss before heading off for final practice, as she had instructed him to do so.
Chase climbs out of the car, following the final practice run of the day, before walking over to the crew chief.
“Better or worse?” Alan questions as he looks over at his driver.
“About the same?” Chase replies back as Alan lets out a sigh. He could only glance at the board and see they were 10th on the speed chart for the second session in a row.
“The good news is we’re consistent so we should be fine on the long runs tomorrow. The bad news is that we’re still not where we need to be to find that next step and run in the top-five.” Chase nods his head in agreement as Alan thinks it over. “I could try something for time trials, but then it may not work. Whatever we do for qualifying, we have to leave in the for the race.”
“So what if we leave it, start the race solidly, and go from there?” Alan nods his head, accepting, as it seemed like a decent plan.
“Alright, it’s settled. You can go back to taking care of your girl – as long as you don’t get sick on me.” Chase places a hand on Alan’s shoulder.
“Trust me, I’m fine.” Alan glances over at him with a small smile.
“It’s been a while since you could say that and I would absolutely believe you. Keep doing what you’re doing, kid.” Alan then walks away notes in hand as Chase makes his way out of the garage, back to the care center to see Sarina.
Thankfully rehydrated with some more fluids, Sarina was released from the care center, with Chase taking her back to the motorcoach immediately. The pair curled up together, taking in the truck race on the TV there despite Sarina’s pleas to go sit on the pit box.
The race only made the afternoon harder for her to handle as Erik Jones drove her truck from last in the field to sixth by the end of the first stage, before battling the rest of the race with Kyle for the win. Ultimately, the boss won, though, with Erik in second.
Cup qualifying was set to follow, and once again Sarina expressed the want to join Chase out on pit road. However, finally beginning to realize just how sick she was, she settled in under the blankets with a couple Gatorade bottles on the night table as he headed out for the session.
The plan to go with a solid set-up to not mess up things allowed them to lock down the 11th starting spot for the race tomorrow. It wasn’t spectacular, but certainly they could work with it.
Sunday July 29, 2018 – Pocono Raceway
“Thank you for spending the race with me,” Sarina says as she pulls the blanket even more snuggly around herself, trying to get comfortable and settled in. it was going to be odd to be at the track with Chase, yet watching the race from the motorcoach rather than the pit box.
“Are you kidding me?!?” Lindsay asks immediately as she looks over. “I wasn’t going to make you suffer watching this alone.” Sarina then returns the gaze back to her best friend.
“I just don’t want you to get sick with that little one…” Lindsay glances down at her own stomach, seeing at it was ever-growing, giving it a little rub.
“That’s why we’re not real close to each other. Besides, Ryan is already a little overprotective.” Sarina couldn’t help but chuckle as they each got comfortable on the couches.
The race started off solidly as Chase immediately made his way forward to the front.
“Stage winner,” Eddie D’Hondt says over the radio at the end of the first stage. While watching the race broadcast, Sarina had loaded NASCAR.com’s raceview so she could listen to Chase’s audio. It wouldn’t be the same watching a race otherwise. “Good work, bud. Two weeks in a row. I’m starting to like this.” She couldn’t help but agree with the spotter as the success was great to see.
The second stage started off just as strongly with Chase running up front throughout, but ultimately crossing the finish line in second behind Kevin Harvick.
“He backs up pretty much every corner, gets to the bottom, and stays there,” Alan reports over the radio which Sarina had to agree via what she saw on the screen before her. “(He) has a lot of grip in his car.”
“The grip meter is an understatement – that’s for sure,” Chase replies, earning a nod of approval from both Sarina and Lindsay.
“He makes a pretty wide arc off of the wall,” Eddie adds in as well as Sarina simply smiles.
Following the final round of pit stops, Chase continued to run up front, running as high as third before fading back a bit.
“Holy shit!!” Lindsay lets out as the No. 43 Chevrolet of Darrell Wallace slams the wall.
“Fuck!” Sarina adds as they both sit there stunned. The nerves stayed until the window net came down on the car, with Bubba climbing out shortly after to the sigh of relief.
“That was insane!” Sarina nods her head in agreement.
“If there’s a track that I never want to lose my brakes going into a corner, it’s here because the result is just insanity beyond other tracks it seems. Look at Gordon’s wreck a couple years ago!”
The girls settle in for the final run to the checkered, watching as Chase drops back to fifth. He would then make a big save down the backstretch – which caused Sarina to jump out of her skin a little – before crossing the line in seventh when it was said and done.
“I don’t even know why some race tracks seem to be more suitable for what we have, and some don’t,” Chase tells the media afterwards. “We think we’re better as a whole, but I think we still have some work to do.”
Tuesday July 31, 2018 – Pocono Raceway
Chase smiles as he walks over to Cale and Emma, giving them each a hug.
“Congratulations,” he tells them both after the ceremony. “Make sure you take care of her.”
“You don’t have to worry about that,” Cale offers as he wraps an arm around Emma’s shoulders.
“I also bet that you’re having a boy.” Emma just smiles back in return as she glances up at Cale.
“That’s what I told him, but he told me otherwise. We’ll see when we reveal it later.” She then glances around, before focusing back on Chase. “Where’s Sarina?”
“She’s at home,” Chase answers. “She was still not feeling all the way better yet so she told me that she was skipping the wedding, but sends her blessings.” Emma nods her head, accepting, already forming another theory in her head.
“She also trying to avoid seeing Erin?” Chase glances over to where Erin was talking with someone, before looking back at Emma.
“They talked at Eldora and things are straightened ou-”
“I also talked to my sister Chase, and I know her honest opinion of Sarina as of right now.” Chase bit his lip, knowing that probably didn’t come out smoothly.
“Emma, I know as she told me, but Sarina has no idea. Her skipping the wedding has nothing to do with that, I promise you.” Emma wanted to simply believe him to make things simple, but couldn’t quite do that.
“It doesn’t matter to me either way as this is my night – well, Cale’s too, and we’re set to celebrate our love with those who are close to us. But know that I don’t take lightly to people playing around with my sister’s fee-”
“The kiss was a total accide-”
“I don’t care the circumstances, reasons, whatever. Just remember what I told you. I will kick your ass if I have to. Just ask Ryan.” Emma then walks away as Cale glances between the pair surprised.
“I’m going to say that’s the pregnancy hormones kicking in,” Cale offers as Chase just grins a little.
“I’d like to believe you there, but I’ve known her a long time to know better,” Chase comments as he places a hand on Cale’s shoulder. “You found a gem in her, and I’m happy for you. Don’t screw it up.”
Chase then walks away, set to go find Ryan and Lindsay as he promised he’d catch up with them both.
The rest of the night ultimately would go smoothly, capping off with the gender reveal and Chase guessed it right as Emma and Cale were expecting a boy.
“Try topping that reveal,” Chase offers as he glances over at Ryan and Lindsay.
“We actually talked about waiting until she has the baby to see what it is,” Ryan comments as Chase looks over surprised.
“Are you sure your sisters are going to let you away with that? I’d expect them to want to know so they can shop and spoil the baby, and plan the baby shower.” Ryan chuckles as he had heard rumblings from both already about those plans.
“They have Emma’s boy to spoil. That should keep them occupied for awhile.”
Friday August 3, 2018 – Watkin’s Glen International
“What are you looking at?” Chase questions as the pair of them relax in the transporter together.
“White flowers, or light blue flowers?” She asks as she flips between the images.
“Light blue. The snow will have so much white that you want something to compliment it.” She then looks over surprised as he puts his arm around her. “You learn those things doing photo shoots. Are you almost done planning for the wedding?”
“Venue, decorations, and now flowers – I say guest list and then finding the perfect dress.” He smiles as he looks into her eyes.
“I don’t care what you wear as you’ll look beautiful no matter what.” He then leans in, lightly kissing her lips. “Guest list – close friends and family only. That should be easy..”
“I just hope that things go smoothly when it comes to that.” She then sets her phone down. “I heard from Lindsay that Emma wasn’t pleased that I wasn’t there, blaming it on Eri-”
“I talked to Emma about it, and whether she agreed or not, who knows. But she knows from me that you were sick and she saw it on the weekend. She’s just set to let it go.” Sarina lets out a chuckle.
“Chase, I haven’t known them as long as you know, but I know how protective Emma can be from Lindsay.” Chase lets out a sigh.
“So Emma threatened to kick my ass should something else happen – that’s normal. Like you told me last week, there’s nothing to worry about because we love each other.” He then intertwines his fingers with hers. “Nobody is going to change that, ever.”
“I know…” She then lays her head against him. “Even if the fans want to start rumors and little hashtag battles.”
“Hashtag battles?” She then picks her phone back up, going into Twitter as she loads a poll. “Sarell or Charina? We have a couple hashtag now?” She chuckles, nodding her head. “I guess Sarase didn’t sound as good. Did you vote?”
“Uh no, I don’t want them to realize I’m stalking their crazy asses.” He then laughs as he glances through some of the tweets. “But you have to admit, there’s some entertaining stuff in there….”
“You certainly have gathered a following.” He then hands the phone back to her.
“It still surprises me, sometimes. I still can’t believe my decision to go down main street and grab a drink when we landed because I wanted to go to my favorite smoothie shop since I had been missing it resulted in paparazzi.” She then pulls up the photo they took. “Like, that’s insane. You don’t even have that unless you’re downtown New York.”
“At least they took an adorable photo of you…” She then shakes her head. “But I also heard they were in town due to Ariana Grande or something, so maybe they mistook you at first. Not that I could understand why because you’re so much more beautiful.”
“Careful Chase, too much of the flirting and we may get distracted. I have practice soon….” Chase nods his head, remembering as he rubs her shoulders. With the trucks being off, she had decided to run the K&N Series race to get some more road course experience.
“Are you sure you’re feeling up to it?” She then glances back at him surprised.
“Are you going to be overprotective for the months to come because of one sick weekend?”
“Someone has to take care of you…” He then kisses her cheek, causing her to turn back and face him, with their lips meeting together.
“We take care of each other, always….” She then wraps her arms around him as their lips find each other’s once again, with his hands slipping underneath the back of her shirt. “Chas-”
“You need to get changed anyway….”