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

Saturday, November 17 – Homestead-Miami Speedway

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Chase, I think you’re just paran-”

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

“That’s my little bea-”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday, November 18 – Homestead-Miami Speedway

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

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

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

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

“Las Veg-”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, November 22 – Dawsonville, Georgia

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

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

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

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

“That was my fau-”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“It’s up to yo-”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday, November 17 – Homestead-Miami Speedway

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“I just don’t want to stres-”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“My parents found out Tuesday nig-”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“That’s goo-”

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

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

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

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

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

“I didn’t mean to brin-”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pregnant. Baby.

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

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

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

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

The Tale of Love & Racing: Sarina’s Story – Chapter 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 127: Kansas

Friday, October 19 – Kansas Speedway

Ryan walks over, sticking his head through the window as Chase worked at getting the belts buckled up.

“So you’re actually here on time for practice?” Ryan questions as Chase looks over with a grin.

“What’s that supposed to mean?” Chase asks, though had to chuckle as he knew what the question was in relation to.

Middle of the night, he was awoken by Sarina in the kitchen looking for a specific treat. When there was none left and the pregnancy craving not leaving, it began a search to get it for her as soon as possible. Couple calls to fellow drivers in the garage, along with a trip into town to see what was open, he found what she wanted and was able to satisfy Baby Elliott.

“So where’d you end up finding those honey tart chips she so badly wanted?” Ryan questions as Chase rolls his eyes, remembering the journey.

“Opposite end of town, in a small convenience store,” Chase reveals. “I literally bought the whole shelf – all 15 bags, even though they’re like $2 more each then we pay at home.” Ryan had to chuckle at the reaction.

“And I take it she hasn’t put them down since?” Chase shakes his head no.

“She ate a bag last night and then went back to sleep. She had breakfast this morning with me, and then I saw her grabbing a bag before we came out to the garage area.” Ryan glances over by the pit box, seeing Sarina standing there with her familiar bag of honey tart chips. “I can’t even eat a single one; they’re too sweet.”

“Aww, baby Elliott is going to be a sweetie then unlike his or her dad.” Chase then reaches over, giving Ryan a slight punch as Ryan laughs. “By the way, if you have any mangos, hide them. We’ve been through four a day the past couple weeks courtesy of Lindsay.”

“Your mangos and melons are safe, as long as I have bananas and grapefruit to go with her chips.” Ryan gives him a fist pump as he gets set to walk away. “Good luck catching me this weekend.”

“We’ll just have to wait and see there bud…..”

Friday, October 19 – Charlotte, North Carolina

Alison smiled as she looked at the photo on her phone of Chase walking through the garage at Kansas following the first Cup practice.

“Glad you’re having fun,” Alison says as she sees he was fifth quickest in the session. “Now it’s time for some fun of her own.”

After getting caught with the cameras in the motorcoach – curse Bill was all she could think, she knew that she couldn’t go down without a fight quite yet. Placing a mask over her face as she pulled the car up the driveway, it was time to launch phase two of the plan.

She had broken into his house before, so she knew that she could do it once again; it just took some clever work with the front door and making sure to not trigger the alarm system. Once inside, she makes her way up the stairs, debating as to what to do. It had to be something small, but not too big. it was all a test to see whether he’d notice her appearance or not.

She reaches the top of the stairs, glancing into a room to her right with a bit of surprise.

“Oh Miles….” She lets out, seeing the monster trophy sitting on the dresser. She enters the small room, seeing just a dresser in the empty room along with the trophy sitting there. “How could Chase leave you all alone by yourself?”

Smiling as she remembered a prank pulled on someone a couple years ago, her hands landed on the trophy. She then picked it up, moving it from the far end of the dresser facing into the room, to the front of the dresser facing the doorway.

Hopefully, it was enough to get his attention that she had been able to enter the house at will, just like she had entered the motorcoach at will. Slowly but surely, he was going to realize that she was in control of his fate once again.

For now, though, it was time to go and make her way to Kansas.

Friday, October 19 – Kansas Speedway

Jordan walks over to Sarina, snatching one of the chips out of the bag as he eats it.

“Okay, these are actually pretty good,” he compliments them as she glances back with a smile. The entire day as story spread of her craving, the crew guys had been debating whether they enjoyed the possible taste effect that the chips would offer. Some of them had even stepped up enough to try, with mixed responses.

“Now can you go convince your driver of that?” She questions as Jordan laughs, shaking his head no.

“How do trust the food carvings of a guy that doesn’t eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches?” She laughs, also having expressed her reservations about his lack of bread and sandwiches in the diet.

“I tried to convince him to put it on a wrap at least to prove a point, and that got me nowhere.” Jordan lets out a sigh as he glances back to pit road, seeing Chase getting set for the second round of qualifying.

“You’ll have to sneak it in there without telling him one time.” He then climbs over the wall, following his duties as the interior mechanic by helpings with the belts and helmet. Satisfied with the job well done once again as he put the window net up, he took his spot back with Sarina as they waited for Alan to send him out. “So, have you finished wedding planning?”

“Actually, I am proud to say that everything is finalized except for possible table adjustments depending who says they’re not coming.” While she hated the thought of some friends and family missing the wedding, she understood the situation given the fact they were having it in Colorado during vacation time for everyone else. However, there were no regrets given that was the only time that worked in the schedule and Colorado was special for them both. “Please tell me that you’re coming at least.”

“Didn’t my RSVP show up at your house, yet? Of course I am coming!” She wraps both arms around him in a show of excitement.

“I’m glad, or else I would’ve had to get Alan and Josh to kick your ass.” Jordan chuckles as they peer their eyes on the track.

Second round of qualifying, it was all about getting into the top-five. The team was confident entering the session given how they had practiced, but yet the speed just didn’t seem to be there. fighting a bit of a tight condition in turns one and two, the speed loss was shown on the tracker as they fell just shy – mere tenths of a second – of making the third, qualifying 13th for Sunday.

“I guess he didn’t pick up enough tips from you on how to run well here,” Jordan comments as Sarina chuckles, knowing he was referencing her victory from earlier in the season.

“Guess I’ll have to have a chat with him,” she offers with a smile as Jordan just laughs back in response.

“As long as you behave…” He then offers a wink, before climbing over the wall to do his usual job.

“If only you knew, Jordan, if only you knew….”

Saturday, October 20 – Kansas Speedway

“I don’t know what to say,” Chase offers as he crosses his arms following the first practice session of two for the day.

“Were you happy with the handling?” Alan questions, not caring at the exact moment that they were 22nd quickest. First it was about getting the car to Chase’s liking, and then he’d worry about the speed.

“Little snug through the center, and couldn’t roll the top like I wanted either in both runs.” Alan nods his head, as he ponders the set-up changes that they had made throughout the day thus far. “We were fifth quickest on Friday, and we looked like we knew what we were doing. Then came qualifying, and now we look like a monkey screwing a footba-”

“Hey, I wouldn’t go that far. We could be 30th quickest.” Chase rolls his eyes. “Look, I get it. Everybody knows that intermediate tracks are not our strong point. Everybody knows to be worried about Homestead if we make the Championship 4 – which we’re going to do, by the way. I understand the pressure to perform and get everything sorted out this weekend. hence why I am trying a couple things to see if we can be better than what we’ve done this year.”

“News flash – it’s not wor-”

“Thanks, Captain Obvious!” Alan was taken back by the bits of attitude, but understood what was at stake as he explained. It was why he wasn’t about  to chop at his driver’s guts yet. Truth be told, Chase’s shortness more so came from events off the track as his mind wandered what Alison would be up to next. “I am going to go closer to what we had Friday, but a little different. I think it’ll be better. Actually, I know it will be better.”

“I believe in you….” Alan smiles a little as he wraps an arm around his shoulder.

“I’m glad because otherwise, I’d have to get the Mickey Mouse cookies out.” Chase chuckles as he watches the crew chief walk away.

With knowing that there was still another half hour until the session, Chase knew he had to amuse himself in some sort of a way or else he’d be totally bored. Boredom was never good as his mind wandered then. So finding Sarina hanging at the back of the garage stall, Ipad in hand, looking through photos easily caught his attention.

“So what is more prettier than me to look at?” He asks as he sits down beside her.

“There’s nothing sexier than you,” she answers, glancing over with a quick kiss for him. “I’m actually beginning to think of nursery ideas.” Chase was a little surprised, but knew they couldn’t leave that too late given their schedule and a wedding mixed in there.

“What do you have in mind?” She then lets out a sigh as she goes back through the photos.

“I am trying to think of a theme that isn’t too gende-”

“I told you it’s a gir-”

“But what if it’s a boy?” Chase lets out a sigh, knowing he wouldn’t win the argument until the gender was revealed. They hadn’t even decided yet whether to find out when they could or wait until the birth. “I also didn’t want to stamp anything down because it’s your baby, and should be your decision, too.”

“The beach. It’s calming, pretty, and could have some fun with the colors. It’s also a sweet reminder of when the baby was conceived.” She then rolls her eyes. “What?”

“Do we really want our baby to know the full details?” Chase shakes his head no.

“We don’t have to tell, though.” She nods her head, accepting. “We’re also both racecar drivers, and you know that she, or he, will grow up at the race track. But that maybe too cliché.” She chuckles in response.

“Cliché, but it sound does beautiful.” She then goes back through as she stops on a photo. “What about a jungle? We could do murals of the animals on the walls with the trees, combined with a light green carpet. The wood of the crib and rocking cha-”

“Rocking chair?” She nods her head.

“Sing a lullaby, rock the baby to sleep.” He smiles as he could already see her doing that one night with him looking through the door way in admiration. “But also the change table in a dark tone of wood to match the murals.

“Light colored bedding with animals on it, along with some stuffed animals to join Miles?” She smiles as she could see him falling in love with the idea immediately. “I love it, and I can’t wait to help you decorate.” He then leans over, giving her a kiss.

“So I am going to put together a list of things that we need to get, and then we can get started.” He then stands up, slightly taken back. “What?”

“Do I want to know why you’re so focused and set on getting started?” She shrugs her shoulders, not able to describe the burst of energy either. Most times, relaxing during her days off and enjoying his practice was enough for her.

“I just feel it’s the right time as we should get a head start before things get chaotic.” He then places a hand on her shoulder.

“Just make sure you’re not overdoing it, okay?” She lets out a sigh, but simply nods her head in response.

“And make sure you’re taking care of yourself, too.” He knew why she mentioned that with a sigh of his own.

“I’m fine.” He then leans in, giving her a quick kiss, before heading back over to the car, set for the final practice.

Chase lets out a sigh as both practices were now in the books, and the speed that he wanted had yet to be found. Rather than finding the top-10 on the speed chart, he ended the session ranked 13th.

“But are you happy with the handling?” Alan questions, as he did at the end of the previous session. Rather than complaints, he got a nod in return. “Then I wouldn’t worry. You held the fastest average speed of the session over a period of time. You may be not be firing off at the beginning of a run to lay down that quick time, but your consistent over the course of a run. We get some long runs tomorrow, and we’ll be golden.”

“But yet it seems every single one of these races ends up with a late-race caution,” Chase replies, having seen a theme as there was always that caution in the last 20 laps, whether due to incident or debris.

“And by then, I’ll have it working that you’ll be able to do your thing and win. We’ve made progress over the weekend and we always do our best work on race day.” Alan then wraps an arm around his shoulders. “We’re going to be fine tomorrow.”

Chase was willing to accept the crew chief’s confidence, as he had seen that over the course of the past couple of months. Hopefully it paid off once again.

With the practice session complete, it was time to retreat back to the motorcoach and relax for the rest of the night. Knowing that he was done, Sarina stood up from where she was sitting, set to head back with him. Though as she got up quickly, she felt dizzy all of the sudden.

“Woah….” She lets out as she grabs the ledge of the pit cart near her, catching the attention of the team.

“Are you okay?” Chase asks as he immediately walks over and she nods her head slowly.

“Yeah, I’m fine now…” She then takes a couple deep breaths. “I just got up too fast and felt dizzy all of the sudden.” Chase knew that she had been pushing it a little – in his mind anyway, and could easily see that as the reason for her slight stumble.

“Are you sure?” She nods her head once again. “Do you need a drink, or a hand, or anything?” She shakes her head no.

“Chase, I’m fine. I told you – I just got up too quickly.” She then rubs her stomach, as she begins to slowly walk away from where she was standing. Chase wasn’t willing to let it go as quickly, keeping an arm around her back. “Chas-”

“Just in case. I want to take care of you, and the baby, and be there for you both.” He then gives her a kiss on the cheek. “I love you. Let me take care of you, and please listen when I say to take it easy….”

She lets out a sigh as they continue to walk through the garage area. These next four months were going to very long.

The Tale of Love & Racing: Sarina’s Story – Chapter 126: Baby….

Saturday, October 13 – Talladega Superspeedway

Chase walks down the hall of the care center, remembering the instruction given as to what room Sarina was currently in. Reaching the room, he pulled the curtain back slightly, peeking in as he saw Dr. Grayson standing there with her.

Taking a deep breath, everything flipped inside of him in guessing what would be said next.

“Do you see that?” Dr. Grayson questions as she looks at the sonogram. “That’s your baby – still tucked in the womb, still moving around.” Sarina felt every bit of relief immediately. “Everything else looks in place as it is supposed to be, too.” She then sets up the Doppler device, placing it on her stomach as a familiar beat can be heard.

“That’s the heartbeat, right?” Sarina asks and Dr. Grayson nods her head. “So the baby is okay…”

“Babies can be delicate, but they’re also tough and fighters, and we know that you’re tough as well. Everything looks good, so I don’t believe there’s anything to worry about.” Sarina nods her head, accepting. She only glances away from her stomach when she hears footsteps, smiling as she sees Chase standing there.

“Did you hear that the baby is okay?” Chase nods his head as he walks over, clutching her hand.

“I’m glad you and the baby are okay,” he tells her, kissing her lips.

“Well, you are okay right Ms. Ott?” Dr. Grayson double checks as Sarina nods her head.

“I’m totally fine,” she offers as she relaxes.

“I will warn that you may be sore later, a little in the back and that, so make sure to take it easy and have this prince charming take care of you.” Sarina chuckles as she glances over at Chase with a smile.

It wasn’t long before she was back fully dressed in her firesuit and leaving the care center, talking to the media on the way out about the contact with Peters.

“Do you want to come out to pit road with me?” Chase questions, and Sarina nods her head accepting. “If you want to go lay down, that’s fine. I’ll be okay with Alan and the gu-”

“No, I’ll be fine,” she assures him.

The pain staking process of qualifying at Talladega seemed to take forever as the session went slower than both of them thought possible. However, they couldn’t complain as Chase had qualified fifth for Sunday’s race after SHR swept the top-four spots.

With the session in the books, the couple headed back to the motorcoach lot, ready to relax for the night after a trying day. Once inside and changed out of their respective firesuits, it was cuddles on the couch while ordering in food for the night.

“Are you okay?” Chase questions, and Sarina simply nods her head in return. “I’m just glad that you and the baby are okay.”

“Realistically, I was scared,” Sarina confesses. “I started crying after the wreck because I thought I had lost the baby. However, feeling no pain, I started to believe in him or her.”

“I totally freaked out on the pit box. Kyle offered comfort actually.” Sarina glances back a little surprised, though lets out a sigh at the same time.

“He was already not comfortable with what we were doing. I can only imagine what he’ll have to say about that on Monday.” Chase rubs her shoulders a little.

“If we’re being honest, it scared me quite a bit and I began to question what we were thinking when I came into the infield care center.” Sarina wasn’t surprised as that was written over his face when he entered the room.

“I told you originally that I was being selfish in what I was doing. I told you originally that I understand why people will be mad, angry, or disagree – but I still stand by my decision no matter what.” She hated to say the next set of words, but knew they had to be stated. “You’re the father, Chase, so if you tell me that you’re not comfortable – just like I asked before the race, then we’ll stop this right here and now.”

“Like I told you before the race, I have your back and I’m oka-”

“And you’re not just saying that to make me happy, right?” Chase nods his head.

“My nerves may be fried, I may be going crazy at times, but I still support you fully.” He then kisses her cheek as she smiles back in return.

“That’s why I thank my lucky stars every night that I am blessed to have you in my life.” She then hears her phone going off, reading the text message as she rolls her eyes. “I told you that Kyle would be messaging.”

“I’m surprised he hasn’t stormed down our door yet.” She chuckles, surprised herself, as she texts back a response. “If he gives you too much hell, I’m sure I could convince Mike Beam for you.”

“I don’t think I could stand a weekend as a teammate to Johnny Sauter.” Chase then chuckles, knowing that Johnny could be interesting to deal with at times.

“How do you think I felt this year?” She sticks her tongue out, as she continues to text back and forth with Kyle.

“As much as I appreciate the offer, I got to this point with Rudy and these guys, and I am finishing it with Rudy and these guys. The championship isn’t meant to be just mine alone, Chase.” Chase nods his head, fully accepting that as he felt the same way about his guys, too. “Besides, while Kyle isn’t comfortable and feels the need to send me a series of messages, he won’t pull me from the truck due to Samantha and Rudy.”

“Remind me to hug them both.” Sarina chuckles a little as they hear the door bell ring. Chase scoots himself out from underneath her on the couch, going to the door and accepting the food delivery, courtesy of one of the 9 crew guys who offered to do a favor.

With food bags in hand, Chase makes his way to the small table in the kitchen, placing them on it as Sarina walks over. She takes her seat as he goes over to the fridge, opening it up, and grabbing them both a drink. As the door closes, he glances up and notices something in the shape of a puck on top.

“What’s wrong?” Sarina asks, seeing the glance hat he was making to the top of the fridge. He reaches up, picking the puck up in his hand as he spins it.

“I don’t remember this being here,” he answers, as he slides it across the kitchen table to her.

“Maybe Ryan brought it with him, or maybe you were cleaning up from someone else and stuck it up there.” Chase just shrugs his shoulders, before sitting across from her.

“There’s just something about being in the motorcoach tonight that doesn’t feel right…” She then reaches over the table, placing a hand on top of his.

“I know you’re nerves are fried between what happened to me and what happened with Alison. I get it that you’re on edge, Chase. You can talk to me about it.” But how could you talk about something that you couldn’t describe?

“I’m fine…” He then reaches into the bag, pulling out the food containers.

Sunday, October 14 – Talladega Superspeedway

Sarina could already feel the frustration beginning, and that was during the early stages of the race.

Stewart-Haas Racing had taken control after starting through the top-four spots, quickly getting single-file and cruising away from the field. It took Chase with everything that he had to barely hang onto the back of Joey Logano and Ryan Blaney in the lead draft to finish the opening stage seventh.

“I’m out of fuel,” Chase reported under caution after the stage was finished, forcing him down pit road before the pits were open. Sarina could only shake her head in disbelief that they had run dry, knowing now they’d restart tail end of the field in 33rd.

The No. 9 NAPA Chevrolet had speed, though, as Chase was able to make his way back forward, running in the teens when the caution came out with six to go in stage two.

“Bring her in,” Alan instructed, which Sarina couldn’t argue. Stage finishing position didn’t matter unless they were leading for a bonus point virtue of last week’s win, so it was time to set themselves up for better. Even if it meant restarting further back due to others staying out.

Once he crossed the stage checkered in 15th, Sarina half-expected Alan to leave him out as they had only put a couple laps of fuel and tires in the books. Considering passing was at a premium today with the strategy played by the front runners, track position was critical.

“Bring her in,” Alan then instructed, catching her off-guard as she looked over at Jordan slightly confused. However, there was still a lot of laps left so why should she worry?

Restarting 21st, the speed of the car showed once again as Chase made his way forward, back into the top-five in the fourth spot. However, that was shortly lived as he’d get stuck up in the outside slow lane, fading back through the field.

“I get working with teammates, but Byron is a slow as a stone, and drives like a dart without feathers,” Sarina commented, earning a chuckle from Jordan. It seemed their Hendrick Motorsports teammate knew nothing about smooth driving while leading a line of cars.

The caution would come out at Lap 139, with Chase running in the 12th position now. He would make his way into the pits per Alan’s instruction, getting four tires and fuel.

“Tell Alex to use me and do what he needs to get up front,” Chase says under the yellow flag. Sarina knew the reference was to his teammate Alex Bowman, who ran right behind him. With Chase locked into the next round, it was time to get Alex in there as well. She couldn’t argue with the strategy, but felt nerves in seeing what could happen next as the race entered the late stages.

Another caution would come out with less than 30 laps to go, with Alan electing this time to keep Chase out on the track for position. Sarina actually smiled a little as she had wanted that strategy sooner. Restarting sixth, though, he didn’t get into the line he needed to, fading back to where he was stuck mid-pack.

Chaos then began to ensue, and Sarina couldn’t help but let out a curse and sigh of relief in watching him barely get around Alex when he went around spinning in the closing stages. Running 18th, Alan elected to bring Chase down pit road, causing him to start further back in 27th.

“I don’t know if I agree with Alan’s calls today,” she confesses as Jordan shrugs his shoulders.

“Alan is bargaining on there being more wrecks in the closing stages, us getting through and fresh tires giving us what we’ve been missing,” Jordan offers.

At that point, it really didn’t matter as the frustration on the radio throughout the entire race matched how she was feeling in watching this madness. What was up with nobody being able to take the advantage away from SHR?

Restarting 27th, the idea of escaping wrecks didn’t happen, as instead Chase got tagged in the midst of Kyle Busch’s last lap crash. He would get sent down into the infield grass, stopping shy of the wall.

“I’m stuck,” he came across the radio. “Can’t get out of this madness. They’re going to have to tow me back.”

Even without hitting really anything during the wreck, Chase was required to make the trip to the infield care center. Easy in, easy out, the process was seamless as he didn’t remain there long.

“I mean, it is what it is,” he tells the media waiting outside. “We were far enough back in the pack where if it does happen, you are probably going to be in it.”

“Did you learn anything from the Stewart-Haas cars and what they were able to do?” A reporter asks as Chase bites his tongue. If only there had been a bit better co-operation on track, they could’ve made something happened and ruined the party. Instead, the race slowly turned into a disaster.

“I learned that we are probably going to race in the Talladega Roval if it continues.”

He walks away, snatching Sarina’s hand on the way and giving her a quick kiss. They went to the garage area first, checking in with Alan and the guys to quickly discuss the event. The frustration still loomed, though, as Chase kept the conversation short before returning back to the motorcoach.

“I just want to get changed and get out of here,” he tells Sarina as he heads into the bedsroom, set to get changed.

“I’m right there with you,” she replies as she sits on the couch, knowing he’d only be a matter of minutes. She then glances up at the television, freezing as she notices something on the shelf. She then stands up, reaching up to grab it as she spins it around in her hand. “Chase?” Chase then walks out of the bedsroom, spinning a puck in his hand as well.

“Where did you find that?” She then points up on top of the television as the other they spotted last night still sat on the table. “I found this one on my dresser.”

“Three pucks spotted when we don’t recall having a single one.” She then glances at it, checking it over closer. “Is Ryan trying to prank us in a strange weird way?”

“I’ll have to ask him…” Sarina then tosses hers on the table alongside the other, as Chase spins his around in his hand again.

“Are you ready to go?” A voice interrupts the pair by no surprise, as Chase gives his dad a simple nod in return. “What’s that?”

“A puck,” Chase answers, tossing it at his father who catches it. Bill looks over it closely, though a glance back at the couple had him caught off-guard.

“So why are we checking out a puck?” Bill questions as Chase glances over at Sarina, before returning his eyes to his dad.

“We found three of them in different spots of the motorcoach and were caught off-guard.” Bill gives it another glance over, before slamming it on the ground. As soon as it hits, the puck popped open with a small camera inside.

“Classic cameras set-up to spy on you both.” Bill then leans down, picking up the camera, before looking at the pair. “I probably don’t need to tell you who planted these.”

“Alison,” Sarina and Chase say together as Bill nods his head, before crushing the camera in his hand. The action was then followed suit by the couple with the other two pucks.

“Check everywhere else to see if she left any others,” Bill instructs. “I would then change the password to get in, along with reporting this as its invasion of privacy. You’re both coming home to Dawsonville tonight and staying at my place as we need to make sure there’s none at the house, too.”

“Thank you,” Sarina says quietly as she reaches over, squeezing Chase’s hand as she knew there were probably plenty of thoughts going through his mind.

It didn’t take long for the report to be filed, and checking every inch of the motorcoach over found another one. Thankfully, the house inspection on Monday located nothing.

“You’d think someone would’ve spotted someone entering Chase’s motorcoach that didn’t seem normal,” Justin Haley overhears Chad Norris mention to Mike Beam in the GMS Racing shop.

The young man swallowed the lump in his throat, now regretting that he hadn’t said something about the visitor. However, weren’t you always told to stay out of people’s personal business?

The Tale of Love & Racing: Sarina’s Story – Chapter 123: Gander Outdoors 400

Friday, October 5 – Dover International Speedway

With first practice not scheduled for a little later in the day, the couple were back in the familiar confines of the Medical Center. They were getting used to each track’s layout, and specifics with the amount of times they had been seeing Dr. Grayson. They just hoped nobody else got curious about their behavior.

“So everything came back fine on the blood tests,” Dr. Grayson tells the couple, as Chase lets out a sigh of relief. “There is nothing to be concerned about there, so it’s just a matter of watching how the baby grows, and making sure that the baby is comfortable inside of her stomach with the concerns of uterus shape and size.”

“So there’s nothing to worry about?” Chase questions and Dr. Grayson shakes her head no.

“I can do you one more to make you feel better, though…” While giving Sarina another ultrasound, they watch as the doctor pulls out a doppler device. Running it along the stomach, a faint steady rhythm sound could be heard by everybody in the room.

“Is that the baby’s heartbeat?” Sarina asks, almost feeling a couple tears to her eyes as the doctor nods her head yes. “Oh my gosh…”

“Seriously?” Chase questions and the doctor nods her head once again.

“And it sounds very healthy, too,” Dr. Grayson offers as Chase looks over at Sarina, grabbing her hand and giving it a little squeeze.

“It’s becoming more real by the second…” Sarina comments as she knew she could lay there and listen to that all day. “Do you want to just leave me with her and I’ll take in that sound while you practice?”

“That sounds better than Eddie and Alan on the radio,” Chase comments, earning a couple chuckles.

“As I told you both – there’s nothing to worry about right now,” Dr. Grayson assures them. She then puts it aside, giving Sarina’s stomach a wipe to get the jelly used off. “But you also know that if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask.” Chase was glad that she was offering an ear, as he knew there’d be plenty for the weeks to come.

“The leg cramps that she was having last wee-”

“…are perfectly normal during a pregnancy, Chase. The relief from them is simple – rest, elevation, and a nice warm cozy bath. I’m sure you can do that for her.” Chase nods his head.

“We’re in the middle of planning our wedding, though. Is having the wedding while she’s pregnant a good idea?” Dr. Grayson glances between, surprised on the question. Racing was no argument, but now a wedding presented a question?

“If she can race 200 mph around big superspeedways, I think she’d be fine walking down the aisle to her man. If there’s some cramps that day, or concerns, then she can take it easy. And make sure with the planning, there’s limited stress.” Sarina knew that was a must, considering the playoffs would probably give her enough on their own.

“Don’t worry – the plans are pretty much finalized,” she offers, knowing all that was left was alterations to the dress as she grew more, followed by seeing who all accepted their invitations. “Now, can you please tell Chase that he doesn’t need to worry? I think he’s overacting as a father here, already.” Dr. Grayson chuckles as she places a hand on Sarina’s shoulder.

“Actually, he’s just like many patients that I see at the clinic,” she informs her. “It’ll get easier as you get further along, I’m sure.” Chase also knew it’d get easier as soon as another problem in their life was dealt with.

Friday, October 5 – New York

Alison turns off the television, letting out a sigh. She hated being so far away from the guy she wanted, but it was necessary this weekend for now. At least he had started off his weekend right, timing in fourth quickest in practice.

Though with Cup practice over and no more coverage of her man to focus on, her eyes shifted across the restaurant she occupied to the lady sitting at a table by herself. She could only wonder what was going through her mind after the events of the past couple of weeks, including being turned down so sharply in conversation.

Debating whether this was a good decision in keeping her cover, Alison decided to go with her gut as she stood up and made her way over. Clearing her throat, knowing the high-pitched voice had to return, it was time to make her next move.

“Is this seat taken?” She questions, earning the gaze from the other female across the table.

“There’s other empty tables in the joint,” Shelley answers back, eyes focusing back down at her glass.

“I couldn’t help but notice the sadness, or perhaps anger, written in your eyes.” Alison then slowly sits down before her. “I actually came here tonight to try and wipe some of my own away. You see, there’s guy that I like and I want to be with so badly. We’ve spent time together, and I can feel this perfect connection in how he lusts for my touch. Except there’s a problem. His fiancé, whom he’s committed to now since they’ve been together for a couple of years. I can’t bare to watch them together because it makes me upset…”

“Have you tried talking to him?” Alison smiles, remembering the notes that she had written over and over.

“Lots of times, but nothing shakes him off his game…” Shelley takes a long sip of her drink as she lets out a sigh.

“Mine is more family drama, if you will. I made a bad decision in trying to force my niece to forgive my nephew, and help him as he’s a little mentally inflicted. It actually turns out that my decision was wrong and he couldn’t be helped. It brought her more pain, along with her family.” Shelley then looks back up at Alison. “I went to apologize, but yet neither her or her fiancé want to forgive me. It’s like they plan to hold it over my head until my dying day. I thought forgivesnss was part of healing.”

“That’s what I was always told as well….” Shelley then takes a deep breath as she glances back towards her phone.

“Maybe my cousin was right after all. Maybe he’s the wrong girl for her. I mean, when we met up, he just went off and didn’t give her a chance to say her side. Then when she spoke, it was like immediately repetition.” Shelley then lets out a sigh. “Oh well, her life not mine. If she wants to be controlled by someone, then that’s not my problem.”

“I feel bad for you, honestly, and I want to help you. Maybe I can help you…” Shelley looks over slightly confused. “My name is Britney Teals. I’m a family councilor. Maybe I can help in working out your family’s problems.” Shelley couldn’t help but chuckle.

“It’s sort of strange the person that I blast about this too is a councilor. My name is Shelley, by the way. As far as your help, I’m going to have to turn you down.” Alison almost wanted to slap her for the response, but held her tongue for that minute.

“I thought you were concerned and ready to move forward….”

“I also know that continuing this battle only brings more pain and reminders of the past. Do you really think that’s fair for someone?” Alison smiles, as she knew that was in her plans already.

“They need to face their fears, anxiety, and feelings. The only way to do that is to be straight head-on, rather than trying to hide behind it with another name or other life.” Alison then slowly stands up, pushing the chair in. “Look, I can’t tell you what you can and can’t do. All I can say is that if you need a hand, give me a call and stop by to see me. It may be the best thing you’ve done for your niece.”

Alison then walks away, feeling pleased with the conversation. Now she just hoped that she got a phone call sooner rather than later. It was nice to hear that Shelley didn’t approve of Sarina and Chase being together as she didn’t either herself. Perhaps they both could get who and what they wanted in the end.

Friday, October 5 – Dover International Speedway

“Still raining?” Sarina questions as she emerges from the back of the motorcoach.

“No sign of stopping as they canceled qualifying,” Chase adds, seeing from Alan’s text message that he’d start ninth on Sunday. “What are you doing? I thought you were supposed to be resting.” Sarina lets out a sigh as she rubs her stomach.

“I feel like I’m bloated. I thought maybe walking would get rid of some.” Chase glances over at her.

“You realize if you keep walking back and forth that you’re going to make a dint in the floor?” She then picks up the pillow, chucking it at his head as he laughs. “Maybe the baby is blowing bubbles..”

“Seriously?” He then shrugs his shoulders as he turns his eyes back on Fortnite. “So how many times have you died?”

“None, but I killed Blaney.” Sarina had to chuckle, knowing Ryan’s ridiculous strategy of hiding in a building and waiting for people to come in, planning to shoot them that way.

“That’s not a very nice best friend, Chase.” Chase then lets out a small cheer as he had won that round, once again.

“In the battle of Fortnite, it’s every man for themselves. Besides, it teaches him how to get better.” She then chuckles as she continues pacing back and forth. “I should teach you how to play later.”

“Uh no, thank you. I’ll stick to my candy crush.” He then rolls his eyes, remembering how frustrated she had gotten stuck on level 367 the other night.

“But I thought you were done with it after the stupid bear wouldn’t become unfrozen for you in the last mov-”

“I beat that level, thank you very much.” She then stops, as a big fart rips out, causing a smirk to form on her face. “Now that feels much better.”

“Can you please keep your bombs to the bedsroom? I am trying to concentrate, but I may gag at the smell of that.” She then walks over, sitting right down on him.

“Just for that smartass remark, I’ll make sure the next one is right in your nose.” He then gives her a slight push, forcing her off his lap as she flops on the couch beside him. “Fine. I’ll do all the hard work of carrying your child without any of your help..”

“Damn it!” She had to chuckle at him getting shot dead in the round he had started. “By the way, I do admire you for the woman that you are, the strength that you have, the what you’re doing for us.” He then places a hand on her stomach. “I also can’t wait to meet this mini version of you.” He then kisses her stomach, which is followed by another fart. “Seriously?”

“Kissing makes the baby move, I guess, and the air comes flowing out.” She then wraps her arms around his shoulders. “You know, if it was up to me, it could be rain until Sunday. The car is fast, and I don’t mind keeping you to myself.” She then kisses his cheek as he leans back in her arms a little, smiling.

Saturday, October 6 – Dover International Speedway

Chase lets out a sigh as he glances out the window of the motorcoach, before looking back over at Sarina.

“You jinxed it yesterday,” he offers, as he takes a couple cards from the deck. Out of pure boredom, the couple was now playing Go Fish.

“And?” Sarina questions, as she glances through her cards. “Any 5s?”

“Go Fish.” She then reaches into the stack of cards. “Now we’re so bored that we’re playing Go Fish. Any 7s?”

“I hate you…” He then chuckles as she places one on the table. “Think about it this year – we’re getting good practice in before our child is old enough to play with us.” He lets out a sigh as he scans through his cards.

“I don’t need practice to beat you.” She then gives him a ‘really’ glance as he chuckles. “Who has won every game since we started, and oh, do you have any Qs?”

“Go Fish, and it’s because I’ve let you win.” He then rolls his eyes as he reaches into the stack. “I wouldn’t want to hurt little Chasey’s feelings by beating him. Any 4s?”

“If it makes you feel better, you can tell yourself that…” He then places a 4 on the table as she smiles. “But we both know who the Go Fish Champion is.”

“We’ll just see who wins this game….” She then puts the 4 down in her stack of pairs. “Any 9s?” He shakes his head no, as she reaches into the stack. “By the way, have the guys picked out their wedding attire yet?”

“Unlike you girls, it doesn’t take us all day. Everybody has something comfortable that fits what we requested as they sent me photos.” He then reaches over, placing a hand on hers. “What did Dr. Grayson say about worrying and stress?”

“I think you need to listen to that advice, given your constant worries and questions.” He knew sometimes it may seem like a lot, but he didn’t want to leave anything to chance.

“I just want to do whatever I can for you, and the baby.” He then leans over the table, kissing her lips. “And if you have a Jack, I’ll take it please.”

“Go fish.” He then lets out a sigh as he takes his turn reaching into the pile. “And Chase, I really do appreciate everything, but relax. We’ve got this and we’re going to do this right.” Chase nods his head, accepting.

Saturday, October 6 – New York

Why was she even watching practice coverage? What purpose did it serve her to watch Chase on her television screen when she couldn’t stand him at this very moment? It even made her angry that he was fifth quickest in the second practice.

Shelley then watched as they showed one of his crew members, with this quiet sense of confidence, believing that they were going to win tomorrow. That made her want to puke. Why did they deserve to be happy when she was upset?

That was when her eyes retreated back to the phone number before her, and the conversation she had with Britney yesterday. Was it really worth a phone call?

Knowing she couldn’t dwell herself in pitty any longer, she picks her cell phone, dialing the number in question.

“Hey Britney?” She starts off carefully, with a deep breath. “I’m ready to put my family back together. name the place and time, and I’ll be there. I’m ready to do whatever it takes as Ms. Chelsy Dryer shouldn’t just be able to get off scott free and run everyone’s lives.”

While she had been ready for the apologetic approach, her tone was quickly shifting as more smiles filled the television screen before her. Her brother was dead. Her sister-in-law was dead. Her husband was dead. Neither niece spoke to her, and her nephew was locked up in a mental ward.

How was any of this fair? It was time to take a stand for those who had suffered to date.

Sunday, October 7 – Dover International Speedway

After starting up front, the track position was shortly lived virtue of a pit road speeding penalty.

“Sorry guys,” Chase immediately apologized on the radio, knowing it had been close with the flicker of lights on the dash.

The speed in the No. 9 Chevrolet showed through as Chase was able to begin to make his way forward, getting back into the top-10 and set for a good finish despite the early struggles. But of course, they weren’t ready to settle either.

“Stay out there,” Alan instructs over the radio under a late-race caution as many of the leaders headed down pit road. The move would put Chase in the lead for the restart, but on old tires compared to most of his competition who took either two or four.

“Is he serious about this?” Sarina questions with a glance over at Jordan Allen.

“He wouldn’t had done it if he wasn’t knowing the value of points,” he answered. “Track position has been important all day, and it’s hard to pass for the lead. He also knows the car is strong on the long haul, and Chase knows this track well.” Jordan wraps an arm around her. “We’ll be fine..”

Chase would get a good restart with four laps to go, but the caution came back out shortly after for a wreck involving several fellow playoff drivers.

“Now how does his strategy look?” Jordan questions, earning a small smile from Sarina as she knew the same thing – they would’ve been right in the middle if they’d pitted.

Chase would get another good restart on the Green-White-Checkered, holding off the challenge from behind to cross the finish line for the victory.

“Hallaluyeah!” Sarina lets out in a big scream, arms pumped in the air. It was nice to get a win, but now more importantly, no matter what happened the next two weeks, they were moving onto the next round. Taking a deep breath, she knew that’d certainly help those Talladega nerves.

“I told you it’d work out!” Jordan then shares a high-five with her, before she wraps an arms around Alan from behind.

“I love you, man. That call was perfection!” He then laughs as he glances back over his shoulder at her.

“Just think – you can babysit Miles now,” he offers, as she smiles. She was actually looking forward to taking home the unique Monster trophy.