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.

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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.

The Tale of Love & Racing: Sarina’s Story – Chapter 103: Go Bowling at the Glen

“A lot of emotion. A lot of relief. It’s been a tough road. Makes a helluva story.” – Chase Elliott, August 5 2018

Sunday, August 5 – Watkins Glen International

“Happy birthday big guy!” Sarina says as she climbs up on the pit box, giving Alan a big pat on the back. “So are we old or ancient now?” Alan chuckles as he looks back at her.

“Easy there young lady,” he offers. “You’re going to be 43 one day and regretting those words…” She just rolls her eyes as she takes her usual seat behind Josh alongside Jordan.

“Here we go….” She puts her headset on, hoping the race just went smooth as possible.

“Appreciate the effort on that Sun Energy 1 car. Looks good.” Sarina had to agree with the crew chief based on how things went yesterday. She just hoped they had that speed once again today.

“Appreciate it fellas as always,” Chase replies on the radio. “Nice and smooth today.”

The race wouldn’t start off on a calm note, though, as the first few laps saw Kyle and Denny begin the crazy battle for the lead ahead of Chase.

“Are you going to be able to handle today?” Jordan jokes as he sees the look on Sarina’s face as they watch them go through the bus stop on the monitor.

“Maybe Kyle will do us a favor and wreck Denny,” she offers, earning a laugh from the interior mechanic.

It also didn’t take long for the first caution to come out, either, as Joey Logano went off course to the surprise of everyone.

“That was pretty damn wild to be the first two laps,” Chase immediately comments on the radio under the yellow to the agreement of everyone.

Once the race restarted, the action didn’t slow down as there was craziness throughout the field. Chase, meanwhile, ran it clean as possible, running fourth throughout the stage until Alan called him to pit road with three laps to go. While it sucked to rejoin the field and finish 11th – one spot outside of earning points, she knew the reasoning behind it and believed in the crew chief’s strategy.

Once everybody else pitted under the yellow, Chase cycled up to the front and immediately made it worth his way, taking the lead early in the stage. He wouldn’t look back throughout, crossing the finish line for another stage victory.

“Alright, green-checkered here,” Eddie D’Hondt says on the radio as Sarina let out a small fist pump in the air. “Save fuel. Save fuel.”

“Good work, bud,” Alan adds as he glances over at the notes from the engineers on fuel strategy.

The restart would not go as planned as Chase would get loose through turn one, allowing Kyle to grab the lead. Chase wouldn’t let him get out that far, actually gaining ground at times through the bus stop and carousel. However, it wasn’t enough to actually get back by him.

“Hey bud, if you can’t get him, just take care of fuel for me,” Alan suggests, earning a small bit of nerves from Sarina in knowing that fuel was going to come into play at the end of this thing.

“What’s more important because I might have a shot at him?” Chase questions in return, and Sarina believed those words. It was easy to see via the lap times that they were making good time, and she believed through the second half of the course, he could make something happen.

“If you can get him, then get him. We just can’t run behind him and lose fuel.”

They didn’t have to worry much longer about fuel numbers to the end of the race as the caution would fly for Matt DiBenedetto blowing up with 37 laps to go. While it was good to not worry as much about fuel, there were still a couple small nerves in knowing they were one lap before the fuel window opened now pitting under yellow.

The pit stop was fast, though Chase would go just before Nick O’Dell was clear of the car, barely clipping him as he left the pit box, coming off pit road in second.

“Sorry about that Nick,” Chase says immediately over the radio.

“He’s okay; he’s laughing,” Alan replies, even chuckling himself at the landing motion.

Sarina just shakes her head as she climbs down off of the pit box, walking over to where Nick was with the guys.

“Are you sure you’re okay?” She asks and he nods his head. “You realize you were just hit by a stock car right?” He nods his head once again.

“But I held on to the air gun, and that’s what matters,” he tells her as she smiles back, remembering the discussion from pre-race. “I just didn’t think he’d actually test the theory.”

“Well, you earned your gold star from me today. Love ya, Nick!” She gives him a big hug, before heading back up to her post.

“Chasey gonna be jealous if he hears about that hug,” Chad Avrit teases, which Nick just flips him the bird back in response earning a laugh from the other guys.

“I’d rather him be jealous over a hug than starting at the tail of the field for this restart,” Nick comments as the team gets comfortable, ready to watch the final laps unfold.

Everybody was then caught off-guard when Kyle Busch made the trip back down pit road, giving up the lead to Chase.

“No fuel in the car whatsoever,” Alan reports over the radio. “He’s not going to be a factor.” Sarina felt herself pout a little, feeling bad for both Kyle and Samantha in being her bosses. Besides, she was actually looking forward to seeing her boss and fiancé fight it out for the win.

“Copy that,” Chase replies. “Is everybody pretty much good to the end here?”

“It’s close. Just save all you can. When you get an opportunity to attack, you know, attack. But just don’t be frivolous with it.” Sarina felt her nerves kick up, already imagining him running out of the gas in the closing stages while leading.

“Frivolous?” She repeats, earning a glance from Jordan. “What? Does Alan think that Chase carries a dictionary in the car or something?” Jordan just chuckles in response as he pats her leg.

“Just relax and enjoy the show,” he starts. “It’s time for your man to do what he was born to do.”

Chase would get the perfect restart with 33 laps to go, pulling out to a solid lead ahead of Martin Truex Jr.

25 to go. 20 to go. 15 to go. 10 to go.

5 to go. The gap was still steady and enough to not get too nervous, but Truex was there if Chase did something.

4 to go. 3 to go. 2 to go.

Sarina felt everything on edge as he took the white flag for the last lap and went down into turn one. Then it happened. The back of the car kicked out a little as he wheel-hopped entering the corner, but he immediately got it back rolling.

“Did he just kick it out of gear to fix that?!?” Sarina questions, feeling every bit of nerve as Jordan just shrugs his shoulders. “Come on, Chase!!”

The moment allowed Martin to shrink the gap considerably, but not enough as Chase held onto the lead, putting together the perfect lap the rest of the way through the course, set to come back around to the checkered.

“Just bring it home, bring it home….” Eddie D’Hondt says as he comes off of the final corner.

“Baby, that’s how you do it!” Alan lets out as he crosses the checkered line. “Get the checkered flag, son!” Sarina lets out the double fist pump, before grabbing Alan from behind, and hugging the crew chief.

“Yeah, baby yeah!” Chase screams on the radio as elation hits the pit box with everybody hugging each other as a couple stray tears roll down Sarina’s cheeks. “Hell yes! Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you!”

“Proud of you guys, proud of all of you,” Bill is next over the radio, earning a small smile from Sarina. She almost wanted to cry a little bit more in knowing that Cindy wasn’t there to experience it, but rather at home with grandma. She could only imagine the emotions that she was going through. “Burn that son of a gun down, boy!”

“Right here for you big boy…” Sarina glances up at the big screen, set to see the burnout through the back half of the course – but then the car stalls suddenly. She just shakes her head, knowing that they must’ve been closer on fuel than she thought, and was glad that Alan didn’t keep them totally in the loop as she would’ve been more nervous than she was. “Oh, just kidding! I’m out of gas. I need a push Eddie, I need a push.”

“I’m working on it, man,” Eddie replies as Sarina just shakes her head. She was actually looking forward to seeing him lay down his first win burnout. It’d been awhile since she saw him lay down a good one.

“I got my man, Jimmie Jam, coming to push me…” Sarina just smiled in watching Jimmie line up perfectly to give Chase a push back around to the front stretch.

“That’s a pretty cool victory lap right there,” Alan comments as Sarina nods her head in agreement. She knew the friendship the pair shared, and could only imagine the meaning that it meant to Chase.

“That is badass, man!”

“Come on!!” Both Jordan and Josh yell at Sarina as they hurry for the steps on the pit box, wanting her to follow as they were both set for the frontstretch celebration, and wanted her to be right there in the middle of it.

As soon as he stopped on the frontstretch, the crew surrounded the car as he jumped out, letting out a big fist pump in the air. He then hops off, immediately meeting with Alan as he pulls him into a hug.

“Way to go kid,” Alan says as he gives him at a pat on the back.

“Happy Birthday, man!” Chase replies as he then looks into the crew chief’s eyes. “Thank you, thank you for everything. I mean it when I say I wouldn’t want to work with anyone else. Thank you….”

“I’m just glad that we could win one!!” They then share another hug together, before Alan lets him go.

Chase then goes through hugging the rest of the crew guys, including a special hug for Nick, along the way. He then stops as he reaches the last person on the line, pulling her right close as he locks his lips with hers.

“I love you so much,” Sarina tells him. “Congratulations Clyde!”

“I love you, too, and I can’t wait to celebrate with you,” he replies, giving her another kiss in return.

“So are we going to head to victory lane or are we just going to party here all day?” Alan questions as Chase shrugs his shoulders.

“Does it matter? We’re winners!” Sarina lets out as Chase just smiles, keeping her held close.

The crew then starts pushing the car to victory lane – with Chase only stopping to share a hug with Jimmie – before continuing to join them on the journey.

“Can you believe it?” Sarina questions and he shakes his head. “You’re a Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race winner. Do I need to pinch you?”

“It’s slowly sinking in….” Chase answers as he glances over into her eyes. “I’m glad that you were here.” He then gives her another kiss.

“I just wish your mom was here….” Chase nods his head in agreement.

“She’s probably having a ball running the party in Dawsonville. The siren is going to be blaring tonight!” She chuckles as they reach victory lane.

Chase sits in the car, waiting for the cue to climb out. As he does, a series of drivers come in for hugs, beginning with Ryan and Bubba, to Kyle. Chase made Ryan promise he’d be at the party that night, while Sarina stopped Kyle to offer him a hug.

“Nice drive back up through to third,” she tells him. “I was actually looking forward to you two racing each other.” Kyle glances back towards Chase, before looking at Sarina.

“Would you have been mad at me for beating him?” He questions as she laughs.

“Who says you would’ve?”  He then laughs back, giving her a playful punch before heading off out of victory lane.

Sarina remained in background, smiling as Bill walked over for a hug with Chase, just standing there in pure admiration and amazement.

“I was wondering what was going to go wrong this time,” Bill confesses and Sarina nods her head, having the same theory at times.

The trophy presentation went smoothly, with everyone set for the champagne shower afterwards. Sarina had to laugh at the crew mostly dumping it on Alan, but knowing he deserved for his birthday.

“You still want to be close even though I’m stinky of sweat and champagne?” Chase says as she cuddles up close for photos.

“I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else,” she offers, giving him yet another kiss.

After posing for a bunch of photos, they instructed for just Chase to remain there for the obligatory hat dance. Sarina stood back watching, earning an idea of her own as she walked over to the bowling pin mascot.

“I have to ask one question….” She starts, with a smirk on her face.

The Tale of Love & Racing: Sarina’s Story – Chapter 100: Pocono Sickness

Tuesday July 24, 2018 – North Carolina

Sarina walks into the bedsroom, pulling her shirt off as she glances over at Chase.

“What are you reading?” She asks, noticing his eyes don’t leave his phone at all.

“Casey’s press release,” he answers as she looks over slightly confused. She then flops down in the bed beside him, glancing at his phone. “Haven’t you heard? Casey Roderick is finally getting a chance to run an XFINITY race.” She then places her hand on his leg.

“I bet you set that up…” Chase glances away as she just laughs. “It’s sweet, actually. Look at you, already giving back…”

“He’s one of the talented drivers in late models and I’ve always wanted to see what he could do at this level with the right funding. When Mike Beam mentioned having an opening for Iowa, I went all in.” He also smiles, knowing that there was another announcement coming.

“Didn’t you and Casey work together at one point?” Chase nods his head.

“We were teammates actually. I learned a lot from him. Now we’ll see what he can do.” He then switches screen on his phone. “It’ll be interesting to see everybody’s reaction to the other announcement.”

“There’s another announcement? Please tell me that you got Bubba Pollard a chance, too.” Chase then gives her a slightly impressed grin.

“Bubba Pollard? I thought you got off of his high horse a long time ago.” She then shakes her head no.

“That boy is still winning races across the country. Somebody has to pick up the phone soon.” Chase actually had to admit that he hoped she was right as that’d be another fun driver to watch get a chance.

“Bubba isn’t the driver for the announcement, though. They had an opening for Road America, and I sort of threw my dad’s name out there.” Sarina’s jaw drops in shock. “The more shocking part is Mike Beam took that seriously, and then asked Dad and he agreed.”

“So your dad is running Road America at the end of this month?” Chase slowly nods his head yes. “Woah, okay, that’s kind of cool. I almost wish that I was off that weekend so I could be there in person to watch that.” Chase lets out a sigh as he knew what was coming next. “So I’m guessing you’re not coming to Canada with me then…”

“I am coming for the race on Sunday, but I will not be there on Satur-”

“And we’re not doing CN Tower dinner like we had planned, either.” She then takes a calming deep breath as she couldn’t help but feel disappointed in seeing their own plans spoiled. However, she also knew what this announcement meant. “It’s okay. We can do the dinner another time as you deserve to be there with your dad. I think it’s pretty cool that he’s coming back after all of this time. I think he’ll surprise people. I mean, he surprised me with how well he ran the TransAm race at Road Atlanta.”

“I appreciate your understanding.” He then leans over, giving her a kiss. “I also want you to let me know if Erin gives you an trouble.”

“You saw the conversation on Wednes-”

“We crossed paths in the garage this past weekend, and she shared some thoughts in that she’s totally not all set on you as she said, yet, due to our past together. I told her that you had changed and there’s nothing to worry about, but she wasn’t totally ready for you to have it.” Sarina slowly nods her head, understandingly. “But you have nothing to worry about in regards to me and her-”

“You don’t need to tell me twice, Chase. I know we’re committed to this together…” She then places her hand on top of his. “This lovely ring, the heart on my bracelet, and every time we spend together says it by itself. Let’s just live our lives and forget about the reassurances, okay? We understand where we each other is with regards to each other, and our friends, and that’s what matters.”

“You make it sound so easy…” She then grins as she scoots closer to him.

“…because it is that easy when I have lips like yours to taste each night.” She then slowly kisses his lips.

Friday July 27, 2018 – Pocono Raceway

Sarina makes her way into the garage area, taking a deep breath as she stops and leans back against the wall.

“What are you doing here?” Rudy immediately questions as he looks over at his young driver.

“I’m here, ready to wor-” She starts slowly as he shakes his head.

“Practice was cancelled due to weather. I texted both you and Chase hoping that you’d stay in the motorcoach and sleep some considering how sick you are. Instead, you’re standing before me. Why do I bother?”

“Getting in the groove, working on the truck, doing everything as I should, it’ll make me feel better…” Rudy just smiles as he looks over, almost set to roll his eyes, or perhaps even punch her.

“Do you know how many drivers have told me that? You should be taking care of yourself!”

She lets out a sigh as she was hoping to not get a lecture once in the garage area. Sometime Thursday, she had gotten a real pain in her stomach, which turned into her throwing up. Since then, she had been only able to keep down a little bit of toast and rice, with the vomiting happening on a constant basis.

Despite being sick, though, she was determined to race this weekend.

“Besides, it’s a distraction from those papers…” Rudy glances over a little confused as she lets out a sigh. “Now that two doctors have said I wouldn’t be able to carry a baby to full term, there’s options to look over and decide. I just want to scream when I look at them.”

“Then why are you bothering with them?” Rudy questions. “What part of take care of yourself, get sleep, drink, relax do you not understand lady?” She then lets out a sigh. “Don’t tell me that Chase is forcing the pape-”

“He’s telling the same thin-”

“So how about you listen for a change, please?” Rudy walks over, wrapping an arm around her shoulder as he hands her a bottle of Gatorade. “We’re just trying to take care of you. We love you, hate to see you sick, and want you to get better.” She then glances over with a small smirk.

“You actually love me?” He immediately want to kick himself in the ass for those words.

“Underneath this hard exterior, away from all of your other stupid shit at times, yes Sarina, I love you and care about you. I consider you a friend and want to see you doing well.” She smiles as she twists the top off the bottle, downing it immediately.

“See, I knew you were just a big teddy bear…” Rudy rolls his eyes as he walks away, going back over notes knowing down to just one practice session, they’d need to have all their ducks in a row.

Chase makes his way up through the No. 18 hauler, listening against the lounge door to make sure he wasn’t interrupting something before slipping inside.

“Nice job leading prac-” he starts, as planned, since she had led the session. It had been a good day as his girl had led truck practice, while Casey Roderick led XFINITY practice at Iowa Speedway.

“Why weren’t you here sooner?” Rudy immediately cuts him off. “I expected to see your ass here to take your fiancé back to the motorcoach so she could sleep and rest being as sick as she is. Where have you been mister?” Both Chase and Sarina look over at Rudy surprised.

“I was busy, but I came as soon as I got done the appearance…” Rudy shakes his head as he glances over at Sarina, who was curled up on the couch.

“Well since you’re finally here, please do the righteous duty of taking care of this lovely lady.” Chase didn’t need to be told twice as he walks over, brushing her hair out of her face.

“Are you feeling any better?” She slowly shakes her head no, before grabbing the bucket that was on the floor by the couch, throwing up again. “Sweetheart…”

“I suggested that she go to the care center as they may be able to help her. You can tell that she’s a little dehydrated…” Chase nods his head in agreement.

“Rudy has a good idea, sweetheart.” She shakes her head no. “No? I think he does, though.”

“I’m fine,” she says as she slowly sits up. “I just want to go back and lay down, please…” She leans against Chase as he rubs her back.

“I’d rather you go to the care center, though,” he tells her before looking down into her eyes. “Do you remember what you told me at Chicagoland? The fact that you wanted me to go get checked over so you would know that I was okay, and get the help I needed if necessary. Remember how you said it would make you feel better to know that I was okay? Now I’m asking you to please do it for me, please….”

She then slowly stands up, nodding her head in agreement, as they make their way through the trailer together.

It was a short ride over to the care center on the pit cart, where they took her inside immediately. As both Rudy and Chase predicted, she was pretty dehydrated, resulting in them giving her fluids immediately. Summing up her continued vomiting to a stomach flu going around, they also gave her some gravol to hopefully lessen the vomiting.

“Remember to stick to the brat diet,” the nurse says once she leaves the room. They weren’t releasing her yet, but it was good advice for later on.

“Did she just call me what I thought she did?” Sarina asks as Chase just chuckles. “It’s not funny!”

“Brat Diet – banana, rice, applesauce and toast,” Chase answers as he chuckles once again. “It’s the four items that are easiest on your stomach while sick and are known to bind things up to make it harder for it to come up stream.” She then gives him a little puzzled look. “My mom always made me follow it if I was even just a little sick. It works so listen, please…”

“Yes, Dr. Elliott..” He just rolls his eyes as he sits back in the chair.

“Once you get out of here, we’re going back to the motorcoach and you’re going straight to bed. I’ll deliver you food and drink, and cuddles of course.” She couldn’t help but smile in response as she lets her fingers interlock with his.

“Thank you for convincing me to come…” He glances over with a small smile as it was nice to see some of the color back in her face.

Saturday July 28, 2018 – Pocono Raceway

Chase walks into the garage area, fixing his firesuit one last time.

“Considering you were up late last night, you look ready to go this morning,” Jordan comments as he places the gloves in the car with the helmet. “Don’t play dumb, but I saw you online last night. Getting in another round of Fortnite?” Chase then shakes his head.

“That’s what you were doing,” Chase says as he stops at the car. “That’s the only way that you could tell that I was online last night. Meanwhile, I was watching The Ranch off Netflix while cuddling Sarina as she tried to get to sleep. But hey, good try man…” Jordan then gives him the once over.

“So you haven’t caught the bug, right?” Chase slowly shakes his head no. “Please give me warning if you do because I don’t want it.” Chase knew the answer immediately.

“Trust me, I don’t plan on catching that thing…” Jordan then leans over the roof as Chase gets set to climb in.

“That bad, huh?” Chase nods his head before climbing in the car. “Is she feeling any better today?”

“Nope as she threw up breakfast about a half hour after eating, and fell back asleep just before I left for practice.” Jordan shakes his head as he felt terrible before kneeling down, set to help him buckle in if needed.

“It feels solid, but we just need a little more,” Chase comments after ending the first practice sitting 10th on the speed chart. “If you give me something more to work with in turn two, I should be fine as we’re rolling three good.”

“What about turn one?” Alan wonders, earning a shaky glance from his driver. “If you can live with that, I’ll work on the other two corners.”

“Chase?” A voice interrupts them as Chase looks through the garage to see Tyler Kieper off Sarina’s team standing there. “Rudy told me to come find yo-”

“What’s going on?” Chase questions, knowing if Rudy sent a crew member to get him during qualifying that something serious was up.

“Sarina is at the care center. She’s not being cleared to run today due to being sick as Erik Jones is runn-”

“How is she?” Chase could worry about the small minor details later as there was only one thing on his mind.

“She’s pretty dehydrated. She just about passed out on pit road during qualifying. Rudy took her back to the car center on the golf cart.” Chase gives Alan a quick glance and Alan simply nods.

“Go on,” the crew chief instructs. “I have enough to work on something for session two.”

Chase then makes his way through the garage stall, headed directly to the care center to see how she was.