Tuesday, November 27 – Charlotte, North Carolina
Sarina glances over at the monitor, smile marked on her face in seeing images of her baby on the screen. It almost made her want to cry in being able to hear the heartbeat, see that the baby was growing a little more each day inside of her.
“So we’ve decided to not get the paternity results, correct?” Dr. Grayson double checks, earning a nod from both parents. “That’s fine. If you ever do change your mind, please let me know and we can go from there.”
“I still say it’s a girl,” Chase comments, eyes also focused on the small screen that showed the ultrasound images.
“As long as she, or he, are healthy, that’s what matters,” Sarina says as she clutches his hand tightly.
“On that note, we did originally schedule this meeting to also discuss your MSAFP test results,” Dr. Grayson states, catching both of their attention. “I am happy to report that everything came back clean and looks to be right on track as normal, so there should be no surprises in that department. We just need to keep a close eye on how the baby grows, and the location of the baby inside of your uterus and whether concerns arise.”
“Is there anything that you can do if something was to happen?” Chase wonders as Dr. Grayson hands Sarina a cloth to wipe up the stuff on her stomach.
“It depends on how far along she is with her pregnancy at that time, as well as the health of the baby, her health, and the location. There are measures that can be implemented to help if needed, like putting her bed rest. Now I know you’ve been the type to over-concern yourself, so please do not do that to her right now as she doesn’t need to.” Sarina just looks over with a smirk, glad that point was made knowing the direction things would probably go already. She had heard enough comments already from Chase, and even Cindy on Thanksgiving.
“That doesn’t mean you push yourself over the edge….” Sarina just rolls her eyes.
“He is right about that, too. If she’s far enough along and a significant concern arises, we could induce her to have the baby early – or do a c-section. But again, I wouldn’t worry about that as everything is growing normally so far. Let’s just keep our fingers crossed that the baby co-operates and follows course the rest of the pregnancy.” Chase knew if they’d gotten this far and survived the likes of Talladega, it was meant to be and things were probably set to go full steam ahead. However, he couldn’t help but wonder at times.
“And she is okay to go to Las Vegas and Florida?” Dr. Grayson nods her head in response.
“She is fine with flying until she reaches 36 weeks, or I say otherwise.” Sarina had to chuckle as she could see Chase doing the math already in his head.
“Will you just focus on writing your acceptance speech for Thursday night?” Sarina questions, earning a glance from him. “We both know you’re getting Most Popular Driver.”
“I can’t argue with that,” Dr. Grayson admits as she hands the couple some print-outs. “I know you both are already in love with this baby, so feel free to stare at these images until we see each other again.”
“Thank you for everything, truthfully.” Dr. Grayson looks back over at them.
“You’re welcome, and I hope everything goes according to plan for you both. Have fun at the Snowball.”
Wednesday, November 28 – Las Vegas, Nevada
Sarina focuses on herself in the mirror, fixing the fluff on her shoulder, followed by making sure it crossed her body as it was supposed to. She had just finished getting her hair angled how she wanted, and knew the next step was making sure the dress sat correctly on her body.
She then hears her phone go off once, ignoring it at first as she wanted to make sure she was ready on time. However, after hearing the phone go off another 10 times in a row, she began to wonder as she walked out of the bathroom to where it sat on the dresser. Were they running late? She also knew there were probably going to be other messages throughout the day, as everybody worked out plans for later on that night. With Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson supposedly organizing the bulk of the birthday party, she was a little skeptical.
“You…look…stunning,” Chase slowly comments, having caught the first glimpse of what she was wearing for the Myers Brothers Luncheon. “That color suits you perfectly.”
“Are you sure we’re not running late?” She questions out-loud as she unlocks her phone.
“I was told to be ready for 12 and down in the lobby. We still have 15 minutes.” He then hears his phone go off, walking over to where it sat beside hers on the dresser. “You’re popular today.”
“Congratulations?” He then looks over at puzzled. “I’ve got five text messages saying congratulations, and they’re all from people who knew I was pregnant already…”
“That’s weird, as I have one that seems off, too.” He then shows her the phone so she can read the text message. After a pair of confused glances at each other, they went back to scrolling through the other notifications. “Actually, congratulations is in order my dear.”
“What did you find?” He then holds the phone up, which showed the notification from twitter that NASCAR had sent out. They elected to announce the Truck Series and XFINITY Series Most Popular Driver Award winners prior to the luncheon and tomorrow’s Cup banquet. While Elliot Sadler had gotten the award for XFINITY, it was Sarina taking the award in truck. “Oh wow….”
“Congratulations to Sarina Ott on being the Most Popular Driver. She’s the first female to win the award in NASCAR’s national series history, and brings home the first recognition for Kyle Busch Motorsports.” Her jaw drops a little as she would’ve expected KBM to have at least one with talents like Christopher Bell and Erik Jones through the years. “I’m surprised Kyle hasn’t called you yet, but I guess I get to be the first one to say in person – congratulations.” He then gives her a kiss.
“Thank you….” She then looks back at the notifications once again, replying back to a couple as she stands there in disbelief. “Is it wrong that I don’t even know what to say?” Chase shakes his head no.
“You’ve got a whole week to plan your speech for the banquet.” She had to chuckle a little, as it seemed weird having the truck banquet after the Cup ceremonies.
“But seriously, Chase. A small town girl who was considered an outkast at times, who some people wanted nothing to do with, who continued to alienate people and make mistakes, and admittedly isn’t easy on trust is this year’s most popular driver.” She then looks over at him, disbelief written in her eyes still. “Seriously?”
“I see someone that has inspired a nation. You showed everybody that no matter what happens in your past, you can find a way to overcome that and become the person you’re truly meant to be. You showed everybody the value of strength, perseverance and determination with everything that has been thrown at you. I also see your drive on track to succeed, and the success that you’ve been able to have. You’ve earned this all the wa-”
“Oh come on, Chase. You can’t seriously say that without admitting that there’s got to be some influence on the award being that I’m dating you, going to drive for Dale next year, and I drive for Kyle this year.” Chase takes a deep breath, remembering advice that he was given a couple years back when he won the award in the XFINITY Series.
“I can’t deny that, okay? There’s certainly fans that will vote for you for those factors alone. However, I also see those who are genuinely Sarina Ott fans from the beginning, the late model days, and seeing you as a driver yourself. Do you remember the little girl that you helped at the hall of fame? Do you remember the father we met in Amsterdam who knew nothing about racing, but yet his daughter knew of you and admired your strength? There’s always going to be those who gravitate to you because of who you’re surrounded by. However, there’s also those who like you for who you are, and appreciate every bit of who you are. So when everybody tries to shove those reasons down your throat, just damn well remember those little moments. Remember everything that you’ve done to get here, and remember every person whom you directly affected to get here. You earned this, you deserve it, and we’re going to celebrate it next weekend at your banquet.” She didn’t know what to say in response, surprised he had even remembered those small moments. Certainly they were glued in her mind as they meant something, but for him to remember took it to a whole new level for her.
“Have I mentioned how much I love my Georgia Peach birthday boy lately?” He had to chuckle in response as she leaned over, snatching another kiss. “Thank you for being my rock, and always being here for me.”
“Thank you for being here for me, too.” They then finish getting ready, grabbing their phones and her clutch before heading out of the hotel room. Immediately upon exiting, they spot an envelope on the floor.
“Seriously? I mean, how does she know already what room we’re in?” Chase picks it up, shoving it in his pocket as he walks down the hall. “You’re not going to open it?”
“I’ll alert security that she’s in the building and knows what room we’re in, and they can handle it.” He then waits for her to catch up with him, followed by wrapping an arm around her shoulder. “Why should we mess up our good day?”
“I still like how you wore pink to match my dress.” He then smiles as they reach the elevator to head downstairs. “You look very handsome, sir Elliott.”
“We had to celebrate your accomplishment in a small way, and you look extremely charming, Ms. Ott.” He grabs another kiss, before leading her into the elevator to head downstairs to the luncheon.
For the most part, the luncheon was a pretty dull event in watching their various competitors go up to accept awards, along with Todd Gordon’s Championship Speech. The only thing that caught either of their attention to really watch was William Byron’s rookie of the year speech.
“That’ll be you one day,” Chase comments, as Sarina leans her head against him. “I’ll be sitting here holding our baby as you tell the world how you succeeded at the highest level.”
“It doesn’t hurt the dream,” she admits. “I just hope William knows what he’s in store for later on tonight.” Chase had to chuckle a little, having heard a couple rumors as he glances over at her.
“Has Jeff or Jimmie given you any details yet?” She shakes her head no. “You’re not lying to me, are you?” She shakes her head no once again.
Even though there was no awards for him to accept at the Luncheon this year, he was required to take part in a mandatory media availability to answer questions for the media that wanted to speak with him.
Sarina stood back, watching as she knew it wouldn’t take too long with the focus being on the likes of William and Joey. Though she had to admit she was caught off-guard with various people walking up to congratulate her on receiving the Most Popular Driver Award.
“Maybe there’s hope for me tomorrow yet,” Kyle comments as he stops by, earning a chuckle in response from her. “Oh, I see how it is. I let your fiancé drive your late model and this is how you treat me….”
“We both know that you’re going on a hope and a prayer to win that award tomorrow,” she offers with a smile.
They were almost done when she hears her phone go off, pulling it out of the clutch that she was holding. She smiles as the party details had finally arrived from Jeff in where they were to meet, and at what time. Everybody was supposed to go to dinner as many had sponsor obligated functions to go to, and then meet up at the chosen location at 8pm. There’d be cake and drinks to be had by everybody, with those going past midnight to make sure that the young teammate – William Byron – got some for his 21st tomorrow.
As soon as everybody arrived, it seems the drinks began immediately with everybody and their best friend offering to buy Chase a drink for his birthday. Though in not wanting to deal with too bad of a hangover tomorrow, he was trying to keep it as minimal as possible.
“Since you won’t take my good damn Tequila shots, then maybe I can interest you in something else,” Ryan starts as he walks away from where Chase was standing.
“You could just do the shots yourself,” Chase offers as Ryan shakes his head no. “Okay, maybe we could pass them over to Jimmie.” Jimmie admittedly had to chuckle as he shakes his head no.
“With the travel whirlwind that I’ve been on since Miami, I need to take it slow if I am going to survive this week,” Jimmie admits.
“So that’s why you’re sticking to beer tonight…” Jimmie nods his head in agreement as he places a hand on the glasses.
“But don’t worry because if one birthday boy don’t want them, we have another at the crack of midnight.” Chase laughed as he looked over to where William was hanging out with Kyle Larson and Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
“He has no idea what he’s in for with you guys. I almost feel bad, but then I remember what you did to me.” Jimmie immediately puts his hands up in the air. “Don’t act innoc-”
“That was Ricky and Kyle who thought it’d be a great idea to do that.” Chase rolls his eyes, but had to chuckle. It was definitely a new experience waking up on the roof. “Answering back birthday wishes on the phone?” Chase was trying to be discrete with his phone in hand, but obviously that hadn’t worked.
“Snowball Derby qualifying draw. Marcus (Richmond) sent me that he pulled 37.” Jimmie looks at him slightly confused. He had heard that Chase was running the event, but didn’t know whether that was a good number or not. “He wanted to pull between 15th and 30th as that’s normally when the track is at its best, but we missed that by a bit.”
“So when you don’t qualify on the pole, you can now blame the crew chief.” Chase smiles a little with a nod of the head. “Have some fun down there. It’s actually fun to see you back in a late model.” Chase couldn’t deny that as the more he thought about it, the more excited he was. Maybe that was influencing his decision to avoid as much trouble as possible these next couple of days before going.
“It’s certainly been a couple years, and it’s always fun going to the Snowball. I was surprised when Kyle asked me, but I wasn’t going to turn him down.” Jimmie admittedly was caught off guard when he saw the announcement, but understood the basis with Sarina’s pregnancy.
“It makes me wonder why Kyle wouldn’t just run himself.” Chase nodded his head in agreement, remembering he had brought that up without much response from Kyle.
“Since I’ve known you, there’s only been one cake that you’ve accepted for your birthday,” Ryan starts as he begins to walk back over towards them finally. “Now it may not be a good as your mom’s classic German Chocolate recipe, but I had to my boy a favor tonight considering I didn’t buy you a gift.”
“Seriously?” Chase questions, as Ryan just shrugs his shoulders.
“Pregnancy has got my mind going crazy,” Ryan admits as Sarina and Lindsay could only smile. Lindsay then reaches over, running her finger along the edge and licking it.
“Damn that’s good,” she lets out, going for another when Ryan smacks her hand.
“Oh my gosh….” Sarina lets out as she had done the same without being noticed.
“They won’t even leave my cake alone long enough for you to light the candles,” Chase comments, as the girls shrug their shoulders.
“I think this baby is all you. I’ve never been one for German chocolate, but damn, that’s good and I want some more.” She then snatches a candle from Ryan, placing it right in the center. “Go ahead and light this so he can blow it out and we can please his baby.”
“I’d rather do this,” Ryan comments, before snatching a good piece, stuffing in Chase’s face as everybody laughs.
“I see how it is….” Chase simply says with a smile. He knew that he’d get Ryan back later. “I guess I could say thank you for the ruined cake.”
“Now will you take the shots to go with the cake?” Chase lets out a sigh, slowly shaking his head no. “Seriously? Where’s the man that I traveled around the world with?”
“Looking out for my lady tonight…” Chase then wraps an arm around Sarina, pulling her close with a kiss. “Besides, Jack tastes a lot better…”
“I can take care of myself if you want to have some fun,” Sarina tells him. “But I will say, this will be worth your while.” He looks over slightly intrigued as she walks away.
“Someone is getting laid tonight!” Ricky lets out from his corner of the room with his glass up in the air.
“You’re just jealous….” Sarina gives him a wink as she leaves the room. She couldn’t wait to see the look on his face when she returned.