The Tale of Love & Racing: Sarina’s Story – Chapter 186: Abigail Victor Casey Elliott

Sunday, February 3 –Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport

“Chase, where are they?” Sarina questions, trying to listen to his instructions. “I can’t do this!” He then continues to rub her leg, holding her close to him.

“Deep breathes, please…” He practically begs, as he locks eyes on her. “Focus on me. Deep breathes. In….out…in….out….” She tries to follow the instructions as requested, though it practically seemed like forever as they sat there together.

In what seemed like an eternity – but had only been a matter of mere minutes, they watch a couple emergency vehicles roll up to where they sat, with a couple paramedics walking up together.

“We got a distress together about pains, possible contractions, and pregnancy?” The one paramedic asks, earning a pair of nods in return. Wasn’t that obvious. “How far along are you?”

“She’s 29 weeks,” Chase took the liberty of speaking, preferring that Sarina stay focused on his instructions for deep breathes. He watches as they begin to check her vitals.

“When did the pains begin? Are the contractions evenly spaced out, and how far apart?” it was now Chase’s turn to take his own deep breath as he tried to focus on the questions being thrown at him.

“She was feeling discomfort this morning, but we pushed it off as nothing. The pains then began about 15 minutes ago I want to say while I went to check in after landing. I came back to find her in pain and having called for help. The contractions – I have no idea to be honest. I’ve been just trying to keep her calm.” The paramedic nods her head, understanding as she looks between them.

“Is this your first baby?” Chase nods his head. “So my partner is going to check over her vitals, and we’ll get her moved into the ambulance and head over to the hospital.”

“Okay.” Chase easily takes another deep breath, knowing the information was necessary. “I just want to let you know there were concerns with the pregnancy due to possibly not being able to carry full-term as a result of an irregular shaped cervix. There was also gestational diabetes as brought up by her doctor.” On that mention, Chase also almost wanted to snatch his phone out and dial up Dr. Grayson, as that was supposed to be on the ‘labor checklist’.

“Okay, thank you…” She then looks over at the other paramedic, who was making notes. “Are we ready to move forward?” The simple nod was all they needed to know.

“I can’t do this today….” Sarina lets out as she looks between the paramedics and Chase, fear written all over her face.

“It’s going to be okay,” Chase tells her once again, sneaking in a quick kiss.

“Lots of babies are born earlier than they’re supposed to be and turn out amazing,” the paramedic informs her. “You’re going to be fine, miss.”

They then helped out of the cabin of plane, loading her on a stretcher and into the ambulance. Chase easily followed her, slowly pulling out his phone. He knew he couldn’t do this himself, and knew the one person that he wanted there in moments like this.

He just hoped with the traffic in Georgia today that it wouldn’t be too much of a hassle for them, or his parents, getting to the hospital in a timely matter.

Sunday, February 3 – Northeast Georgia Medical Center

Surprisingly, despite traffic seeming like a nightmare right now with the Superbowl, they were able to make their way there in a timely matter.

There were some comfort along the way, as they had allowed both Sarina and Chase to listen to the baby’s heartbeat. Despite being early and every single fear shifting through her mind, it was steady, and just like the previous appointments. Perhaps everything would indeed work out as planned.

Once they arrived at the hospital, they quickly wheeled her into a room, with the nurse entering quickly after her.

“Can I have something for the pain, please?” Sarina practically demanded as the nurse hooked up an IV with fluids. She didn’t know how much longer she could take the pain that she was in.

“We need to check you out first,” the nurse tells her, which just brought a simple sigh from Sarina. However, her eyes never left the nurse as she checked over her vitas, followed by widening her legs apart to check on the baby’s location.

“I need something, please….” Chase tries to rub her hand, just like he had been rubbing her leg earlier, hoping that it brought any sort of comfort. He hated to see her in this much pain; it almost brought tears to his eyes.

“Please…..” Chase adds to the begging, as they watch a doctor come in. They watch the pair of them trade glances, followed by the doctor taking a look herself to see where the baby was. The fact that the doctor was now also looking and they hadn’t been told a single thing wasn’t helping either of their nerves. “If something is wrong, we’d like to know.”

“Well we usually like to do c-sections for pre-term babies, there is no chance of that happening right now,” the doctor informs them as she finally looks up at the pair. Chase and Sarina trade another nervous glance. What was happening? “You’re already dilated – four inches. You need to push – no drugs, just push. It’s time for the baby to come.”

“But what about the fact that she’s early?” Sarina asks, the fear bringing another layer of tears to her eyes to match those already there for the pain she was experiencing.

“We will do everything that we can.” The message wasn’t the most comforting for Chase or Sarina, however they didn’t have much other choice. If she was coming, what could they do to stop it?

“It was meant to be – it’s going to be okay,” Chase repeats the familiar words once again as he continues to rub her hand. “You can do this. We can do this. She can do this.”

Over the next several minutes, things almost became like a blur with Sarina not even sure if she could keep going at times, unable to tolerate the pain that she was enduring. The pain ripped through her, from shoulders through her legs. She couldn’t take the pain and pressure that pushing a baby out of her was putting on her.

“You can do thi-” Chase tried to coach her mid-way through the process.

“Shut up!” She immediately yells, clenching his hand as tightly as she could. She wanted to completely focus on getting this child out of her and over with, and he wasn’t helping those matters right now.

“Your husband is right, though….” The doctor tries to emphasis, while shedding a caring glance towards Chase. Obviously, the comment, or hand squeeze for that matter, weren’t meant to be personal.

“Not trying to be rude, but you need to shut up, too!” Sarina then focuses back on taking deep breathes, knowing that she needed to get this done and over with before she couldn’t do it. She needed to focus. It was just like the final laps of a race when you were chasing down the leader – mark your target and get him. However, weakness was coming over her quicker than warranted. “I can’t do this….”

“You can do this though,” Chase tells her once again, continuing to hold her hand tightly despite everything inside of him telling him to let go as he knew another squeeze like before would hurt a ton. “I believe in you. You’re strong enough to do this.”

“Push now, sweetheart,” the doctor instructs. Just as Chase predicted, he got another really tight hand squeeze, as she grabbed the hand rail with the other hand, pushing as hard as she could in hopes of being done. “That was a good push…”

“How much of the baby can you see?” Sarina wonders, hoping that they were almost done.

“Well, none.” Sarina immediately flops back in bed, feeling as though all the energy was being wasted. She was feeling every bit of tiredness and yet there was no sign of a baby. How was that possible?

Taking a deep breath, she pushed with all bit of her might that she had, feeling as though a big bubble had come out of her crotch, before flopping back once again. After a couple seconds of relaxation to get her wits about her, she pushed with every bit she had once again. She felt a bumpy feeling through her opening, thinking it was possibly the spine.

Either way, those pushes were all it took as the pressure was immediately relived that she was feeling, along with a couple small cries. She was watched a fury of activity as the doctor handed the baby over to another doctor, who immediately got her hooked up in the incubator with a breathing.

“We’re going to take her down to the NICU,” the doctor. “You can come down and see her after.” She then watched her baby be wheeled out of the room, looking at Chase with a mix of fear and panic.

“My baby…” She lets out as Chase wipes her hair out of her face.

“They’re going to take care of her,” he assures her. “She’s going to be fine. Remember – it was meant to be, and I’m proud of you.” He then leans down, giving her a kiss.

“You did a wonderful job, sweetheart,” the nurse tells her. “I know there may be some lingering pain so I’ve given you a bit of morphine. I also know that you’re tired so why don’t you get some rest? Then maybe later, we can get you up and you can head down to see your baby.” The nurse then leaves the room.

“I just want to see my baby…” Sarina lets out as she lays back, trying to relax. She didn’t want to worry, but that was all she could do.

“You will – soon enough,” Chase tells her. “Just try to relax. You need to take care of yourself, too.” Sarina then looks over at Chase.

“They’re going to take care of her, right? She’s going to be okay, right?” He nods his head, feeling every bit in their gut that she would be okay despite every nerve that he was feeling. “She will get through this. She has to get through this, Chase.”

“She will get through this. She’s a combination of us together and has every bit of strength that you have. She’ll get through this.” They both then glance towards the door, seeing the nurse had returned with a monitor in hand.

“We offer this for parents of babies in the NICU that can’t always be there with them,” the nurse starts. “I immediately went and looked into it as I know it’d give you comfort.” She then turns on the monitor, which showed a video of their daughter in the incubator. “That’ll be there 24/7, and live, so you can watch your daughter all the time no matter where you are and make sure that she’s okay.”

“My baby…” Sarina says as she stares in awe at the baby. “She’s so tiny…”

“Tiny, but absolutely beautiful,” Chase adds.

“So far, according to the doctors, everything is going okay,” the nurse continues. “Obviously the first week is critical in making sure that she continues to fight, and grow as she would’ve inside the womb. But so far, she’s doing well. We just don’t know what to call her. Did you have a name picked out?” Sarina and Chase look towards each other, smiling as they remember the discussion completely.

“Abigail Victor Casey Elliott…” The nurse immediately smiles as she writes down the name on the file.

“That’s a very sweet name. congratulations to both of you, once again. Don’t hesitate to buzz the desk if you want anything.” The nurse then leaves the room as Sarina shifts a little in the bed.

“Are you okay?” Sarina nods her head as she lays it against the pillow, eyes focused on the screen before her.

“I’m tired, but I’m happy,” she replies. “I’m thankful, too.” She then lets out a yawn.

“Get some rest,” Chase tells her as he runs his hands through her hair. “You’re going to have forever to cuddle and spend time with her. Get some rest.” He then glances at the screen himself, smiling, “And you, Abigail, you keep growing so you can see your momma.”

After what seemed like forever, his parents both arrived.

While Chase insisted he stay with Sarina as she had just finally fallen asleep to get some much needed rest, he requested his parents go check on Abigail in the NICU for him. It was one thing to see her on the screen, but it was another to have someone see the baby for actuality. That was a request that was easily accepted, because of course Bill and Cindy wanted to come see their grandbaby.

The nighttime would see another pair of visitors, with Kyle and Samantha making their way into the room after attending the Superbowl.

“Why don’t you go down and see your daughter?” Bill suggested. “We’ll stay here with Sarina.” Chase had wanted to go see Abigail himself, but didn’t want to leave Sarina. Besides, he wanted them to see her together.

“Go, please,” Sarina encouraged as she shifted a little in the bed. “I don’t think there’s a chance of me moving today and our daughter should have one of us down there.” She was still feeling very tired, not wanting to move around much as she was surprised how much the birth took out of her. “Take Kyle and Samantha with you. They deserve to meet their goddaughter.”

“Goddaughter?” Samantha asks, surprise written over her face as Sarina nods her head.

“Chase and I want you to be her godparents. If it wasn’t for you both…” Sarina then takes a careful deep breath, feeling the emotions all over again. “You helped us so much through the rough patches, from the miscarriage in January, to the appointments and doctor opinions. You also helped us from the moment you knew I was pregnant with questions and looking out for us, and were accommodating. I honestly don’t think I would’ve had the courage to do this if it wasn’t for you and Kyle. So will you?” Samantha felt the emotions coming to her eyes, immediately nodding her head to accept.

“We’d be honored,” Kyle tells her, both sharing hugs with her.

“Are you sure you’ll be fine?” Chase questions, earning a nod from Sarina.

“I have your parents to take care of me,” she answers.

Chase gives her a kiss, before making his way out of the room with Kyle and Samantha in toe. It was a short walk down to the NICU, where they began to look through the window at the various babies. The nurse caught their eyes immediately, opening the door.

“Do you know which is yours?” The nurse asks and Chase nods his head, having found her on the far right. He recognized her from the video feed that he had been focused on for hours, as well as reading the name written on the folder at the front of the unit. “So you can’t hold her yet as we can’t have her out of there for even a few minutes. You also can’t open the side doors yet, as we need to keep everything regulated. However, if the next 48 hours go smoothly, we can welcome both you and mommy in here to open the side doors of the incubator and touch her.”

“But she’s doing well right now?” He questions, earning a nod from the nurse. “Thank you.” They then watch the nurse slowly walk away as Samantha wraps an arm around his shoulders.

“She’s adorable,” Samantha answers. “She’s already the perfect combination of you and Sarina together.” Chase smiles, as his eyes focus towards her little fingers. “This is much better than the football game.”

“Really?” Kyle questions as Samantha shrugs her shoulders.

“Absolutely. Maroon 5 sucked, Adam could’ve jumped off a cliff, and the game was just boring – even if your patriots won. Sorry.” Kyle then looks at the baby.

“Actually, I think you’re right.” He then glances down at the name card. “Abigail Victor Casey Elliott. That’s fitting, perfect actually.” Chase takes a quick glance over at him.

“Sarina thought of it, and I couldn’t argue with her as it just sounded right,” he comments. “I just hope that she makes it through this. I keep telling Sarina that over and over, but yet sometimes I wonder…”

“She will,” Samantha tells him as she rubs his back. “She will, Chase. You and Sarina are both very strong people in everything you’ve fought through to get to this part. Abigail is combination of you both, so I can almost guarantee that you’ll be holding her in victory lane this year at some point.”

“Just a couple times though,” Kyle adds, earning a chuckle from Chase.

“Hey now – I didn’t say it was going from a race he won. It could be from a race that Sarina won that you weren’t running, babes.” Chase then glances between them, shaking his head as he chuckles.

“I see how it is now…” He then takes a deep breath as he focuses his eyes back on her. “I just wonder how am I going to leave her and head to Daytona?”


The Tale of Love & Racing: Sarina’s Story – Chapter 171: Flashbacks and Surprises

Monday, January 14 – Charlotte, North Carolina – 27 weeks pregnant

Sarina lays there, taking a deep breath as she watches him sleep peacefully, not wanting to disturb a single moment. She knew there was no way that she was going to take moments like these for granted after the worry that she was feeling exactly a week ago. She couldn’t thank her lucky stars enough that he was okay, and knew she’d probably never stop thanking Morgan and Christopher for what they did.

“Normally I am the one staring at you,” she hears, which breaks her concentration immediately. She could only smile back in response, remembering those times she woke up to the same thing.

“I think I’m beginning to understand why you laid there like that some mornings,” she offers, earning back a smirk in response.

“Ah, it’s so nice of you to admire my beauty…” She then chuckles, rolling her eyes as she half-expected a smart ass comment like that in response.

“Actually, I’m just glad that we get to spend this time together, like this.” He then reaches out, clutching her hand with his.

“When we married each other, I promised you that I’d be here for you. I vowed to hold you, cuddle you, listen to you, take care of you, and keep you safe. I vowed to make sure that you didn’t endure the same pain that we have endured ever again, and I vowed to be yours forever and always – till death do us part. I don’t break my promises, sweetheart.” She knew that, knowing she could trust him no matter what with how much their trust in each other had grown from the first day they met.

“I know, and I’m glad that I get to call you my husband.” A cheesy smile then forms across her face immediately. “Husband. That’s as much fun to say as it is to say Sarina Elliott.”

“Just like Abigail Elliott, it seems that Sarina Elliott has a nice ring to it as well.” He then brings her hand to his lips. “I meant what I said, so you don’t have to worry about me going anywhere. I wasn’t going to marry you and just leave you like that.” He then gives her a light kiss, before letting it go slowly.

“I would’ve probably smacked you if you did that to me.” He then chuckles.

“I wouldn’t expect otherwise.” He then goes to move slightly, letting out a small groan as he feels a sharp pain in his shoulder.

“Easy Chase…” She then reaches over, rubbing it lightly. “Relax, and take it easy. It’s only been a week. Don’t push it and not heal accordingly.”

“I just wish the nagging pain would go away.” He then sits up, grabbing the bottle of water and pain killers off of the nightstand. He then takes a couple, followed by a sip of the water.

“On a brighter note, I heard that chicks dig scars. You’ll have something to impress the ladies.” He then looks over at her, shaking his head.

“I don’t need to be impressing any ladies as I have the woman that I’ve wanted right here beside me.” She smiles back in response, as it didn’t hurt to hear that repeated multiple times a day.

“Well, how about this?” She then slips down the edge of her pajama shirt, revealing the scar that remained on her shoulder. “Even if yours is going to be a little bigger, we’re going to match now.”

Chase slowly nods his head, taking a deep breath as he tries to keep calm with the thoughts coming back to him immediately. There was no way he could forget what happened that day.

“I hope you enjoy the present I left for him, as well as what you’re going to receive,” he hears Alison say, as she brings her body against his, pinning him against the closest wall as he stood there blindfolded. “Let’s give her a show…” She then brings her lips to meet his once again, pushing against him, reaching into his boxers to stroke him slowly. “You’re so hard, baby.”

“Alison Reynolds!” A voice reigns through the place, which immediately causes Alison to back off of being against him. He could hear the wheels of the chair that Sarina was tied to rolling, followed by a gunshot being let off.

“Oh fuck!” Sarina let out immediately.

“What is going on?” His voice reign out, staying frozen in the same spot, still blindfolded. He feels arms wrap around him – recognizing them immediately to belong to Alan. He could feel them beginning to untie the mask. “What happened?!?”

“Chase….” He hears, snapping him out of his thoughts. He was now sitting up in the bed, breathing heavily, feeling a sudden panic on the flashback. “Chase?” He feels Sarina’s arms wrap around him immediately. “Talk to me, please. Say somet-”

“I’m okay,” he cuts her off, taking a couple deep breaths as he tries to get everything back under control and block out those feelings. “I’m okay.” He then finally turns to look into her eyes. “I’m fine.”

“I’m sorry….” She knew immediately what had happened and where she had transported him back to immediately in seeing him freeze up sitting there. Once again, she hadn’t been careful enough in knowing how sensitive his feelings still were about everything that happened. “I’m sorry, Chase. I shouldn’t had mentioned a single thing abou-”

“It’s fine, it’s not your fault.” He then takes a couple more deep breathes, before snatching the water off of the night table to have a couple of sips. “You couldn’t had known that it was going to cause me to do that.”

“I still should’ve been more careful in knowing that you’re still coming to grips with everything that happened. We’ve talked about this before.” He nods his head, remembering the night they were laying together and she made a comment exactly like something Alison said. It caused him to freeze up then, and flashback to that trail of events with her.

“I’m not mad at you, Sarina. It’s okay.” He then looks over at her, now calm, taking her hand once again with his. “I promise that I’m not mad or upset. If I’m going to move forward, I need to face everything that comes with it – and that includes dealing with flashbacks like that. You didn’t mean anything wrong as you are right with your comment.” He then looks back down at the bed spread, taking a deep breath. “That week with Alison was the worst of everything that she managed to do during the time that she was loose – well, and poisoning me so I was knocked out and she could have her way. But that week, every single emotion that you can think of has resulted from what happened. I’ve ranged from sadness, to betrayal, to disgust, to anger, to guilt, to being so sick to my stomach that I puked every single thing up.”

“Chase, it’s not your fault. You don’t need to live with that forev-”

“I know it’s my fault, but I do have to live with what happened forever. It’s not just going to go away. It happened, it affected me, and I have to deal with it accordingly like I have been. It’s coming, slowly, but there will be moments like that – and it’s not your fault, okay?” She slowly nods her head. “Out of everything that she did that week, that single moment where I was blinded, heard the gun shot, followed by your scream, is the scariest thing. I honestly thought the worst had happened. I thought she had popped off some shot at you, or threw you right in direct line of fire to save her own ass. I was fearing that when Alan got it off of me, that you were going to be gon-”

“That didn’t happen, though. I was okay. It just briefly brushed my shoulder.” He takes a deep breath, knowing that as the mark on her shoulder indicated that simple reminder.

“I know. But in that moment, I didn’t know that. The flashback took me back to that fear. It reminded me of how afraid I was. It reminded me of how guilty I felt at that time because I had let Alison continue this tirade, and led everything to that happening with the plan. I know factually that I am not guilty of what happened, but in that moment, that was the emotion. The scar took me back to that moment, hence why I froze up.”

“I’m sorr-”

“I told you, Sarina, it’s not your fault. Part of me moving forward is facing every bit of what happened. It’s about figuring out what I’m dealing with, why I am dealing with it, and how I can overcome it. I need to do that for me.” He then takes a deep breath, sipping on the water once again. “Actually, in a way, this has helped me because here I am openly talking about the emotions to you for a change. That’s progress. That’s a step in the direction. Those are things that I need to do to move forward.”

“Well, whenever you want to openly talk about your emotions, or anything, please know that you can turn to me whenever you want.” She then lightly kisses his lips, as he takes a deep breath. That simple reminder emphasized guilt in what he was doing right now in keeping the Carter secret from her. However, he remembered the reasons that he told Christopher and knew his actions were justified – right?

“That goes both ways. I’m always here for you, and for this princess as well.” He then kiss her lips in return, before kissing her stomach afterwards. “Do you realize that she was kicking around 3am?”

“While I was sleeping? Seriously?” Chase nods his head, remembering.

“I woke up in the middle of the night due to a bit of pain. I shifted myself over a bit, before getting set to close my eyes. I brought my hand over to your stomach, and she was kicking up a small storm. I rubbed your stomach lightly, and she finally calmed down.” Sarina could only let out a sigh as she looks over at him to meet his eyes.

“She woke up to make sure that her daddy was okay. Look at this – you’re both already looking out for each other. What am I going to do when she comes?” He already knew where those thoughts in her head were going.

“Don’t worry – I got enough love to spread around to both of you as you’re the ladies of my life, and I promise to take care of you both.” He then kisses her lips once again, content on keeping that promise in hearing that Carter had been caught soon.

“Aren’t we going home?” Sarina asks, as she looks out the Tahoe windows confused.

They had just got done lunch, and they were supposed to be heading home from what she knew. However, Chase was taking a different route then she remembered.

“I figured we stopped in and check on how Lindsay and Evelyn are doing,” Chase answers with a smile. He knew it was a better than telling her the truth.

“Actually, I think that’s a good idea. We could use some baby love right about now.” Chase lets out a small sigh of relief, glad that she bought what he was saying.

“I figured you and Lindsay can spend time with Evelyn, while I check out Ryan’s new puppy.” That was actually the plan as he knew the ladies would be busy once he got there, just not in the way that Sarina was probably thinking.

They pull up to the Blaney household, with both of them getting out of the Tahoe together. They walk up to the front door, with Chase opening it without even knocking.

“I told Ryan ahead of time that we were coming,” Chase informs her as she glances at him confused. “Go on inside. I don’t want you catching a cold.”

Sarina then enters the house as instructed, going around the corner as her jaws drops.

“Surprise!!” The bunch of ladies in the room let out as she enters, seeing the teddy bear cake in the center of the room. She then glances up, seeing the banner ‘Baby Elliott,’ along with the several other directions.

“Oh my gosh!” She lets out, clearly surprised by the surprise of the baby shower. On top of the decorations, she was surprised by everybody who had shown up to celebrate with her.

“The only ones that couldn’t be here were Kaitlyn (Sweet) and Morgan as they’re in Oklahome for the Chili Bowl, as well as Emma whose at home with the baby,” Lindsay says after a bunch of the girls get done giving her hugs. “However, we knew that we wanted to do something for you and the baby. We also knew that it’d be a good pick me up after everything that has happened.”

“This is amazing….”

Throughout the rest of the afternoon, the ladies played a variety of different baby games. Who could put the diaper on the doll the quickest? Who could guess the correct size of her stomach right now? Guess the baby food, where you try a baby food from unmarked jar and guess the contents. They also played bobbing for nipples, which was a fun take on bobbing for apples.

They then sat around the living room together, handing over the gifts that they’d bought for Sarina and the baby. She was thankful for the car seat from Cindy, as well as the diaper bag from Erin that matched the nursery. She knew Abigail would be stylish in the outfits that Samantha had bought, each gender neutral as nobody in the room (except Cindy) knew the baby’s gender yet. On top of that, she couldn’t complain about the diapers, bottles, and gift cards that had been purchased by the other ladies in the room.

“So since Kyle already went through the liberty of buying a go-kart for the baby, we knew that a firesuit was necessary as well,” Samantha says after they had done the rest of the gifts.

“She got a hold of me, and wanted to know the exact design of the firesuit that you are getting for JR Motorsports,” Kelley continues. “I offered the different designs to her, so she could order them accordingly. I then called her a couple weeks later, saying that your baby couldn’t just show you love so we needed to add some more.”

Samantha then hands over the big box, which Sarina easily rips open. She then chuckles as she begins to go through the contents, seeing that they had gotten her baby firesuits that would match each of the suits her and Chase would wear this season.

“Your baby will be the most stylish baby this season,” Kelley says as Sarina checks them out. “We got them in newborn, three month, six month, and 12 month, so each size this upcoming season you’ll be prepared for.”

“This is amazing and completely adorable,” Sarina replies. She then places them back in the box, before offering each of the ladies a hug. “Thank you everybody so much for the gifts. They all mean a lot to me.” She then rubs her stomach, taking a deep breath. “Hopefully this little one co-operates and shows up in a timely, yet healthy fashion for mommy and daddy.”

The Tale of Love & Racing: Sarina’s Story – Chapter 164: “Something old, new, borrowed, and blue….”

Friday, January 4 – Dawsonville, Georgia- 25 weeks pregnant

With everything that happened, Brittney flew Jimmie back up to Colorado, picking up Sarina to bring her back down to Georgia so she could be with Chase. Bill had suggested the trip option, knowing that Chase needed his girl, and the familiar surroundings of home would help. Besides, the wedding was near too.

“Are you okay?” Sarina asks as she sits down beside him on the bed.

The night had gone quietly with Sarina offering her cuddles in support, just being there as Chase ranged from talking about his feelings at one point to just wanting to lay together and watch Netflix. She didn’t care, as long as they were together and safe, as there was never a complaint in watching Alison be locked away finally.

“Yeah,” Chase nods his head as he looks over at her. “Thank you for spending last night with me and just being here.” He reaches over and squeezes her hand. “It means a lot to me.”

“I’d do it all over again, Chase. I love you, and I care about you. I worry just as much about you as you worry about me. That’s why I’m telling you that you don’t need to thank me. I’d do it again…” She then leans in and lightly kisses his lips. “Are you sure you’re okay, though?”

“Yeah.” He then takes a deep breath as he lays back on the bed. “It’s just a shock to think about everything being over just like that. You go through a whole year of watching your back, almost afraid to look over your shoulder some days, and going through a range of emotions that you weren’t even thought possible.” He takes another deep breath, keeping himself calm. “And just like that, a swarm of officers, the click of handcuffs, and it’s over. She’s locked away in maximum security without a chance of being able to hurt me – us, again.”

“That’s why I’m telling you, just like I told you last night, I’m here for you. Don’t be afraid to tell me how you’re feeling, or just drop a bombshell of emotions on me. I’m here for you, okay?” Chase nods his head, accepting it. “I was thinking. If you wanted, we could postpone the wedd-”

“Excuse me?” She then takes her own deep breath, knowing this conversation would not go smoothly.

“I’m just saying if you wanted to postpon-”

“No, we don’t need to do that – unless you’re getting cold feet or nerves.” She had to laugh at that now, given her initial reactions to the thought of marriage back when he initially proposed to her.

“Absolutely not. I’ve wanted to marry you since the very beginning immediately. Heck, I would’ve hitched on the plane and gone to Vegas if it meant being Mrs. Elliott sooner.” He had to chuckle at that response, too. “I guess I can wait two more days, though. But really, if need be, I could wait longer. I just don’t want to dive into it when you’re dealing with something else if you’re not in the right frame of mind to get married.”

“I can promise you when we’re standing at the altar that day, the only thing on my mind is going to be you, and calling you my wife for the rest of my life.” He then sits back up so they were looking right into each other’s eyes again. “I was ready to get married while she was running around. I wasn’t afraid of her showing up, trying to spoil the day, or ruining the moment. All I could think about was you. Now that she’s gone, that’s all I can still think about when it comes to our wedding. Me, you, us together forever, and that sweet little baby on the way.”

“So you’re absolutely certain that on Sunday, you’ll be ready for whatever comes with the wedding?” He nods his head. “Alright then, it’s settled. I just didn’t want to force you to do something you didn’t want.”

“I’ll be standing there waiting – as long as you promise to walk down that aisle.” She smiles, as she thinks over the magic of that happening.

“This is one of the times that I wish my dad was here. He would’ve loved you and you guys would’ve got along so well. I could see so many things that you could talk about together, and enjoy. I also know that I would’ve liked to have his hand to hold.” Chase reaches over, squeezing her hand.

“He also would’ve been proud of the lady you’ve become, and how much you’ve grown. You’re amazing, Sarina, and never let anyone tell you different.” He then leans in and give her another kiss.

“You keep kissing me like that and we won’t be leaving this bedsroom today.” He laughs as he looks across his childhood room at the poster on the wall.

“I don’t think I can do that with Jeff staring at us.” Sarina then follows his glance, seeing the poster of Jeff Gordon with a chuckle.

“That’d be a little strange…..”

Sunday, January 6 – Mooresville, North Carolina – 26 weeks pregnant

The girls walk into the room, immediately surrounding around Sarina as she looks in the mirror at herself. She had just spent the past hour with the make-up artist and tailor, getting everything situated perfectly for the day.

“You look stunning,” Samantha comments as she places her hands on Sarina’s shoulder.

“Do you think it’s too much?” Sarina questions and Samantha shakes her head.

“Today is your day to shine. You can’t even begin to go overboard. You look amazing.” Samantha gives her a quick kiss on the cheek.

“You look like a princess!” Lydia lets out as she runs in, flopping down on the chair.

“Lydia, be careful!” Chandra yells as she follows her in. “You’re going to ruin your hair and dress.” She then lets out a sigh as he finally catches up with her. “Do you know what it’s like watching a little rascal run around and trying to keep her looking perfect?”

“I think boys are tougher when it comes to that department,” Samantha comments. “Brex was trying to jump in a puddle on their way today while wearing his new dress shoes.”

“Save me now…” Emma lets out, earning a couple chuckles around the room.

“Do you think I am a couple years away from those days?” Lindsay asks as she holds Evelyn in her arms.

“Just wait until you get the big explosive poop on a new dress,” Chandra answers, remembering the first of those that she experienced.

“Now with every wedding, you must have something new, something old, something borrowed, and something blue,” Cindy says as she walks over to the circle of ladies around Sarina. “The first of those two items are something that I took the liberty of handling.

“You didn’t hav-” Sarina starts as Cindy shakes her head to protest.

“Do not even begin to argue, sweetheart, as it’s not going to get you anywhere. You’re part of the family, and these gifts show my appreciation for how much you mean to my son.” Sarina smiles as Cindy hands her the first of two boxes.

“The sweetness of your son, and the time that we get to spend together, and how much he means to me is enough. Though beyond that, your advice and help at times means a lot, too. I’m glad that we were able to find this common ground and be friends.” Cindy had to chuckle as she remembered the attempts of throwing Sarina out of Chase’s life in each trip to the hospital.

“Just be glad that he’s stubborn and didn’t listen to his mama for once.” Sarina nods her head, accepting, as she unwraps the first gift. It was the something ‘new’ as they were a pair of snowflake earrings. “You always are wearing that snowball necklace that Chase gave you for your anniversary…”

“The snowball derby is where we officially agreed to be a couple…” Cindy nods her head, remembering when Chase passed along the news. That was when she insisted that Chase and Sarina come over for dinner.

“I thought the snowflake earrings would be a perfect match, and the blue tint goes with your wedding theme.” Sarina nods her head, accepting, as she pulls one of them out of the box.

“They’re amazing, Cindy. I love the sparkle that they have.” She then looks over at her. “Thank you.”

“Let me help you sweetheart,” Samantha offers, taking the box from her as she puts them both on her. “They fit you perfectly.”

“I’ve never been a big fan of earrings, but I could get used to wearing these regularly,” Sarina comments. “Thank you.” Cindy then hands her the second gift, which Sarina opens.

“That bracelet has been in my family for years. It was given to grandmother as a gift from my grandfather. My grandmother then gifted it to my mom, in which she gifted it to me. She made me promise that one day when my first born got married, they would have the gift for their wedding day. It’s a family tradition and heirloom.” Cindy takes a deep breath. “I remember those days that I protested everything about you, and I just wanted Chase to see things my way. I remember the pleads that I made to Chase, as well as trying to make you see how you didn’t fit in. In those days, I hated this tradition. I was so regretting the thought of giving it to you. However, today, I can officially say that I am proud of the tradition and I can’t wait to see you wear it with pride and honor. I can’t wait to have you, Sarina, as my daughter-in-law. The only thing you must promise is that you share it with your first-born when they get married.” Sarina nods her head, accepting.

“Absolutely, and just like the earrings, it’s stunning. Obviously your grandfather had great taste.” Cindy nods her head, as she slowly lifts it out of the box.

“It’s amazing to think after all these years, it still goes with any fashion style that you can wear. But seeing the blue pearls, it’s fitting for you today.” Cindy then puts it on Sarina’s wrist, as she looks it over.

“just dashing…” Emma comments, earning a smile in return from Sarina.

“Now for something borrowed….” Cindy starts as Lindsay stands up, handing Evelyn over to Morgan.

“Are you getting babysitting practice already?” Sarina asks as she looks over at her with a smile.

“I got to learn, right?” Morgan offers, and Sarina nods her head in response. It was just another thing to add to her theory about the future that was in store for Christopher and Morgan.

“This is for you to borrow, today,” Lindsay states, catching Sarina’s attention as she hands her a small box. “I feel even more special about giving it to you after hearing everybody’s words.”

“Knowing you, it’ll be special,” Sarina replies, before opening the box to reveal a locket.

“I heard that your dress has a pocket for hiding snacks, but now you can hide something even more special…” Sarina nods her head, wiping the small tear that had already come to her eyes. “Do you remember?”

“That was the locket that my dad gave you as a gift for Christmas one year. He told you to put something in it that meant a lot to you, so you’d always have it close to you.” Sarina opens the locket, remembering Lindsay had put a photo of them together on one side, along with a photo of Lindsay’s parents on the other side.

“I told you last week that your father was proud of you, and he’s always looking down on you. I told you about how much he loved and adored his sweet dear Chelsy. I figured it’d be perfect for you have to a piece of Victor with you today.” Sarina nods her head as she wipes the tears away from her eyes immediately, hoping not to mess up the make-up in the process.

“It’s perfect. Thank you, Lindsay.” Sarina then gives her a hug, before placing the locket in her pocket. “Obviously I have something blue with my bracelet and earrings.”

“Then what are we waiting for?” Morgan asks. “Let’s get you married!”

“Are you sure you’re ready for this?” Samantha adds, and Sarina nods her head. “You can tell your girls if you’re having any last minute nerves or worri-”

“Trust me, Samantha, I’m ready,” Sarina answers as she takes a deep breath. “I’ve been waiting for this day since the proposal.”

The Tale of Love & Racing: Sarina’s Story – Chapter 153: Truck Series Banquet

Saturday, December 8 – Charlotte, North Carolina

“Sarina, are you ready to go?” Chase asks as he takes one final glance in the mirror, making sure that everything appeared ready to go with his appearance. He was still surprised that she insisted on him wearing a pink shirt – almost making him wonder if the dress was pink in some way, to go with the jacket and pants.

“I think so – finally,” she answers as she fixes the strap around her neck one final time.

“You know, it would’ve been easier if you would’ve let me help you.” She then chuckles as she places the ‘snowball’ necklace around her neck, doing it up.

“You would use any excuse to get a peak at what I’m wearing.” He then tries to glance around the corner for what seemed like the millionth time. “Stop peeking.”

“Then can you show me, please?”

He then hears the footsteps down the short hallway of their hotel room suite, already able to tell that she was wearing flat shoes underneath the dress. Truthfully, the decision to wear even just short heels for the Cup banquet was one she regretted so he was glad that she had learned her lesson.

He then watches her come around the corner, jaw dropping as she comes into full view and twirls around.

He was surprised with the choice as it didn’t follow the lines of what other ladies would be wearing to these events. However, he wasn’t about to argue with her as it looked absolutely stunning on her and suited her very well. It also didn’t hurt that when she stood straight up, her stomach popped out a little underneath the fabric despite not being a tight style.

“Say something, please…” He could hear the hesitation in her voice, obviously looking for some sort of approval from him. However, he still found his breath caught in his throat as he stood there. “I better go chan-”

“No, please don’t,” he immediately cuts her stuff as he takes a deep breath. He had to find the words and fast as he reached out and grabbed her hand with hers. “You look absolutely stunning, amazing – beyond any words that I could even describe. I thought your dress for my banquet was perfect, but this is beyond what I could’ve imagined. It flatters you beautifully and brings out every single quality that I love about you. I’m so stunned; that’s why I didn’t say anything.”

“Honestly?” He nods his head as he closes the gap between them.

“Not a single word of that could ever be a lie as you, my dear, are perfect. I love you so much.” He then leans in and kisses her lips lightly.

“I just hope that everyone else likes the dress, too.” He then gives her a small twirl around.

“It doesn’t matter what they have to say because all that matters is what you think, and you’re beautiful no matter what you’re wearing. However, I think everyone is going to be complimenting you from when you step on the red carpet to when you enter the hall and go up on that stage.” He then stops twirling her, looking into her eyes. “More importantly, you’re more beautiful on the inside then you are on the outside. You have the heart of gold and will do anything for anybody that is needed. Look at how you treat your fans and are willing to go the extra mile for them. Look at how loyal you are once someone earns your trust. That’s what matters to those close to you, and me.”

“You’re going to make me cry and then I’ll be stuck doing my make-up all over again….” She then wipes her eyes, trying to keep every bit of make-up in place. “If I’m getting this emotional now, what am I going to be like a month from now?”

“I already told Ryan that he may need to catch me when I faint at how beautiful you’ll look.” She then chuckles a little, as she gives him a glance.

“You better make sure to at least say those vows before you faint, mister. I’m not walking my ass down that aisle for you to flake out on me.” He had to laugh in response as he kept her held close.

“I could never do that to you. You’re stuck with me Ms. Ott, whether you like it or not.”

“Actually, I wouldn’t have it any other way, Mr. Elliott.” She then leans in and kisses his lips.

“Is that the driver that we let go?” Kyle questions, as Samantha glances over a little confused. She then follows Kyle’s lead, smiling as she watches Chase and Sarina begin their walk down the red carpet together. “She looks amazing.”

“I knew that dress suited her perfectly from the time that she picked it out,” Samantha offers as she smiles in watching the pair get photos done together. “It looks even better now with her stomach popping out a little.”

“It’s amazing how much the baby bump is noticeable now compared to just a couple weeks ago.” Samantha nods her head in agreement.

“I’m just glad that we only had to order one size change in the firesuit after she told us that she was pregnant.” The pair then smile as Chase and Sarina finally make their way to where they stood, sharing hugs once together.

“I love your dress,” Sarina comments. “It’s very elegant and looks beautiful on you.” She had to admit that she liked it a lot better than the green gown worn for the Cup banquet.

“You look stunning as always sweetheart,” Samantha replies, giving the back of the dress a quick glance. “Were they any problems getting into it today?”

“Thankfully after doing the alterations on Thursday, everything went smoothly this time around. I can only hope that the same can be said for my wedding dress.” Samantha smiles, still in admiration at the gown that Sarina had selected for January.

“As I told you, Keri is on stand-by and willing to do any alterations or changes that you need right up to, and including the day-of. You’re wedding is going to go perfectly. Nothing is going to mess it up.” Sarina could only hope that Samantha was right, but had a small fear in knowing Alison was always lurking.

“I hope you have all of your wedding plans in order,” Kyle comments, catching Chase’s attention as the girls continued to gab together.

“Everything is set for the wedding – except for my vows,” Chase tells him. “I just need to finalize what I am going to say to her at the alter.” Kyle had to look over a little concerned and confused.

“You’ve known about writing your own vows for how many months now? And yet you still haven’t put the words down that you want to say to tell this lady just how much she means to you?” Chase knew it was slacking a little, but he also had all the pressure in the world on his shoulders as he wanted them to be perfect.

“They’ll be ready in time, don’t worry. It’s all about giving them the right polish as necessary.” Kyle nods his head, accepting, as he takes a deep breath.

“Samantha was telling me that Sarina came to see her at the Christmas party, and almost had a bit of fear that their friendship wouldn’t be the same moving forward after this year. Samantha said she offered her that reassurance, but could see that same girl deep inside that we originally met who was afraid of trust, loyalty, and opening up.” Kyle then looks over at Chase. “So you better promise me that you’re never going to break that trust or hurt her, because I will kick your ass.”

“Isn’t that my line?” A voice interrupts them, and they both smile in watching Christopher and Morgan walk over together.

“I don’t think he ever took your threat seriously,” Kyle starts before looking back over at Chase. “But he will take mine seriously.”

“Trust me – I don’t plan on ever doing that so both of you have nothing to worry about,” Chase assures them. “I love her with everything that I’ve got, and I want to spend the rest of my life with her. That’s why I asked her to marry me, and that’s why I will be there in January. We’ve learned from our mistakes, and we’re ready to grow as a family together moving forward.”

“So I won’t be needing to offer anymore lectures?” Christopher asks, and Chase shakes his head no. “Good, because I admit that it drove me a little crazy at times to do that.”

“It drove me crazy at times having you act like a protective big brother,” Sarina joins in the conversation, giving both Christopher and Morgan a hug. “By the way, I love the dress as you were right – it is perfect and the red looks absolutely dashing on him.”

“You look amazing yourself,” Morgan offers in return. “I have to say that combined, us three ladies are the best dressed of all the girls here tonight.” Samantha and Sarina nodded their head in agreement.

“How did we get so spoiled?” Christopher wonders as Kyle shakes his head.

“I don’t know about you guys but I treat my lady like a queen,” Kyle states, wrapping an arm around Samantha. “On the other hand, we have someone that chased her tail around the country and couldn’t find a way to trust, and we then have someone else who can’t slow down away from the dirt track life to give his girl some time.”

“Who’s to say that I have a problem with the traveling, Kyle?” Morgan questions. “I’d rather be a dirt track getting dirty watching some great side-by-side racing then sitting at home or on a beach.” Sarina then offers a high-five in agreement with Morgan. “You should come spend some time with us, actually.”

“Normally I would jump at the chance to do that,” Sarina confesses, before glancing over at Chase with a sly smile. “However, I want to spend this off-season quietly with my fiancé. We have a lot ahead of us with the baby and the wedding, and it’s nice to take a break for once.”

“I know things haven’t been easy, especially with Alison…” Sarina and Chase nod their heads in agreement.

“Please tell me that she’s been arrested,” Christopher begs and Chase shakes his head no. “Unbelievable. That said, I do agree with what you’re saying as you both deserve some quiet time together. Hopefully you can catch up some sleep then, too.”

“And by the way, we both offer to babysit once the baby is here if that makes things easier for you,” Morgan adds, catching Christopher off-guard a little.

“First comes a puppy, and then comes a baby…” Kyle sings before walking away with Samantha, who was just rolling his eyes the whole time.

“I didn’t imply anything by what I said.” Morgan then offers one final hug, before heading down the red carpet with Christopher.

“I think she just said that so Christopher would be put at ease after Kyle’s comment,” Sarina offers, catching Chase by surprise.

“Do you think?” Chase questions and Sarina nods her head yes.

“You could see her eyes light up as we talked about the baby and everything. It’s destiny, Chase. I bet we’ll have a little Bell running around in a couple of years.” Chase watches the pair together, posing for a couple photos, before Christopher does some interviews.

“If you would’ve said the same thing to me a couple years ago, I would’ve told you that you were crazy. However, here we are with a baby due in a couple months. So therefore, I am not going to ignore your suspicion about Christopher and Morgan. All I will say, though, is that they’re happy togeth-”

“And you’re saying that because you don’t want to admit that I am right.” Chase just rolls his eyes.

“Don’t you have a banquet to be entering and taking your seat at?” She then looks over.

“Admit it.” He then begins to walk away from her as she just rolls her eyes. “You’re such a great escort there, Mr. Elliott….”

Sunday, December 9 – Charlotte, North Carolina

After the official banquet festivities, Chase and Sarina attended the Kyle Busch Motorsports after-party for all of the truck crew members to celebrate the successful season that they had together.

With it getting late and the snow already beginning to fall, Samantha insisted the pair just head over to the Busch household and stay over for the night so they didn’t have to travel far. With a night of smores and a Home Alone marathon, the idea had worked perfectly.

Early in the morning, the snow caught the attention of Brexton’s little eyes as he looked outside. Meanwhile, all of the auldts in the house were still asleep – except for Chase. Sarina needed the sleep as the pregnancy was at times more tiring then she’d admit, while obviously emotions were still running high for Kyle and Samantha. Seeing Brexton’s attention caught, it gave him an immediate idea.

After making sure that Brexton had something to eat for breakfast, he got him all bundled up for the cold – snagging Samantha’s purple scarf when he couldn’t locate another – before taking him outside.

“What do you want to do in the snow?” Chase asks once they were outside as Brexton looked around.

“Snow angels!” He says before laying back in the snow, beginning to do the motions. “Chase, can you too?” Chase knew it’d suck without having snow pants to wear, but he also couldn’t turn down the young man before him.

“Absolutely…” He then flops down in the snow, feeling the wetness through his jeans immediately as he makes the motions necessary. While he knew that their play would be cut short with how wet he was feeling already, he had to admit it was fun. “What’s next?”

“Frosty!” The pair then stand up as Brexton begins to make a small snowball, rolling it along the ground as he watches it grow bigger.

“You make the head, and I’ll make the body, okay?” Brexton nods his head in agreement as he continues to work at his little ball.

While the boys continued to play together outside, Sarina had awaken and was sitting by the window watching them, smile fixed on her face. She also held a notepad in her hand, jotting ideas on it as they came to her. She’d almost get the full idea of what she wanted down, before ripping the paper out and scrunching it up as she knew it wasn’t even close to what it should be.

“Did I miss a paper ball fight in my living room this morning?” Samantha questions as she walks into the room.

“Sorry,” Sarina answers as she stands up, beginning to pick up the various balls.

“Oh no – don’t say sorry. Just next time please invite me.” Sarina chuckles as she tosses them in the garbage.

“Actually, it’s called brain storm session gone shitty. No matter what I think, it’s not right when I look over it again.” Samantha then looks over confused. “When you and Kyle got married, did you write your own wedding vows?” Samantha shakes her head no. “Maybe Chase and I should’ve done that.”

“That tough, huh?” Sarina nods her head as she looks back over the pile of balls.

“I keep thinking what I have thought out and planned expresses every bit of my love for him. However, nothing seems to be enough. I don’t know how to put into words just how much I love him, care about him, and want to be with him every single minute of the day.” Samantha couldn’t help but feel her heart swell in response.

“Chase knows how much you care about him, Sarina. You both tell each other that every day and you express it on all the little things that you do.” She then unfolds one of the balls, reading what it said. She follows suit with a couple more, before laying each of them on the table. “These are all amazing and certainly express that love that you tell me that you guys have together, and I see when you guys are together.”

“But none of them are perfect…” Samantha then walks over, placing her hands on Sarina’s shoulders, before beginning to rub them.

“A wedding is meant to be magical and special. It’s about watching two individuals commit to each other and express a love that knows no bounds. A wedding is celebrating that love and the journey that you’ve taken to get that point. It’s not about the decorations, or the dress, or the people there – but rather the two people on the alter sharing that moment together. While these vows may seem like everything, they’re not. They’re just words. Instead, it’s the feeling behind those that matter. So as long as you’re speaking from the heart and expressing a true love for him, that’s all that matters when you say those words in January. Stop stressing or panicking; the words will come to you when the time is right. If they don’t, then there’s nothing wrong by going by the book, either, because all that matters is you, him, the baby, and the life that you’re about to spend together.”

The Tale of Love & Racing: Sarina’s Story – Chapter 151: Saying Goodbye

Tuesday, December 4 – Hendrick Motorsports

Chase wraps his arms around Sarina’s shoulders, as they glance over the back of the Hendrick Motorsports property.

“What do you think?” He asks as she takes another glance around with a smile forming on her face.

“I think you made the right call,” she answers. “It’d be perfect.”

The pair had been talking about getting some proper engagement photos done before the wedding, to go along with the re-done RSVP cards to be e-mailed out this week with the re-done wedding plans in place. Chase also knew that Sarina wanted to get some images of them together as she continued to be further along in her pregnancy, now officially at the halfway mark.

“They brought me out here because NAPA wanted a more natural setting for some images, and the idea just came to me,” he starts. “The photographer even offered to take them for us, too.” She then looks over impressed.

“How did you manage to swing that?” She asks, and he just shrugs his shoulders. “You know how to spoil me…”

“I just want to do what I can for the lady that does so much for me, and I love so much.” He then spins her around so he could face her, letting their fingers intertwine together. “I know how much Alan and my dad were there through everything this year, but I don’t know if I would’ve gotten through that like I was able to without you by my side. You offer a certain amount of strength and love that I can’t describe to anybody. Maybe it’s the fact that you inspire me with how strong you are despite everything you’ve been through, or maybe it’s your determination rubbing off on me. Either way, I don’t ever take you for granted.”

“I want to let you know that the feeling is mutual, Chase. Like I’ve told you so many times, I don’t know if I would’ve become the person that I am today and been truly able to move forward from everything that happened without you to lean on. Because of your kindheartedness, I was able to open up to you like I couldn’t ever do so before. I was able to find a special trust in you that showed me it’s okay to be vulnerable, and open, and led to me opening up that trust barrier for others. I love you so much.”

“I love you, too.” He then leans in and kisses her lips. “And I can’t wait until I can call you my wife in January.” A smirk forms on her face as she thinks it over.

“Whether I say it as Sarina Elliott, or Chelsy Elliott, it does have a nice ring to it.” He had to admit that he was surprised by her second additional comment, as normally every other discussion she avoided any reference back to her original name.

She then gets changed into the dress that she chose to wear to last week’s luncheon, while Chase adorned a pair of nice jeans and a dress shirt. The pair shot a bunch of photos together with a bunch of different poses. The decision was then made to change, with Sarina adorning her banquet dress from last week as he was back in grey once again.

“You should’ve brought the dress you’re wearing Saturday,” Chase comments as he wraps his arms around her for one of the poses they wanted to do.

“Good try buddy,” she replies with a chuckle as he forms a heart with her fingers on her stomach. “You’ll see it soon enough…” She then takes a deep breath, rubbing her chest a little in between photos.

“Are you okay?” She nods her head, letting out a sigh.

“Heartburn all day. I don’t know if it was the tomatoes last night, or just pregnancy related, but it’s been acting up.” He then carefully rubs her stomach.

“Maybe if I calm someone’s jets, they’ll calm down for mommy.” Instead of calming the baby, a fury of kicks could be felt against his hand. “That’ll never old, ever.”

“That baby certainly loves your touch already.” They then switch positions, posing for another select group of photos. “You know, if you ever truly want to run the Chili Bowl, I have a friend that knows someone with a real good car and can give you some great advice.”

“Oh, so you saw my tweet back to Chase (Briscoe)?” She nods her head. “I think Rick has already opened up more than he wanted to in allowing me to run the Snowball Derby, which I thanked him for first thing I got here today. Now asking for a sprint car test and chili bowl, that may be testing the waters.”

“You don’t know until you ask, though…” While nodding his head in agreement, he was already pretty certain he knew where Rick stood on the subject.

“Considering how your truck racing went at Eldora, I’ve actually wondered if you wanted to give either a try…” A smirk comes to her face immediately.

“You should know the answer. I’ll drive anything with four wheels, no matter the car or surface. I already told Christopher that I’d be willing to accept a try at his midget.”

Wednesday, December 5 – FBI Center

The off-season was supposed to be a time of relaxation, but Chase had yet to find that in the first couple of weeks since the season finale. After going through a day of photos yesterday, he was now off to an appearance at the FBI Tactical Driving Center with Jeff Gordon for FOX Sports.

“So how is the wedding planning going?” Jeff asks as they head outside, ready to get everything started following the quick debrief inside. “I got your new invitation last night, and already sent back my answer. Ingrid absolutely adored the photos that you and Sarina did together, but I admit being surprised by the venue change.”

“An accidental double booking at the cabin in Colorado caused them to not honor our requested date,” Chase explains, still shaking his head at how everything transpired. “We didn’t want to change the date, so we went with changing the venue instead. It just makes sense doing it in Dale’s western town as the layout is right, it’s close to home, and security.” Jeff ultimately looked over concerned by the last mention.

“Is there still nerves there in regards to Alison?” Chase didn’t want to admit to that, however he would always worry with her lurking around undetected.

“She hasn’t been caught yet, right?” Jeff lets out a sigh, nodding his head. “She also has been lurking around, as evidenced by visiting Kyle before coming to Florida and leaving a present by the trailer to say ‘congratulations’.”

“I can’t honestly believe that they haven’t caught her yet considering all the places that she seems to have access to. I also can’t believe that she has gotten away with everything that she has.” Jeff then stops, reaching his hand out to Chase’s shoulder. “But you’re doing okay with everything, right?”

“Absolutely. I’m done with all the feelings connected to her, and letting her control everything. She doesn’t bother me anymore, Jeff.” Jeff knew that was partially a lie based on the comments earlier, but wasn’t about to push the issue at this time with others lurking around.

“I just want to let you know that if you ever need someone to talk to about anything, I am just a phone call or text away –  no matter what.” Chase nods his head, accepting. “Now, let’s go have some fun and figure out who is the better driver – which is obviously me.”

“Are you sure that you’re not rusty in your old age?” Jeff’s jaw drops surprised by the remark as Chase just laughs.

“I see how it is, young pup. You just sit back and take notes on how a pro gets the job done.” Chase rolls his eyes, but couldn’t help but smile as it was going to be a fun day playing on the course set-up for them.

He also couldn’t help but take a deep breath, and know that this was a good educational experience as knowing what to do in a situation like this could be beneficial. He could never be too careful when it came to Alison.

Wednesday, December 5 – Kyle Busch Motorsports

Sarina takes a deep breath, taking a pause as she lifted the photo off of the desk.

She smiled, immediately remembering what race it was from as Brexton sat on the tailgate of the truck pre-race beside her. She places it in the box, before letting her eyes land on the second image. It was another moment of her and Brexton together, hanging out in the trailer between practices with some of his toy cars.

She couldn’t help but smile at the memories, but also thanked the young boy in her mind. Rubbing her stomach as she thought about those moments, it gave her faith that motherhood would come natural and she’d be able to do what was necessary for her baby.

With those images in the box, she found herself scanning the other images that had sat on her desk through the years. She chuckled at the image of her and Kyle at Martinsville together, before smiling widely in seeing herself and Chase in victory lane for her second win at Kansas.

She may have only spent two years at Kyle Busch Motorsports, but she’d made memories that would last a lifetime. More importantly, she had formed friendships that nobody could ever replace no matter what happened moving forward.

“Sarina?” She hears, catching her attention as Brexton stood in the doorway. She had been used to his visits through the years, actually welcoming them as times as they were a good distraction.

“Hey buddy,” she replies, immediately accepting his hug as he ran in the office, wrapping his arms around her like always. She then let go, eyes glancing back on the box to make sure everything was organized.

“Packing?” She then freezes, as she hadn’t expected the question. She looks over, nodding her head. “Why?”

“Come here and I’ll explain it to you…” She then walks away from the box, sitting in the chair as he climbs up on her knee. “So while I drove daddy’s truck all this year, next year I am going to drive a car for Dale.” She watched a little bit of confusion on Brexton’s face.

“So no be here?” Sarina slowly shakes her head no. “I like you…”

“Trust me, I like you as well, and no matter what happens, you’ll always be my little buddy.” She then pulls him even closer to her. “I’m just not going to be here every day like before due to driving Dale’s car instead next season. but I can promise you that each weekend at the track, you can come over and say hi to me, okay?” Brexton nods his head immediately.

“Sleepover?” She nods her head, accepting, with a big smile.

“Of course we’ll still have our sleepovers so Chase and I can tell you bed time stories, and eat smores with you. nothing is going to change, buddy. I will still spend plenty of time with you, okay?” He nods his head yes with a smile of his own.

“I love you.” He then gives her a big hug, which she easily accepts.

“Are you being careful Brexton?” A voice interrupts, as both Brexton and Sarina look over.

“Yes Daddy,” Brexton answers as he slowly gets down off of her knee.

“That’s good.” Kyle then walks into the office, letting out a small sigh as he looked over the empty desk. “It feels so weird being empty. I know you’re off to a great opportunity with Dale, but I am damn well going to miss you being here every week.”

“I can promise that I am going to miss being here, too. From the moments with Brexton, to the meetings in your office, to the times with the guys – it’s been one helluva ride, and I am going to miss it for sure.” She then walks over to Kyle. “Thank you for giving me the opportunity, and letting me drive for you.”

“Thank you for giving it everything that you had right to the end, and doing what you can do behind the wheel. You’ve improved so much since the day I hired you. I remember believing in your natural talent, but now you’re maturing into a polished talented driver. Keep honing those skills, and I can promise you’re going to go far.” He then easily accepts the hug that he knew was coming from her.

“And thank you for everything that you’ve done persona-”

“You don’t need to thank me, Sarina. You deserve every bit of happiness.” She then takes a deep breath, easily accepting the comment.

“The same goes for you and Samantha. You’re going to get your rainbow baby one day; I know that you’ll both be blessed, too.” He nods his head, accepting.

“So, is everything in the box?” She glances over the desk, before looking over with a nod.

“I can carr-”

“Chase would kick my ass if I let you handle doing this yourself down the stairs right now.” She then lets out a sigh as she knew that he was right. Perhaps she should listen to everybody and take it easy somewhat.

“I help?” Brexton asks, and Sarina nods her head as she picks up the final item on the desk. She takes it over, placing the diecast truck in his hands.

“Can you carry that down to parking lot for daddy and I?” She asks and he nods his head with pride. “Thanks buddy…”

They then head for the exit of the office as Sarina stops for a second, looking back with a sigh. She promised herself she wouldn’t get emotional, but there was no denying the tears that were in her eyes. So much had changed and happened in her life over the past two years, and a lot of that was thanks to what happened within these four walls.

Thinking it all through, it was almost unbelievable to think that she was getting ready to begin a new chapter. Not only would she be driving for a new team, but she was about to get married in a month while becoming a mother after that.

Rubbing her stomach, she knew it was going to be a crazy ride, but she was ready to enjoy the rollercoaster as it would certainly be worth it in the end.

“Are you coming?” Kyle asks as he and Brexton were halfway down the hall.

“Yeah,” she answers, shutting the light off and closing the door before heading down behind them.

Thursday, December 6 – Kyle Busch Motorsports

Even though she had officially packed her stuff and moved out of KBM the day before, Kyle and Samantha both insisted that she attend the Christmas party – which she couldn’t pass up. It was also insisted that Chase attend as well, having won the Snowball with the team.

“Come play with us!” Brexton instructs, tugging on both of Chase’s and Sarina’s hands after getting his present for Sarina at the craft table.

“Brexton, be careful…” Kyle warns, as he was trying to make sure that Brexton knew to be careful due to a baby growing in Sarina’s tummy as he was told.

“How about you and Chase go play together?” Sarina suggests, catching Chase off-guard. “I can’t go play due to the baby, but I know Chase would like to.” Brexton then focuses his eyes on Chase.

“Really?” He questions, and Chase nods his head, accepting, as there was no way to say no to a little boy before him. “Yay! Come on!” Brexton tugs at his hand, as Chase glances back at Sarina with a smile before heading off with the little boy.

She could only chuckle as Brexton led him to straight to the ball pit, getting him to join Todd and Harrison inside already with the other crew member’s children.

“Do you think I’m running a race team or a daycare?” Samantha questions as Sarina chuckles, snapping a photo of the group together.

“Whose having more fun – the kids or the drivers?” Sarina asks and Samantha laughs in response. “Actually, you’re never too old to play in a ball pit.”

“I’ll make sure to put one on order for your birthday party next year.” Sarina just shakes her head with a chuckle.

“It’s amazing watching Chase with Brexton…” Sarina takes a deep breath, rubbing her stomach. “I actually thought about something yesterday. I want to say thank you to both you and Ky-”

“Sarina, I’ve already tol-”

“No, but thank you for letting us spend so much time with Brexton. It’s really giving me a chance to believe more that I am ready to be a mother, and raise a baby of my own. I knew that Chase could do be a great father as he’s amazing, and has every single attribute perfect for it. However, I admit that I was scared and worried that I’d screw up; I’d repeat my family’s mistakes. Each time that I get to spend with Brexton shows me that it’s going to be okay.” Samantha wraps an arm around Sarina’s shoulders.

“Every first-time mother shares the same fears, and trust me, you’re going to have more fears. There will be nights that the baby won’t stop crying no matter what you do, and you’ll think that you’re the worst mother; however, sometimes, they’re just fuzzy and it’s hard to calm them down. I had the same fears that you’re experiencing, and I can tell you that they lasted through the first couple of months with Brexton.” Sarina lets out a sigh.

“How am I ever going to survive?” Samantha smiles as she looks over at the ball pit.

“Faith and belief in your own ability, as well as faith in your fiancé. I mean, he’s a natural with all those kids climbing all over him.” Sarina had to chuckle in watching Chase play with the group of kids still. “You also have a great support system around you. Don’t hesitate to reach out to me and Kyle if you have questions, or Chase’s parents, or Ryan and Lindsay, or anybody that you know closely. It’s okay to be afraid, it’s okay to ask questions, and no matter what, you and your family will grow and be amazing.”

“Thank you, Sam. You always know the perfect words to say….” She then looks over at her. “Just promise me that we won’t’ lose this friendship no matter what happens.”

“Sweetie, you’re stuck with me for life now. We’re best friends and you can trust me fully that I will never give up on our friendship no matter what happens, and I will be here for you and Chase always. All you need to do is pick up the phone or come see me, and I’ll do whatever you need.” Samantha pulls Sarina even tighter to her. “You have my trust and love no matter what. I’m not going to leave you questioning that ever…”

The Tale of Love & Racing: Sarina’s Story – Chapter 147: Birthday Surprise

Thursday, November 29 – Las Vegas, Nevada

Sarina walks back into the room, earning glances from everybody as she walks by them. A couple jaws even dropped, scanning every inch as she makes her way over to where Chase was sitting.

“To the birthday boy goes the spoils,” she whispers in his ear. “I told you it’d be worth your while. Keep behaving tonight, and you can have your special gift later….” He had to smirk as he immediately turns her, kissing her lips immediately.

“I can’t tell you how much I am simply turned on by this, and how I just want to blow this party early,” he confesses as she smiles back in return. “Although showing all this to everyon-”

“Let ‘em stare and be jealous. You’re the only one that ever gets to have it all to yourself.” He places his hands on her hips, holding her close to him.

“I’m glad, because you’re amazing….” He then kisses her lips once again.

Through the next couple of hours, the pair continued to mingle with everyone, even kidding as they watched William’s 21st festivities fully commence. A couple more drinks enjoyed by Chase, along with Sarina happily discussing the upcoming wedding and pregnancy certainly made the night enjoyable.

Around 2 o’ clock in the morning, Chase snatches her hand, pulling her close to him, placing a kiss on her lips.

“Follow me,” he whispers in a low, seductive tone in her ear, before tugging on her hand for her to follow. They make their way out of the ballroom, finding the quickest route to the elevator.

“You know, it’s bad custom to leave your birthday party early,” Sarina comments as she enters the elevator.

“It’s not my party anymore sweetheart.” He then presses the button for their floor, watching the door close. He then walks over to her, pinning her in the corner. “It’s also wrong to tease so much without delivering.”

“Patience, my king.” She easily accepts the kiss from him, letting him push himself against her. The pair leave their lips locked together until reaching their floor, getting off the elevator together. It was a short walk down to the room, with the key inserted and door opened in a flash. As soon as they were inside and the door was back closed, the lips were clashing back together once again. Keeping her pinned in the small corner by the doorway, Chase then reaches around, slowly undoing the zipper on the dress.

“I’m glad you chose such a light material after all.” He then lifts the dress off, tossing it on the back of the couch not far from them. “Have I told you that you’re sexy lately?” She then begins undoing each of the buttons on his pink shirt.

“I can’t argue with how handsome you looked today.” His eyes immediately focus on the black bra she was wearing underneath, his tongue tugging at the shoulder strap.

“I aim to please you, even on my birthday.” She then undoes the last button, taking off his shirt.

“I can’t say that I am upset about that.” His lips then find their way back to hers, as he reaches around to unclip her bra. “Hence why I am just as excited for tomorrow’s banquet to see you dressed up once again. But first, we need to rid of these clothes for tonight.”

“Are you saying that we need to get a head start on getting ready for tomorrow?” He then slides the straps across her shoulders, followed by down her arms. He finally separates from the kiss once again, leaving a trail along her jaw, followed by down her neck, before lightly sucking on one of her breasts.

“Clyde….” The low moan was the only cue that he needed as sucked a little more, feeling her hands tighten around him more. “Oh man…”

“I could do this all day….” She knew that she wouldn’t complain, but she knew it wouldn’t bring her the satisfaction that she needed.

“There’s something else that I need from you, though..”

“Oh really?” She nods her head. “What’s that?”

“One simple thing…” She then reaches down his dress pants, lightly stroking his cock. “I need you, Clyde.”

“Are you sure that you deserve a party favor tonight?” She nods her head, before running her finger lightly across the tip as she bites the edge of his ear.

“You know you want it just as much…” He then lets out a low moan.

“Damn….” He then looks into her eyes.

“What can I say? You just make me honry, baby.” He just shakes his head, picking her up his arms and carrying her through the hotel room, slowly laying her back on the bed.

“I love you so much….” He then slowly pulls her underwear off, as she works at sliding his dress pants off, letting them drop to the floor. “I love you….”

“I love you, too.” She then wraps her arm around his neck, bringing him down to her so she can kiss his lips once again. “Oh…” She immediately places her hand on her stomach.

“Are you okay?” Every bit of worry ran through his mind immediately as she just looked up with the biggest smirk on her face.

“Place your hand here…” She takes his hand, placing it where she had previously put hers. “Push just a little.” He does as instructed, with a smile immediately forming on his face as he feels the kick against his hand. “I think your baby wanted to come in and say happy birthday, even if a little late.”

“That feels so amazing…” She had to smile back in response as she places her hand beside his. “I can’t believe that feeling.”

“I started feeling some of the movements last week, but wanted to wait to tell you until you could feel it as well. Once I felt one earlier today, I made sure to tell this little one that there had better be another later on just for daddy.” Chase then lays down beside her.

“I just want to lay here and feel that all night.” Sarina chuckles a little as she looks over.

“Oh, so you’re going to forget about pleasing Momma just because baby is everything right now?” He then glances up at her. “I see how it is, Chase.”

“I could never disappoint Momma.” He then brings his lips to hers, kissing them once again. He slowly moves so he’s back on top of her where he was before, slowly inserting himself inside of her. He then begins to rock his hips against hers lightly, moving the full length inside of her.


Sarina opens the door to the hotel room, smiling immediately as she looks up and down her best friend’s appearance. Lindsay had chosen a lengthy blue gown, showcasing her ever-growing belly with Baby Blaney due next month. It also helped to hide the flats she was wearing underneath to keep her feet from getting sore.

“You look absolutely stunning!” Sarina lets out as she backs away from the door, letting Lindsay enter the hotel room.

“That gown just suits you perfectly,” Lindsay comments as she notices the black gown that Sarina had chosen for the banquet.

“I just hope it’s not too much….” Lindsay shakes her head immediately.

“You can never go too much when it comes to this banquet,” Samantha states as she walks out of the bathroom, causing both of the girls’ jaws to drop immediately. “Uh oh…”

“I love that shade of green!” Lindsay immediately lets out as she walks over, fully walking around Samantha to take in the appearance.

“Is that a good reaction then?” Lindsay and Sarina both nod their heads in approval.

“That dress suits you perfectly,” Sarina offers. “You look absolutely stunning!”

“It perfectly shows off you best elements,” Lindsay adds as Samantha glances between the ladies before her.

“I’d say the same for both of you as well,” Samantha comments. “That blue dress just highlights that stomach to perfection, Lindsay. And Sarina, the dress is perfect. It fits the appearance for tonight, while not being too over the top as we know you’re not one to do that normally. It’s also not too crazy to overshadow what you’re doing next weekend.” Sarina then glances at herself in the mirror once again, making sure her hair was perfectly back as she wanted.

“I’m his guest tonight so I don’t want to show him up,” Sarina says as Samantha just smiles. she knew the dress that Sarina had picked out for the truck banquet next week with having gone to alterations with her. She knew that they’d defiantly be catching everybody off-guard when she walked out.

“Do I want to know what you’re wearing next week?” Lindsay questions as she hadn’t seen it yet.

“Let’s just say it’s amazing….” Samantha comments with a smile.

“I’m just glad that we ladies get to spend time together,” Sarina says, wrapping her arm around the shoulders of each of them. “It’s also amazing that we get to be pregnant together, too.”

“Yeah…” Samantha then walks away from the pair, sniffing back the couple of tears that threatened to fall.

“Samantha?” Sarina had seen that reaction once before from Samantha, and knew it wasn’t a good thing.

“I found out Monday that Kyle and I lost our baby girl…” Samantha sits on the couch as Sarina and Lindsay immediately walk over, sitting on either side of her, wrapping their arms around her. “We didn’t want to say anything yet. We didn’t want to talk about all during banquet night.”

“Sam…” Sarina clutches her even tighter, leaning her head on Samantha’s shoulder.

“You’re an amazing show of strength to be able to be here all week without showing a single sign,” Lindsay comments. “I also know with the strength that you and Kyle have together that you will be able to move forward with Brexton as a family.” Samantha smiles a little, nodding her head.

“My heart totally breaks for both of you, knowing how much you’ve gone through to get to this point and how badly you both wanted the perfect family.” Sarina then reaches with her hand, clutching Samantha’s. “I want you to know that anything you both need, just let me know. I’m here for you no matter what, anything you need, anything you want, just like you were there for me and Chase. I wouldn’t had been able to move forward without you. I wouldn’t had been able to get the answers that I got without you. I wouldn’t had been able to get to this point of my pregnancy without you. You’ve been there for me through everything, and I want to make sure that I’m here for you.”

“I’m also here for whatever you need as well,” Lindsay adds as Samantha sniffs back the final bit of tears.

“I appreciate it ladies, I really do,” she tells them with a small smile as she glances between them both. “Thank you..” She then wipes the tears away, slowly standing up. “Now, are we ready to have some fun tonight?”

“If you are,” Sarina states as Samantha glances in the mirror, fixing the bit of make-up that had been messed up in the process.

“Let’s go see those handsome men of ours…” Samantha then leads the ladies to the door, as they head out ready for the banquet as much as they could be.

Chase makes his way over to the beginning of the black carpet, stopping dead in his tracks when he sees Sarina and Lindsay heading towards them.

“Damn…..” Chase and Ryan both let out together as they glance at each other a little surprised, before looking back towards the ladies.

“How do we get so spoiled?” Ryan questions as Chase shakes his head.

“I don’t know, but they look beyond amazing,” Chase answers. “Are you sure you don’t want to pop the question already?” Ryan chuckles a little, used to the teasing already.

“Let’s just enjoy your wedding first, okay?” Chase nods his head in agreement. If she looked this amazing dressed for the banquet, what was she going to look like on their wedding day?

“I may faint waiting for her at the altar.” Ryan then looks over surprised.

“Don’t expect me to catch you.” Chase then gives his best friend a playful smack as he takes a couple steps forward.

“You look absolutely amazing,” Chase tells her, kissing her lips, before twirling her around.

“I was worried that I went with the wrong dress at first,” Sarina confesses and Chase shakes his head no.

“No no, this suits you perfectly. Actually, it’s my favorite of all the dresses you’ve worn so far. This is amazing.” She smiles as she looks straight into his eyes, running her hands along the edge of his coat.

“I have to say that I am glad that you didn’t follow protocol and wear black, as the gray just suits you so damn well. It brings out those eyes..” She then leans, sharing a kiss with him.

“Stop smooching and come get your interview done,” a voice interrupts them, as Ryan gives him a tug on the sleeve. Chase then lets out a sigh, slowly letting go of her as he walks over to where Austin Dillon stood for NBC with Ryan.

“Can you believe that your fiancé forgot my man in the possible winners for the Most Popular Driver Award?” Lindsay questions as they listen to the boys with Austin. “I mean, we both know that he’s going to win the award tonight as it’s a done deal, but at least spread some love for my man.”

“For what it’s worth, I think Ryan is the second best man here,” Sarina comments, earning a glance from Lindsay in return.

“Even better than your boss?” Sarina chuckles, nodding her head, as she looks over to where Kyle and Samantha stood together.

With having a chance in between the photos and interviews, Chase walks over to where Sarina stood on the side, wrapping his arms around her shoulders.

“Are you okay?” He asks as she leans back on his arms.

“I am feeling very blessed tonight,” she answers as her hands find their way to her stomach, remembering the heartbreak in Samantha’s voice, as well her own heartbreak from January. “How can someone so heartbroken appear to be so strong and act like nothing is going on?”

“What do you mean?” She then lets out a sigh as her eyes don’t leave Kyle and Samantha.

“Samantha suffered a miscarriage on Monday.” Chase’s jaw drops in shock as his eyes now look over at the couple together.

“That’s why Kyle couldn’t go run the Snowball Derby for you….” Sarina nods her head, remembering Kyle mentioning he had a reason he couldn’t be there without handing over details.

“She told us before we came down for the banquet. I mentioned how it’s great with us three ladies being pregnant together, and she told us.”

“I don’t even know what to say.” Chase remembered how torn up both he and Sarina were in January, and that was being in total surprise without warning. He knew it had to feel 10 times worse with having all their dreams connected to it.

“I told her that I’m there for her no matter what she needs after everything she did for us. But look at them, Chase. How can she just act like everything is perfect?” Chase admittedly was shaking his head in disbelief.

“That’s Samantha. She’s a rock in the midst of crisis, putting everyone first. She and Kyle will be okay.” He then kisses Sarina’s cheek. “Just like we were okay and we found our way through, and now we’re ready to start our new chapter together.”

“It makes me more thankful than ever that things have worked out so well, so far.” She then takes a deep breath, hands continuing to rest on her stomach, a small smile forming as the baby gives her a kick as if to offer reassurance.

The Tale of Love & Racing: Sarina’s Story – Chapter 142: Ford EcoBoost 200

“I don’t know if you can judge it off the numbers on a paper at the end of the year. You can’t measure yourself off of someone else’s ruler. – Noah Gragson

Friday, November 16 – Homestead-Miami Speedway

“Are you okay?” Chase questions, rubbing her shoulders, and she simply nods her head yes.

“It’s just another race,” she tells herself. “I just have to do what I’ve done all season long, and we’ll be fine.” Chase just continues to rub her shoulders, knowing that despite her words, the stress was there.

“Sarina!!” Brexton yells as he runs over, wrapping both his arms around her legs.

“Hey buddy.” She then kneels down to his level, accepting the hug immediately.

“Good luck.” He then holds out his fist, getting a fist-pump back in response as she just smiles back in response.

“Thanks buddy.”

“He wouldn’t even finish dinner tonight because he wanted to come say good luck,” Samantha starts as she makes her way over. “He was so excited to come see you.”

“He can always come see me – no matter what time or day he wants,” Sarina comments, earning a chuckle in response from Samantha.

“Don’t be telling him that, or I’ll be coming over to your place at all hours of the day and night.” Sarina could only shrug her shoulders as she looked back at Samantha.

“It wouldn’t bother me, Sam. I love him, I love you, and I even love Kyle.” Chase had to chuckle a little in seeing the look on Kyle’s face. Sarina then stands up, walking over as she wraps her arms around Kyle and Samantha. “Really, I don’t know where I’d be without you both right now. You gave me a chanc-”

“Chase put you in his late model…” Kyle reminds her, and she looks over at him with a smile.

“But you took the chance in trusting your truck in my hands,” she continues. “That meant a lot to me in having your faith in me as a driver despite everybody else saying you should hire that person, or that person. It means a lot to me, Kyle.”

“It paid off, though.” She nodded her head, knowing they’d been successful over the past two years together.

“But also personally, I don’t know if I’d be here where I am today without you both. You guys believed in me when a lot of people were ready to give up on me. You guys held my hands, and told me to weather the storm because it’d be okay. You guys helped me personally with my relationship. Chase and I are ready to get married in two months, and I don’t think we’d be there without you both. You guys helped us so much at times.”

“I can attest to that,” Chase offers with a smile, remembering some of the rougher patches. While he would turn Alan or his parents, she turned to Kyle or Christopher and it paid off each time.

“And Samantha, I don’t know what I would’ve done without you in January,” Sarina continue, feeling a couple tears trickle down her cheeks. “I was ready to throw in the towel, swallow into self-pity. But with you, Chase, and Lindsay, you helped me move forward. You also took it into your own hands to help me find the answers that I didn’t realize I needed, and help me find what I needed to move forward. You also believed in me when I came to you and said, ‘I’m pregnant’. You stood by me, and continued to help me, believe in me. I wouldn’t be at this stage in my life, my love, my pregnancy without you both.” By that time, the tears were trickling down her cheeks steady as she reached up to wipe them away. “It’s got to be the hormones making me tear up…”

“Sweetheart….” was all Samantha could manage, as she wiped her away her own trickle of tears, before pulling Sarina into a hug. “I will always love and cherish the moments we had together.”

“Oh, this is not goodbye by any means.” Sarina then looks straight at Samantha. “I’m sorry, but you’re stuck with me for the rest of your life. You almost feel like an older sister at times, maybe even motherly.”

“Hey, friends forever as I better be seeing you and that little one at my place a lot.” Sarina nods her head in agreement.

“Why do you think I told you to be in my wedding?” She then looks over at Brexton. “And I better see lots of this guy as he gets better.”

“I don’t think you have to worry about that,” Kyle comments as Brexton could only look up at her with a big smile.

“Can we get a group photo?” Sarina questions, earning a series of nods as the group stood together – Chase, herself, Kyle, Samantha, and Brexton. Chase then allowed the car owners to get a photo alone with Sarina, before getting a photo of just them together.

“I want in!” Rudy lets out as he runs over, wrapping his arm around Sarina’s shoulder for a photo as everybody chuckles.

“Maybe Todd was right….” Kyle offers, earning a nod from Sarina in return.

“I’ve gotten so used to seeing you sitting up here that I may actually miss you next year,” Kyle teases as Chase takes his usual seat beside the boss.

“Awww does Kyle need a buddy?” Chase questions, laying his head on Kyle’s shoulder, only for Kyle to give him a little smack.

“Sarina is going to love that one,” Rudy comments while laughing, having taken a photo of Kyle and Chase before Kyle got him to move.

“I think we should have the season finale at Daytona, Rudy,” Kyle offers, earning an immediate head shake from Chase. Kyle could only chuckle at the response. “I will never get over how nervous you were at Daytona and Talladega sitting up here with me. It’s insane.”

“She’s the same way according to Jordan,” Chase comments, having heard the stories from his team. “To think if you would’ve stayed at Hendrick Motorsports. We could’ve been teammates.”

“That would’ve been ridiculous. Instead, it seems Dale has a habit of stealing my drivers.” Chase could only chuckle.

“William drove Late Models for him first, and well, let’s face it – Sarina was always mine.” Kyle just rolls his eyes in response.

Starting up front, Sarina ran second throughout the first stage – to Grant Enfinger, which was fine since he wasn’t in title contention. So far, so good.

Their chances looked to be increasing as when Matt Crafton spun the tires on the restart to start the second stage, Sarina was able to get by on the outside and take the lead. However, the short run speed wasn’t there, causing her to fall back to fourth just two laps later. She would work her way back up to second before the stage was over, finishing there this time behind Brett Moffitt. It was decent, but they couldn’t stay behind him all night if they wanted a title.

“Nice job sweetheart!” Chase let out as she put together another stellar restart, taking the lead to start the third and final stage. Unlike the time before, she was able to stretch it out, holding the advantage despite being closely stalked by Moffitt through the early laps.

As the laps continued to count down and the final pit stops neared, it seemed everything was falling in place just like they needed it too.

“Right rear going down….” She says over the radio, causing an instant panic through Chase. obviously battling as hard as they were, she had abused the tires.

“We’re in the window,” Rudy informs her after watching Moffitt go by to take the lead. “Pit now.”

She brings the No. 18 Toyota Tundra down pit road on Lap 102, with the crew performing the four-tire pit stop. While it was clean without any mistakes, it was a little slower than they wanted due to the flat tire. As a result, it cost her valuable ground on track, cycling out to being four and a half seconds behind Moffitt.

“It’s all on you now,” Kyle tells her over the radio with 20 laps to go. “Go and get it!”

Despite trying both lanes and doing what she could to gain ground, it wasn’t happening. She managed to gain a couple seconds, but a small hang up in traffic was the end of their chances. She’d get within two seconds of the lead, but obviously that wasn’t enough.

She’d ultimately cross the line in the third position, finishing second in the year-end standings with Brett Moffitt winning the race.

As she climbed out of the truck and leaned back against it, letting the defeat soak in, she felt a strong arm wrap around her shoulders to pull her close. She didn’t even need to look up anymore to know whose arms she was in.

“I’m proud of you,” Rudy tells her quietly. “You did what you had to do. He had the stronger truck – end of story. You pushed as hard as you could, and ultimately we came up short. I should’ve given you a bett-”

“No Rudy, you did a great job,” she tells him as she finally looks up to meet his gaze. “You gave me a truck capable of winning tonight. You did everything you could. We just got beat on strategy there.” Rudy nods his head, knowing it was a combination of strategy in when to pit, along with maybe pushing a little hard the run before per his encouragement.

“I’m sorry….” He then goes to walk away, but she holds firm on his arm.

“You don’t need to apologize, Rudy. You did everything that you could. I wouldn’t change a thing. Thank you for this season. It’s bigger than I could’ve dreamed of.” Rudy could only smile a little in hearing her upbeat attitude in defeat.

“You’re amazing, truly. I wish you the best of luck next year, and please kick Chirstopher’s ass for me.” She had to chuckle back in response before finally letting him go so he could walk away.

She didn’t even need to move before she was locked in another person’s arms, not even needing to look at the face to know who they belonged to.

“Great job all season,” Kyle tells her. “I remember when you started driving for me. I look at the driver that you’ve become now and I’m super proud of you. You’ve soaked up everything that I’ve taught you, Rudy’s taught you, Marcus taught you, and heck even Chase has taught you. Keep doing what you’re doing. I look forward to racing against you one day.” He then holds a fist.

“Deal,” she replies, giving him props back in return, before going for the full fledged hug. “I meant what I said pre-race. Thank you for everything – on the track, and off the track. You and Samantha are truly special.”

Kyle separates from her, heading over to where Rudy was standing by the pit wall with a couple crew members.

Her eyes finally caught the eyes of the one person she had been expecting from the beginning. With all the emotions on the surface, tears came to her eyes as he walked over, with her immediately burying her head into his shoulder.

“You did everything you could,” Chase tells her quietly, rubbing her back. “I’m proud of you, probably more proud than Kyle and Rudy are right now. You did everything that you could all race long to run with Brett, and beat him. Do not hang your head.” He then forces her to lift her head up, and look into his eyes. “Do not hang your head. You did an amazing job all year. I love you, and I’m proud of you.”

“I love you, too,” she replies as she clutches onto his hand tightly. “I’m so happy for what I was able to do this year and Kyle’s right – we’ve come so far from where I star-”

“You just began racing yourself five years ago in late models. Brett has been driving for years. Johnny has been racing for God knows how long. Justin started when he was really little. For you to be where you are with the experience that you have, it says so much. It shows the drive that you have, how much you want to push to get better, how you soak up everything, and where you can go from here. If we can get to here in just that much time, the sky is the limit sweetheart.” She nods her head, easily accepting his vote of confidence.

“You can’t measure yourself off of someone else’s ruler, right?” Chase smiles, knowing that was the perfect explanation. “I burnt my front tires off those final two runs because the truck just got too tight. She then lets out a sigh. “I need to get better at communicating what the truck is doing so Rudy or whoever can make the adjustment.”

“That’ll come with time. I still even struggle with that and look at how long I’ve been racing for, and the fact that I’ve worked with Alan for three years now. You’d think that we would understand each other but we still have issues. It’ll come with practice.” He then pulls her back into a hug. “I’m proud of you. You’re my champion.”

“Thank you.” She then lets him go, taking a deep breath as she tries to get all of her emotions about her. “Banquet, we share the news?”

“Whatever you want to do, sweetheart…” She then glances towards the swarm of media heading their way. She could easily spit it out this week, or she could wait two weeks and say the news everybody wanted to hear.

“My banquet or yo-”

“It’s up to yo-”

“You’re the fath-”

“Your decisi-”

“Figure something out before they get here!” Kyle yells, grabbing both of their attention as the swarm gets closer.

The pair share a simple nod, which Chase couldn’t even figure out what meant, but went with it as he stepped back to let her face the media. Though as she went to step forward, she kept a firm hold on him, not allowing the space to form.

“I’m not going to lie – this is going to sting for awhile,” she starts with a deep breath. “I was driving my ass off there at the end. I was doing whatever I could – trying different lines, looking for debris, just anything. I was soaking up everything Rudy and Kyle were trying to tell me, too. Heck, even the advice from Tony Hirchman. But I just got too tight at the end and burnt the front tires off – it’s simple as that. Communication is critical, and I know what I need to do moving forward as a driver.

“Certainly, it’s not the championship that I envisioned, and it hurts. But, at the end of the day, you have to look at this with perspective. I remember the driver I was when I walked in the door at KBM. I also remember the driver I was at the beginning of this season at Daytona. Now when I look at that mirror, I see how much I’ve grown, learned, improved. I see all those things that we’ve polished from Daytona to now, and I’m proud. I’m proud to see where I am going as a driver and know that given this trek, we’re going to be in for a successful future.

“I’m beyond grateful for the opportunity to drive for Kyle Busch Motorsports. I can’t thank Kyle and Samantha enough for these two seasons. They’ve been even more than I could’ve imagined. I also can’t thank them enough, personally, for what they’ve done for me. Rudy and Marcus, each team member, I thank them all so much. I’m grateful for what we were able to accomplish together.

“I’m also excited for the opportunities ahead in the future with JR Motorsports. I can’t wait for next year already to see what happens. I can’t wait to get behind the wheel, and see how much more I progress, how many races I can win, and what I can do. I can’t thank Dale and Kelley enough for that, along with their understanding on everything.

“I talked about perspective….” She then takes a deep breath as she squeezes a little tighter onto Chase’s hand. “Things could be worse. Everybody knows what’s been going on with Alison. That really forces you to sit back and put your life in perspective. Life may be a bitch at times, but here I am, stronger than ever.

“I finished second in the year-end truck series points with a race win under my belt and lots of other great memories, surrounded by a great team. I have a great opportunity ahead of me for the future. I’m getting ready to get married in January to the love of my life. While I may miss Daytona next year, I also know that I am ready for what the new year comes for me, Chase and our family…” She then takes a deep breath, as Chase keeps hold of her hand. She had debated on what to say, but knew she had to do this a certain way.

“I was told once upon a time that I would not be able to carry a baby to full term due to some scientific uterus research. I also experienced what it’s like to lose a life, and it broke me more than you could’ve imagined.” She then takes a deep breath, feeling a couple tears. “But I pushed forward. They say things happen for a reason, and I believe this happened for a reason. I found out in August that I was pregnant. I could’ve easily terminated the pregnancy because I was told that I wouldn’t able to carry a baby to full term, but I believed it happened for a reason.

“I know I’ve taken a lot of your time and the light should be shining on our new series champion, which congratulations to Brett, so I’m just going to say this straight out. I am pregnant.”

The pair watch the jaws drop on all the media that was surrounding them, certainly not having that on their topic of questions. The reaction even caused a chuckle from Kyle and Rudy.

“How far along are you?” “Who knew about the pregnancy?” “What is everybody’s reaction?” “What was it like racing while pregnant?” “What are your comments to those who feel you did the wrong thing?” “What happens next year at JR Motorsports?” “Does this affect your XFINITY contract?”

The series of questions came one after the other, with some media members even shouting over each other to try and get their question answered by the pair.

“Easy guys….” Chase tries to manage the situation, putting his arm around Sarina’s stomach immediately. “We’ll take the time to answer every question, one by one…”

They were easily standing there for another full half hour, fielding the various questions, followed by Kyle being asked a couple afterwards.

“Well, it doesn’t matter who wins the championship the next two days,” Kyle comments afterwards as he wraps his arms around the pair. “Now the focus for the rest of the weekend is going to be your pregnancy. Are you ready for what the tornado is going to bring?”

“Bring it on,” Sarina replies, as she looks over at Chase. “As long as I have Clyde, I can face whatever is thrown my way.”