Chapter #: 15
Chapter Title: Talladega
Story: Like Father, Like Daughter
Characters: Dale Earnhardt Jr., Tony Stewart, Ron Malec
Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. This is a matter of fiction, not specifically true events, though sometimes based on true events. No money is being made from this work. No copyright infringement is intended.
Talladega Speedway – Saturday Night
Dale sat there, outside the motorcoach, overlooking the night sky. Tomorrow marked the second plate race of the season and after what happened at Daytona, he had some mixed emotions going into it. What if Angelica got herself involved in another wreck? What if he got himself involved in one of the ugly wrecks the track is famous for?
“Hey, are you okay?” Dale heard as he looked over to see Tony had made his way over to where he was laying on the grass. Tony sat down, carefully, eyes focused on Dale as he tried to read his mind. “What are you thinking about?” Dale scooted closer to Tony, laying his head on Tony’s legs as Tony smiled, brushing his hair.
“Tomorrow,” Dale simply answers as he knew Tony would understand what he was talking about.
“It’ll be fine. Daytona was just a freak incident.” Tony kissed Dale’s head, continuing to run his fingers through his hair, wanting to offer whatever comfort possible. “I love you. Why don’t you come in to bed?”
“Guess I better.” Tony smiles as he stands up first, before holding out his hand for Dale. He helped him up and they both retreated inside of the motorcoach. “Chelsea still won’t sleep?”
“Me no sleep daddy,” Chelsea spoke as Dale sat down beside her, looking up at Lindsay, before turning his eyes back down to his youngest daughter.
“Why not?” Dale asked as he wrapped an arm around her. He knew that she hadn’t been feeling well lately, but that was besides the point. “You need to sleep so you can watch Daddy, Uncle Tony and sissy race tomorrow.”
“Can I sit in sissy car temarrow?”Dale smiled as she found her way to say the word, though also knowing that Angelica would let her sit in the car. It had become a bit of sister tradition between them.
“Of course, but only if you go to bed like a good little girl.” Chelsea then pouted as she shifted herself on to Dale’s lap, leaning against him.
“But daddy, me tummy no feel good.”
“She was sleeping, but woke up when she had to puke in the toilet,” Lindsay explains as she sits on the coach opposite to them.
“Mommy give me gaavooo,” Chelsea comments as they all laugh slightly, knowing she meant gravol. She had come down with a small case of the stomach flu and it was bugging her as much as it could.
“Well that should make your tummy feel better so you can sleep,” Dale commented as he grabbed her blanket, wrapping it around her.
“You need to sleep so we can all sleep and then maybe daddy can win tomorrow,” Tony suggested as he leaned against the kitchen counter, watching and smiling. He couldn’t believe how close he had grown with Dale over the past five years, but also with Lindsay and Chelsea.
“Daddy sleep with me?” Chelsea then asked to their surprise, with a slight pout.
“Of course,” Dale told her as he let her up so he could lay back, before she laid down, tucked up close to him. He knew he couldn’t say no to her no matter how hard he tried.
“Night babes,” Tony said as he gave Dale a kiss and Dale smiled.
“Night Chelsea.” Tony then gave Chelsea a kiss on the cheek before heading back to the bedsroom.
“Goodnight,” Lindsay told them both and joined Tony after giving them a small kiss.
“Guess it’s just us,” Tony commented as Lindsay smiled, climbing in beside him.
“When Chelsea wants something, she knows how to convince Daddy to get her way. And I don’t mind your company anyway.”
“Really?” Tony then gave her a kiss, before pulling the blanket over them both.
“I’ve grown used to your sexiness.” Lindsay then moved closer to him, laying her head on his chest. “Sorry but I like to be cuddled at night.” Tony smiled as he wrapped an arm around her, not fighting it one bit. It was that odd special factor in their relationship.
“Night Linds. Sweet dreams.”
Dale walks Chelsea down pit road, knowing that he has to hold true to his word.
“Go get your sister!” He tells her as he lets go of her hand, about 10 steps away from Angelica. Chelsea was getting really good at walking and it always brought smiles to see do some on her own without holding on to anything.
“Come here Cheeseball!” Angelica said as she noticed Chelsea coming near her, smile crossing her face. She had called Chelsea since she was a baby since she was chubby and loved cheese – it seemed perfect. Chelsea successfully made her way over, grabbing on to Angelica’s leg.
“I sit in sissy car?” She asked as Dale smiled, making his way over.
“She wouldn’t sleep last night so I told her if she went to sleep like a good little girl, she could sit in your car,” Dale explained as Angelica smiled in return.
“She can sit in my car anyday!” Angelica commented as she picked Chelsea up putting her in the seat. Chelsea stood there, smiling, as she held on to the wheel. As they watched Chelsea together, Angelica wrapped her arm around her dad, knowing what he was thinking. “It’s going to be okay today. Relax.” She then kissed her dad’s cheek with a smile.
“I’m going to believe you.” They both then looked into the car, smiling as Chelsea made car noises. “Think she’ll be a racer like you?”
“It wouldn’t surprise any of us,” they both heard and Angelica smiled as she recognized the voice, knowing it to be her crew chief, Ron Malec.
“I’m waiting for you when you start getting her go-kart racing,” Angelica commented as Dale shook his head.
“I’m scared to start her off too young,” Dale said.
“I want to go fast!” Chelsea then exclaimed as they all smiled.
“One day sweetie, one day. But you have to come out now so sissy can race.”
“Sissy gonna win!” Dale then pulled her out of the car, smiling as he looked towards Angelica.
“That’s what sissy wants to do,” Angelica replied as she gave Chelsea a quick kiss. “I promise to be careful, Daddy.”
“Sissy gonna beat daddy!” Chelsea then commented as they all laughed.
“We’ll see,” Dale said before walking away with Chelsea as Angelica leaned back against her car.
“Is he wor-” Ron then started as Angelica looked towards him.
“A little,” she cut him off knowing the question. Ron then wrapped an arm around Angelica as they both watched Dale and Chelsea head back down pit road to Lindsay.
“It’ll be fine. You won’t repeat Daytona.” She shook her head yes as she believed those words also. But in the back of her mind, she asked herself a couple times – what if?