Danny Holmes had just won the opening touring car race of the season after coming from last position on lap three. He’d stood on the podium and accepted the winner’s trophy as the crowd of racing fans screamed and cheered. He even stood toe to toe with his main rival, the same person responsible for running him into the wall on lap three, as the guy swore at him and tried to provoke him into a fight. But none of that prepared him for his estranged wife sitting in his trailer after three long months of no contact telling him she wanted him back.
“What do you mean you want me back? You walked out on me, walked out on our marriage, walked out on our life and refused all contact with me. Dammit Tracey, you even ignored your own family at Christmas, yet now you say you want me back?”
“I miss you,” Tracey replied.
“And you chose the first race meet of the year to tell me that. You couldn’t have done it before now? I suppose I should just be thankful you didn’t do it before the race.”
“I needed time to think, Danny.”
“Think about what? Whether you could find someone better than me?” Danny was getting mad but he was not raising his voice.
“There was no one else,” Tracey was beginning to tear up but Danny wasn’t sure if they were anything more than crocodile tears. “There hasn’t been anyone else at all. I promise.”
“This is meaningless, I’m not interested in this right now Tracey, you know I have a post race routine and arguing with you is not part of that routine.”
“We aren’t arguing Danny. See that’s the fuckin’ problem, every time someone doesn’t see things the same way as you, you think it’s an argument or they are just being self righteous and demanding. You don’t see that the behaviour you claim to hate in others is exactly what you do.”
“I don’t have time for this Tracey,” finished with what he was saying Danny stepped through the door leaving the conversation and Tracey behind him.
Several minutes later Danny was lazing back in the spa bath letting the therapeutic bubbles do their magic when Tracey walked into the room.
“Tracey! What are you doing?”
“Remember the time we really got relaxed in that spa bath?” Danny looked away not answering and Tracey continued. “Our naked bodies joined as one. Our fingers gently caressing each other. You buried deep inside me as we writhed together, the bubbles…”
“Tracey! Stop it now. This is not the time or the place.”
”Of course it is, I can get in there…”
Danny interrupted for a second time. “Tracey, we are not doing this now, so please leave and don’t make me call security.”
Tracey looked at Danny and she knew he was serious so she turned tail and walked out the door muttering. “How the fuck can we resolve anything it you wont even talk to me?” Danny chose not to respond.
When Danny emerged from his cool down routine Tracey was still sitting in the trailer watching TV, the crew were doing their best to avoid her and work around her, Danny did the same as he walked through the trailer and asked the first crew member he saw where Dave, his team manager, was.
“He was talking to someone ‘official’ looking out in pit lane last I saw him which was a few minutes ago,” Stan, one of the mechanics told him.
Danny stepped out of the trailer and went looking, sure enough he found Dave standing in the exact spot his car stopped for refuelling during the race and he was talking to someone who did look ‘official’. It turned out the guy was the CEO of one of the team’s major sponsors and Danny had to schmooze up to the guy as much as Dave was. Thankfully, as far as Danny was concerned, the schmoozing didn’t last long, just long enough for the well dressed CEO to congratulate them on the win, remind them how much sponsoring a leading car was good for both parties and tell them to keep up the good work. Danny knew that talking to sponsors was as important as winning races because without sponsors he didn’t get a chance to win but it didn’t mean he had to like it.
“I hate to bring it up like this because you know I don’t dislike Tracey but you gotta get her out of the trailer man! The crew are trying to pack up and she wont move from in front of the TV.” Dave said once their conversation with the CEO was over.
“Has anyone actually asked her to move?” Danny replied, he could tell by the look on his manager’s face that the answer was no. Frustrated but not surprised Danny then said, “I’ll handle it.”
Because the first race of the season was at the team’s home track, the same track they tested on, there wasn’t the same deadlines and requirements after they raced at Markstown as there was when they raced at other tracks. At Markstown the crew still worked their butts off to get the gear back on the truck so they could get out of the place but with only 20 minutes back to the workshop and all the crew living locally and able to go home and sleep in their own beds for the night the pressure of being on the road just wasn’t there. However the crew still worked efficiently to get home as early as they could and Tracey being in the trailer did slow that down somewhat, no one asking her to move slowed things down even more.
Another thing that changed when they raced at Markstown was that the team debriefing, where they analysed the race and broke down where things failed and where things worked. It happened the following day at the workshop, not in the back of the truck before their entourage hit the road to the next race met or headed home. What that meant for Danny was that after he’d done the sponsor thing and any publicity stuff he was required to do he could jump in his own car and drive home and forget about cars and car racing until the following morning when he’d be required to turn up at work at 8am.
With all that in mind Danny walked through the pit stopping a few times to congratulate the crew he hadn’t caught up with since the race finished and headed straight for the trailer to ask Tracey to leave.
“You need to leave now, the guys want to pack up and get out of here too.” Danny said stepping up to where Tracey was reclined in her seat.
“Are you headed home?”
“Yeah soon, come on please don’t make a scene. The guys need this space cleared so they can pack up the rest of the trailer. You remember how it works I’m sure.”
“Do you want to go out for a drink?” Tracey asked. “A celebration for the race win, maybe?”
“No thanks. I’m heading straight home. Tracey, lets not do this.” He held out his hand to lead her out of the trailer, “come on please, the boys really want to get out of here too.”
Tracey grasped his hand and let Danny lead her out of the trailer, the smile on her face evident as they walked hand in hand in front of the team.
One they were outside the trailer Danny let go of her hand. “Thank you for not making a scene.”
“Thank you.” She said and then turned around and began walking away. Then before he had a chance to wonder exactly what was going through her mind she turned her head, looked directly at him, and said. “I’ll see you at home!”
But she’d turned her head and kept walking, she wouldn’t have heard him unless he yelled and that was the last thing he wanted to do.
Previous racing story here.