“Fuck rehab! How the fuck am I suppose to concentrate on rehab when Sam can’t get higher than fifth on a track like Carns.” Danny screeched at Tracey when she asked him about his afternoon rehab session.

Of course the obvious answer would have been that concentrating on rehab should have been easy because if he wanted Sam out of his car and himself back in it for the next meet at MacDonnells rehab needed to be a priority. But Tracey knew better than to push Danny when he was in one of his moods, far better to let things cool and forget it or maybe try again at a later date.

She supposed in the big scheme of things missing one rehab session probably wasn’t going to make a huge difference. As much as he needed to get some practice in the simulator over the following two weeks he did have as much as a week and a half before his next track medical. Even then doctor had suggested that was going to be enough time to get him back to a fitness level good enough for the track, even if it wasn’t good enough to win.

Instead of saying anything, negative or positive, after Danny’s little outburst Tracey chose to walk away without a word. She remained close, within earshot, in case he changed his mind or needed something but she wouldn’t pressure him.

By 5pm when the race was over Danny’s mood had changed somewhat. Several times during the telecast he’d called Tracey to refill his drink or get him something, twice during commercial breaks he’d gotten himself up to go to the toilet and after the first ten laps he’d even stopped yelling at the TV. It was something that even surprised Tracey given that Sam and Force 10 did not win the race or even get on the podium.

Sam had done a respectable job of keeping the car straight and finishing the race without damage but the ninth placing was never going to something Danny appreciated. However when he hobbled out to the kitchen, holding the walls, doors and furniture wherever he could instead of using his crutches Tracey was surprised just how calm and collected he was.

“How’d it end up?” Tracey asked hoping her words wouldn’t break the calmness but feeling the need for conversation.

“Ninth, but the car’s straight so that’s a good thing.”

“Well that is good. Aren’t you watching the post race stuff?”

“Nah, not much point, you know as well as I do they only focus on the winners circle, then the commentators bullshit on for an hour about how much better they could have done things.” Danny leant himself against the kitchen bench.

Tracey then decided she’d push things a little further, hoping to feel the waters and keep the conversation flowing but not upset Danny. “Ninth isn’t too bad. I’m happy for Sam. Sounds like he raced well.”

“Bloody pit crew let him down more than he let the team down. Twice they fucked up, once on a tyre change when they dropped the car before the right rear was on and again when they released him into traffic he should have given way to. He was actually lucky he didn’t cop a black flag for their stuff up, but it cost him time because he stalled the car trying to avoid clipping one of the Atco cars.”

Whether Danny’s change in attitude since the start of the race was because Sam had done well under the conditions he was dealt, while not doing as well as Danny thought he himself would have done, or if it was for some other reason Tracey wasn’t sure. What she was sure of was that she was not going to rock the boat and possibly send him spiralling backwards by mentioning things like rehab. Instead she decided to let Danny talk about the race and how he saw it.

Danny spoke for about fifteen minutes about the race, it wasn’t quite a blow by blow of every mistake the pit crew made but it was close. Tracey nodded and looked interested in what Danny said as she pottered around the kitchen when in truth the only racing that really interested her was when Danny was behind the wheel, anything else was just filler.

Tracey was please to hear Danny suggest at the end of his rant about the pit crew’s mistakes that he would read them the riot act when he arrived at the workshop the following day after rehab. Not because of he wanted to give the team his perspective on their mistakes but because he was the one talking about going to rehab.

“What do you want for dinner?” she asked when Danny finished talking about the race and sat down at the table.

His knee was obviously giving him some grief and sitting down relieved that grief. “Have you got anything out of the freezer?”

“No, but I can defrost something, will only take a few minutes to nuke it. Or we could get some thing delivered.”

“I could go some Chinese.” Danny said moving uncomfortably in his chair.

Chinese meant take away, take away meant Tracey would have to get changed out of her Sunday cleaning clothes into something a little bit more respectable and drive down to the local Chinese restaurant which was about ten minutes away. Not an ideal situation but if they rang through the order it would be ready when she arrived.

“Ok, how about you ring through the order and I’ll go and get changed.” Tracey said with a smile.

“Can’t you do it? I need to go to the dunny.” was Danny response.

They had a standard order at the Green Dragon Chinese Restaurant, it was an order that changed so rarely that between caller ID and Danny’s voice the staff would know exactly what to cook without any sort of conversation. Placing the order was such an easy task that Tracey was sure Danny would be happy to handle it while she got changed, but apparently even dialling a few numbers for his dinner was too much effort.

Without arguing Tracey picked up the phone, dialled the Green Dragon from memory, placed her order, then hung up the phone. When she place the phone down on the bench Danny was still sitting at the table.

“It will be about fifteen minutes, I’ll go and get changed then head down.” Tracey said.

Previous Racing story here.