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Rated: 13+ · Short Story · Action/Adventure · #2242060
NASCAR racing is dangerous. It can be made even more so.
The Daytona 500 was halfway through.

"They're coming into the tri-oval," the announcer says. "Johnny Richards in the lead."

"Look out, Johnny has lost the right front wheel. It's the 'big one'."

Video shows that at least 23 of the cars in the pack hit Johnny as he spun and rolled. Silence fills the stands as covers are erected while his body is removed

Johnny's widow Julie, breaks people's hearts when she's interviewed. "How did it happen? His crew is meticulous. I'm going to find out what went wrong."

A brash rookie, Mark Johnson, tries to calm her - "You're making a mistake. There's nothing to find."

Mark starts campaigning to take Johnny's place on the team. The way he smiles and looks at her turns Julie's stomach.

"Why consider Mark for Johnny's ride?" Julie challenges the team manager.

"He's young," is the reply, "but he tries to learn. He spent the night before the 500 in the garage helping out."

"Did he work on Johnny's car?" Julies asks.

"He probably did. We had a lot to do."

That night Johnny comes to Julie in a dream.

"Your suspicions are right. Get that punk for me."

When the racing moves to Talladega, Mark is a regular driver, and Julie has smiled back at him enough to be seen as his girlfriend.

Julie makes sure a bottle of his special Gatorade is chilled when he pits.

"Young Mark Johnson is coming on strong after that pit stop," the announcer says. "But.... There's another 'big one'; Mark drove straight into the wall in turn 3."

"Might have been a medical emergency, video shows him slumping over the wheel."

Julie's a sad figure again when interviewed. She only smiles about the "special Gatorade" when she's alone, or dreaming with Johnny.
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