This was his first chance to check out his car in two week. Three attacks and numerous patrols had been playing havoc with his racing schedule.
He was hot and reached up to unsnap the neck of his fire suit and pulled the zipper down several inches.
Jason pulled himself out from under the hood and turned towards the voice. One of the spotters was standing at the garage door. Jason wasn't even sure what his name was. Jason wondered if he was the one who had called him in.
"You've got a visitor at the front office," the man said.
Jason frowned. He wasn't expecting anyone.
"Who is it?" The spotter suddenly grinned ear to ear.
"I was told not to tell you."
"Who told you not to tell me?" Jason demanded, reaching for a rag to wipe his hands on. The spotter was still grinning.
"Mr. Neff." The man turned and walked away.
Jason groaned. Neff was the owner of the track. Jason had regularly refused to talk to the press and Neff sometimes tried to get around it by arranging for a reporter to just happen to be in his office when he called Jason in for a meeting.
The last one had asked too many questions about Jason occasionally dropping out of races at the last minute. She apparently hadn't believed his cover story of suffering from severe migraine headaches. But he had to go. He owed Mr. Neff a lot for allowing him to race even with the occasional last minute withdrawal.
Jason took a deep breath and blew it out, slapping the rag down on the rolling tool box he had pulled over to work on the car. He lowered the hood and headed towards the front office.
Ten minutes later, he entered the reception area and walked through. Two other drivers were lounging and they acknowledged him with nods of their heads. Jason nodded back and reached up to pull the zipper of his fire suit down further. It was warmer than normal and there were no clouds to block the sun at the moment.
Neff's secretary wasn't at her desk, so Jason walked around the desk towards the open door to Neff's office. As he approached, he heard two male voices talking. He recognized Neff's and thought the other was familiar, but he wasn't sure.
He reached the doorway and looked in. Then froze.
"Jason, come in," John Neff said, rising from his desk, motioning with his hand for Jason to enter. He also motioned at the gray haired stocky man sitting in front of the desk. "I want to introduce you to Roger Penske." The gray haired man in question stood and turned around.
Jason stared, unable to move. He had admired Roger Penske for sometime and had dreamed of one day driving for him. There were times when he hated being a member of G-Force, hated having his life so topsy-turvy that he couldn't pursue a full-time driving gig. But then he thought of all of the people G-Force saved and just had to accept the fact his driving career was going to have to wait.
"Jason?" Neff inquired. Jason snapped out of his shock and stepped into the room.
"Jason Anderson?" Roger asked and extended his hand. Jason nodded, swallowing the dry feeling in his throat as he took Roger's hand and shook it.
"Mr. Penske," he managed to squeak out.
"I'd like to have a few words with you, if you have the time," Penske said.
"He has the time." Neff walked around Jason and slapped him on the back. "You can use my office, Roger."
Jason watched Neff leave and his heart started to race as Neff closed the door behind him. What did Roger Penske want with him?
"Have a seat, Jason."
Jason took the seat next to the one Penske had been in. Penske sat back down and faced him.
"I'm always on the lookout for new talent," Penske said and Jason's heart pounded even harder. "When I see one I like, I watch him for a while, try to get a feel for his driving style. I have to tell you, I really like your style."
Jason found it hard to breath. Roger Penske liked his driving?
"So, I thought I'd come and have a chat with you."
"Sir?" Jason asked unsurely, not sure what was really happening.
Penske smiled at him. "I do like your style, but I couldn't help but notice the number of races you've missed this year. John tells you suffer from migraines?"
Jason pulled in air and tried not to sweat. "Yes, sir."
"John says you get that aura in your vision that makes it damn near impossible for you to see well enough to drive safely." All Jason could do was nod. "He also told me you are interested in NASCAR." Jason nodded again, feeling sweat run down his back. Was Roger Penske going to offer him a ride?
"NASCAR drivers need to be able to drive all the races in their season," Roger said, "so I've been keeping tabs of what races you've missed, looking for what triggers your migraines, and I discovered something."
Jason felt a stab of unease as Roger stared at him. He'd been keeping tabs of the races he missed?
"I noticed certain things happen around the times of the races you miss." Roger got to his feet and walked over to the window that faced the parking lot, joining his hands behind his back. Jason watched him, his unease growing. "Things that involve a certain team of five and a bunch of aliens."
Jason felt his stomach drop. Roger knew, but Jason couldn't acknowledge any of it. He had to stick to his cover story.
"I'm not sure what you mean, Mr. Penske."
Roger turned around and smiled. "Let me put this another way. As long as you suffer from these migraines, I'm not going to be able to offer you a ride. However, should these migraines stop, I want to see you in my office."
All Jason could do was nod through his shock.
"Do we have a deal?" Penske asked pointedly. He walked back over and extended his hand and after only a second's hesitation, Jason nodded again and shook Roger's hand.
"Thank you, Mr. Penske. This means a lot to me."
"Just make sure you keep winning the races you can make." Roger slapped Jason on the back as he walked past the seat Jason was still sitting in towards the door. "And son, keep kicking those Spectran bastard's asses all the way back to the Crab Nebula."
Jason stared with wide-eyes as he watched Roger walk out. It looked like his dream was going to come true after all.