It took one summer night to change everything.

Bonnie met Tony Stewart one muggy night in June of 1988. They were both seventeen and had just finished their junior year in high school. She knew he raced, but had never run into him until that night. They couldn’t be more different. Tony was a prankster and did his own thing. His life was all about racing. Bonnie on the other hand worked hard. She was the daughter of a single mother who had her priorities all screwed up. Bonnie worked after school and full time during the summer to help pay bills and put food on the table. Her mom was more comfortable collecting welfare and partying at the local pub. Because of that, Bonnie was forced to grow up quickly. It also didn’t leave her much time for fun.

The one Friday night she had off, her best friend Heather had begged her to go to a bonfire that was being thrown at a friend’s farm. Having no social life to speak of most of the school year, she happily agreed. They took Heather’s pick up down a long dirt road till they saw a glow in the distance. They parked and got out, heading over to the keg to grab a beer. Bonnie was dressed casually, in a white t-shirt and cut off shorts, her blond hair falling just below her shoulders. She was the proverbial Midwestern girl.

There were about twenty people there. Bonnie knew most of them from school. She wandered around, saying hello to everyone. She heard laughter to the left of her. She turned to see Tony telling a story, his hands flailing wildly as he explained something to his buddies. She couldn’t take her eyes off of him. All she knew is she had to talk to him before the night was over.

She sipped her beer, shyly peeking at him over her cup. As cliché as it sounds, at that very moment he made eye contact, giving her a lopsided grin. She didn’t see the gangly kid with a bad mullet. She saw the twinkle in his brown eyes and knew right then and there she was done.

They spent that night sitting on a log getting to know each other better. Turns out, they shared the same crazy sense of humor. He had her in stitches telling her stories about the jokes he had played on his friends. When they kissed good night, nothing was the same again for the two of them.

For the remainder of the summer, they were inseparable. Whatever free time they had was spent together. The chemistry between them was electric and by their senior year they were wildly in love with each other. They made love anywhere and everywhere they could. They had the most fun at the dirt tracks, sneaking off between heats to have a little fun. Bonnie’s mom was too busy with her own life to worry about where her daughter was. Most times Bonnie would leave a note on the kitchen counter with her whereabouts for that weekend.

As Tony’s career grew, Bonnie became his biggest supporter. She would help him out financially, giving him money when his account was low. She cheered his victories and was his sounding board when his races didn’t go well. After a few years together, he gradually began to pull away from Bonnie. He would "forget" to call her or blow her off when he was at home, choosing to work on his cars instead. Little by little she was losing him to the track.

Things came to a head after a particularly bad race. He had flipped his car on the last lap, barrel rolling down the final straightaway, losing the win. He was the angriest Bonnie had ever seen him.

"You OK Tony? That was a nasty accident." Bonnie asked concerned.

"Go away. I’m fine." He replied angrily.

"Excuse me? What the fuck do you mean, go away?" Bonnie wasn’t backing down. He had been an asshole to her all weekend. She was through with the games.

"What part of go away don’t you get Bonnie? Leave me the fuck alone!" He said through gritted teeth.

Bonnie stood there speechless. Who the fuck was this? It couldn’t be the same guy she’s been in love with for the last four years.

"You know what? I’m not going away Tony. I’m sick of the way you’ve been treating me. Your whole life is racing. What happened to us? I can’t even talk to you anymore." Bonnie was pissed.

"No, because I have nothing to say to you. You’re full of drama with your momma. How she doesn’t love you and is never there. Oh boo hoo. Deal with it." He spat at her. "Look at tonight, I couldn’t concentrate prerace because of what’s going on with you."

"So you’re saying you wrecked tonight because of me? Are you fucking kidding me? Did it ever occur to you that you could have fucked up driving? Oh my God." She turned her back, not giving him the satisfaction of seeing her cry.

"Ya know what Bonnie, just go. You’ve become nothing but a distraction. I’m so over the drama." He said tonelessly.

Bonnie turned around slowly, her eyes blazing with anger. "Fuck you Tony. I’ve been nothing but supportive of your career. I’ve helped you buy tires when your money was low. I sacrificed so much for you." Bonnie grabbed his helmet. "And now I’m a distraction, you no good piece of shit?" She yelled, throwing his helmet against his tool box, scattering tools everywhere.

He looked at her with dead eyes. "Are you finished? You’ve gotten the entire pit staring."

"Good. Maybe they’ll realize what an asshole you are. You may be a great driver Tony, but you really need work as a person. I hope you realize that before it’s too late. I’ll see you around." She turned and walked away, hoping he would stop her, hoping he would say he was wrong and he wanted her to stay.

She got to the exit, turning around one last time. She saw him talking to a couple of drivers. He never looked her way. She ran to her truck, waiting until she got behind the wheel to cry. She hugged herself, sobs wracking her body. She had never felt this kind of pain in her life.

The following year she kept herself busy. When she wasn’t working, she was partying to numb the pain. She had a few one night stands, not wanting to get close to anyone again.

In January, she found herself unexpectedly pregnant. Her mother was totally unsupportive, ditching her in her seventh month to live with her boyfriend in Florida. Thankfully, she had her friends to hold her up and help her with her newborn daughter. Alexia Rose McAdams was born at 8:45pm on October 12, 1993. Bonnie and Lexie took the world by storm, Bonnie vowing she would be the mother to Lexie that her mother never was to her. She put Tony and her mother behind her and made a life for the two of them.

There was nothing they couldn’t do together.

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