I can't help wondering is now she's a hot commodity that NASCAR will pursue her doing events/etc for them. What I'm saying is....that she may not get away from them when it's all said & done.I think what a lot of people either missed (or may be are ignoring) is that what affected Emily on that date was NOT just being around NASCAR. How could it when she has such close ties to Hendricks and the NASCAR world?!
What affected Emily was WHERE they were - LAS VEGAS SPEEDWAY (where Ricky ended his driving career) and WHAT she had to do. Emily was also required to actual get inside a NASCAR (which she has not done since Ricky's death) and drive a NASCAR (something that Ricky always wanted her to do). Its explicitly stated in the episode. I believe that those are three plausible things that she has NOT done since Ricky's death and no matter what her in her involvement in the sport has been since. That is what affected her. I think you add all of these elements together and her having strong feelings developing for Brad (maybe even a little guilt because she hasn't felt that since Ricky) and it made for a very emotional event.
I am also not sure why people assumed that Emily was trying to hide that she has been around NASCAR from Brad because she flat out says to him while they are on the grass together "NASCAR is such as huge part of my life back in Charlotte" and that she "just wanted to get away from it and leave it behind." She is not hiding that fact.
She did NOT expect to do anything with NASCAR coming on the show and it blindsided her. I think you can be over something like losing a loved one for years but sometimes there may be something that can trigger it. For Emily it was the significance of where they were and what she was doing.
Would never wish for anyone to ever have to experience the shocking and unexpected death of a love one because while you heal, you don't forget. I lost someone in 911 and while I don't think about her everyday, its the simplest things like someone ordering a blueberry muffin (her favorite) which will remind me of her and make me emotional.