Tim Daland (Randy Quaid) owns a used car dealership but dreams of making his name on the stock car circuit. He persuades racing veteran Harry Hogge (Robert Duvall) to build him a car, on the condition that the car dealer find a suitable driver. Daland's discovery, Cole Trickle (Tom
Cruise), makes his entrance on a motorcycle in a nimbus of golden dust and is unsuitable in almost every way. But he wants to drive, wants to win, and is a natural behind the wheel. After a rocky start, Trickle begins winning races and earns the good-natured enmity of champion Rowdy Burns (Michael
Rooker), a good old boy with a dream: to stop racing and work the farm he's bought for his ...