Louise Blake, a teenager, is crazy about hot-rod cars. When a couple of guys hide from the cops after an illegal street race, Louise meets them and brings them home to meet her parents. Fred Armstrong comes from a well-to-do family, impressing Louise's mother, whereas Jim Donaldson is poor but a resourceful mechanic, impressing Louise's dad.
Encouraged to speed by Louise, the car Jim's driving nearly hits a mother and child. Fred provokes a fight, then challenges Jim to a "chicken" drag race, with Fred's friend Rick Camden helping him and ending up with a broken leg. Fred and Rick then get into a hit-and-run accident, killing another motorist.
Things come to a head at a 100-lap race on an oval. Louise ends up behind the wheel of a car, with Fred trying to run her off the road because he's aware she intends to turn over evidence from the hit-and-run. She manages to save herself as Fred is taken away by the police.
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