Stock car racer "Fireball" Dave Owens from California goes to race in Spartanburg, South Carolina, where he intends on competing against local champ Sonny Leander Fox. Dave beats Leander in a race, impressing the latter's girlfriend, Jane, and the wealthy Martha Brian.
Martha persuades Dave to drive in a cross country night race, not telling him he is actually smuggling moonshine. She and her partner, Charlie Bigg, are pleased with Dave's results. Leander, who runs his own still and smuggling operation, is impressed with Dave's success, but this does not change the fact that he wants to beat Dave on the track, even challenging him to a dangerous figure-8 race which ends in a draw.
Agents from the IRS threaten to send Dave to six months in jail unless he helps them bust the local moonshine ring.
After a driver, Joey, is killed during a run, Dave and Leander agree to team up to investigate the accident. They discover it was caused by someone placing a huge mirror across the road. It turns out that Martha's moonshining partner, Charlie Bigg, was solely responsible for the murder of Joey and also tried to kill Dave because he was jealous that the young California driver is sleeping with her.
Dave wins the big race but Leander is badly burned. Jane helps him recover and Dave drives off into the sunset with Martha.
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