Cole (Tom Cruise) loves to race cars and is very good at it. But he is not focussed enough to win at races. Tim Daland (Randy Quaid) hires veteran car racer Harry Hogge (Robert Duvall) to build a car. He takes on Cole to drive it. Harry teaches Cole how to focus on winning, making use of his talent. Cole gets into a fight with the circuit’s star driver Rowdy Burns (Michael Rooker). They smash their cars and land in hospital. Cole recovers to get into racing again, with Harry giving him a warning for careless behaviour. At the finals, Cole is set against Russ Wheeler (Cary Elwes) who is keen to break Cole. Will Cole get hurt again or go on to win the race?..