TITLE: Worth the Risk
GENRE: YA Contemporary
Turn Three rushes at me. I blow the entry, swerve way to the outside. The concrete barrier looms on my right like the wall of doubts I’ve built in my brain. Maybe Dad’s right, maybe I should’ve waited till next year to move up to Juniors.
I’m driving my worst practice laps ever.
I pound on the wheel. Focus! I’ve got to show these older drivers that just-turned-sixteen doesn’t mean I can’t blow their doors off.
Sure, these laps have zero effect on tomorrow’s race. But if I don’t nail the groove today, I’ll end up at the back of the pack tomorrow before I can say “Chase Elliott.” I need a top ten finish in each of the next four races or my first Junior Circuit season ends before it’s half over. I am not gonna spend the rest of the summer at home and count the days till school starts. I’ve dreamed of this for way too long.
My brother Rick’s voice over my two-way radio startles me and I jerk the wheel, skid through Turn Four. The smell of scorched rubber stings my nose as I fight with the wheel, the brake, the clutch, finally drag my Pontiac back in line. Stupid, blowing a turn I’ve nailed all weekend.
“Jessica?” Rick asks again. “Did something happen?”