GENRE: YA contemporary
Turn Three rushes at me. I brake, tug the wheel to the left. My racecar—the Mirage 2—slews sideways through the sharp curve. I straighten out with a flick of the wheel, floor the throttle. My Pontiac thunders onto the short straight.
I am so killing the Oklahoma City Raceway.
As I set up for the next turn, I touch the wrinkled photo taped to my dash. My father gives the camera a thumbs up. Wish he could be here to see me race. But he’s not happy unless he’s behind the wheel of a fast racecar every weekend. I miss his encouragement.
Even without Dad here to cheer me on, I need to nail the groove. Sure, these practice laps don’t count. But smoking the other drivers proves I can blow their doors off, even though they have more racing experience than I do at sixteen.
Fast practice sessions also give me a huge confidence boost for tomorrow’s 100 lap race. As a rookie on the Junior Stock Car Racing Circuit, I need to finish fifth or better in three of my first six races. Otherwise, I’m ineligible for any Junior Circuit race for the rest of the summer.
It won’t be easy. But I’ve dreamed of this forever. Now that I made Juniors, I plan to stay here.
As I exit Five, Reid Matthews’ red and white Dodge closes up on me until it fills my mirrors.