From School Library Journal
Grade 8 Up—Teenage stock-car racer Trace Bonham is chosen to receive a corporate sponsorship, with a lucrative contract, a custom-built Super Stock vehicle, and his own racing team. He has suspicions about his Team Blu sponsor almost from the beginning, especially since their representatives seem more interested in his looks than in his driving ability. He overcomes his reservations and signs on, only to be accused of having an illegal vehicle in his first race at his home track. His car passes the technical inspection, but his crew discourages him from asking too many questions about the engine. Trace has other problems as well, including the breakup of his parents' marriage and his mixed feelings about moving away from his friends and the girl he likes. With references to digital tachs, kill switches, drop-in valve springs, Street and Pure Stocks, Mini-Stocks, and Mod Fours, the novel is likely to appeal to youngsters who normally shy away from fiction. It seems probable, however, that these readers will be frustrated by having to wait for the next installment to see how the issues raised in this novel are resolved.—Richard Luzer, Fair Haven Union High School, VT
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Trace Bonham, last seen in Saturday Night Dirt (2008), returns with hopes to move beyond his local rural Minnesota race-car track. He tries out for the driver of a car sponsored by an outfit called Team Blu, and much to his surprise, he is picked and sets off on the mid-level stock-car circuit in the Midwest. Weaver offers outstanding descriptions of the races, putting readers in the center of the action and showing how skills, such as the ability to read the subtleties of the track, make the difference between winning and losing. The novel ends with several questions hanging, presumably to be answered later in the series. Grades 8-11. --Todd Morning