Talented but unfocused racing rookie Jimmy Bly (Kip Pardue) is slipping in the rankings, cracking under pressure from his ambitious promoter brother (Robert Sean Leonard). And it doesn't help that Bly is pursuing an affair with Sophia (Estella Warren), the girlfriend of his nemesis, top racer Beau Brandenburg (Til Schweiger).
With so much riding on Bly, seasoned car owner Carl Henry (Burt Reynolds) seeks help from former racing star Joe Tanto (Sylvester Stallone), whose once-promising career spun out after a tragic accident that nearly killed him and another driver. But to steer Bly to the top, Tanto must navigate his scarred emotional past, maneuver around the hovering presence of a reporter (Stacy Edwards) covering the male-dominated racing scene, and contend with Cathy (Gina Gershon), his ex-wife, who has since married rival racing sensation Memo Moreno (Cristian De La Fuente). Caught between success, failure, regret and the need for speed, the four competitors are driven to put the pedal to the metal in pursuit of redemption and glory.