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Racecar driver Joe Greer strongly believes that a family has no place in racing. For this reason, he refuses to marry his mistress, Lee Merrick, and tries to discourage his younger brother Eddie from taking up the sport. Once he learns that Eddie is determined to race and that he is good at it, however, Joe agrees to take him on the road, but tries to protect him from the less attractive side of racing. He keeps his relationship with Lee a secret, deeply wounding her by his actions. He completely breaks with Lee when he discovers Eddie having a drink with her and her friend, Anne Scott. Furious at the way her friend has been treated, Anne decides to seduce Eddie, but to her surprise, she falls in love with him. Joe, who is drinking heavily, and Eddie quarrel over Anne, parting bitterly. Joe's backup driver, Spud Connors, tries to separate the brothers in a race that night, and a drunken Joe drives him off the track to his death. His nerve broken by Spud's death, Joe starts losing races and ends up riding the rails as a hobo. Lee, who is still in love with Joe, borrows money to travel to Indianapolis for the 500 race, certain that Joe will be there. She meets him at the lunch stand where she is working and learns that he stopped drinking after Spud's death. During the race, when Eddie has a blowout and is injured, Joe takes over as relief driver, winning the race just before his car crashes. Joe is not badly hurt, and he and Eddie are reconciled.