Checkered Flag Cheater
High-school senior Trace Bonham, last seen in Super Stock Rookie, is a star driver for Team Blu on the Midwest Super-Stock circuit. While piling up victories, he is featured on billboards, and the corporate sponsor of his racing team is happy with his performance. Still, Trace suspects that his mechanic is illegally juicing the race car’s motor. His dilemma is one that has faced many athletes: cheat and stay in the winner’s circle? Or play by the rules and be a nobody? And through it all, can he keep his girl back home….
“This series deserves the checkered flag. It combines gritty, behind-the-scenes racing details with believable, sympathetic characters.” –Booklist April 2010.
“Weaver extends his Motor Series with this full-throttle, stand-alone sequel.” –Kirkus Review
The deputy held up his license and peered over it at his face. She tilted her head left, then right, as if to see him from different angles.
“Everything all right?” Trace asked.
“Yes. Except for your speed, of course,” she answered.
Trace kept silent.
She squinted at him. “I feel like I’ve seen you before,” she said.
“That’s me on the bill board back there.” He gave her his winner’s circle smile.
The deputy didn’t blink or turn. “Say again?”
Trace repeated himself and kept smiling; this time she turned to look.
Then she glanced back at him. “Stick by your car,” she said. “I’m going to run your license.”
He leaned against his car and waited while she sat in her squad car and looked at her computer. The night air was heavy with a chilly dampness; he shivered in his t-shirt. Inside her squad car, the deputy held a cell phone to her face as she talked. After a couple of minutes the officer came back. “You are the guy on the billboard back there.”
“That’s me,” Trace repeated, mustering another winning smile.
“I called my dispatcher. Your name popped up with Team Blu racing,” she said. “No wonder your face seemed familiar. I spend a lot of time parked beneath that billboard.”
As Trace tried to think of something clever to say, she moved her flashlight light beam up and down him. “So, are you a model or something?”
“Nope. I’m a race car driver.”
A good novel (or movie) usually centers on one character’s moral dilemma–a hard, life-altering decision. In Trace’s case, he has everything going for him with Team Blu and the new Super Stock ride. But what’s that all worth if there is cheating involved? Checkered Flag Cheater completes a trilogy of Motor Novels that takes Trace from a dusty, small town speedway to the fast lane of racing–with prospects for a big-time career in racing. But what intrigued me about Trace in this series is the matter of success–and he handles it.