NASCAR President Big John brings Rowdy and Cole together in a meeting and warns them that he and his sport will no longer tolerate any hanky-panky from the two rivals. Persuaded by Big John, Cole and Rowdy have lunch and settle their differences by smashing rental cars in a race on the beach. The bitter rivals soon become close friends.Daland hires hot-shot rookie Russ Wheeler to fill Cole’s seat until Cole returns to active duty, with Daland now fielding two teams – the second car driven by Wheeler, of which Harry disapproves.
Though Cole shows signs of his old self, he falls into a new rivalry with Russ with no help from the inexperienced Daland. At North Wilkesboro, Russ blocks Cole’s path during their pit stop, and later forces Cole into the outside wall on the last lap to win the race. In retaliation, Cole crashes into Russ’ car after the race, leading Daland to fire Cole and Harry.