Late in his auto racing career, an aging Barney Oldfield knows his legacy is at stake. Will he be remembered as a champion or a huckster? His critics demean him for making a mockery of his sport with staged races and stunts like racing airplanes. At one point banished from the official sanction of the American Automobile Association for racing Jack Johnson, the black boxing champion, Oldfield feels the eastern establishment is determined to destroy his livelihood. His antics are wildly lucrative and surpass their championship races. He threatens their preeminence in American auto racing.
Oldfield embarks on a campaign to prove his mettle, with great success. The top American racer in the 1914 Indianapolis 500, he sets his sights on earning "The Master Driver of the World" title for the Phoenix-to-Los Angeles road race. By some measures, this is the most treacherous course on the planet. Before him lies 728 miles of car-busting terrain fit for little more than cactus and rattlesnakes. In this race, a driver carved his own road and endured steep mountain passages in the face of freezing rain, hail, and floods. Oldfield wrestles with internal demons, cultural change, and how he can't change the world.