I read this book about 29-Apr-2004. This is the first time I've read this book. The book is copyright 1967. This note was last modified Tuesday, 04-May-2004 22:22:50 PDT.
This note contains spoilers for the book.
Published as by James McM. Douglas—but the copyright is by Butterworth.
A racing-based juvenile. Also a G. P. Putnam book, Heinlein's juvenile publisher. This copy has no dust jacket, but artwork screened onto the fabric of the cover.
The protagonist is an Armenian boy who wants to race, and wants to be a mechanic or engineer. It starts with him being rejected unexpectedly by the Army, ruining his planning. He ends up leaving his family in Philadelphia and going to Daytona, where he starts two promising careers, working with some Armenians running a pizza joint, and also working with a gas and tire company that supports racing to promote their consumer products.
He has some useful contacts, including his father (who appears to be a master stamping die designer) and a colleague of his father's, a PhD who does the metallurgy and politics around the die design (they both work for a fictional auto company).