We try to straighten out the corners."" That's the way champion amateur driver Jerry Hansen, one of the many auto racers interviewed here, explains the groove -- lingo for that route on the track which brings the fastest time. Speed -- combating time -- is the essence, winning the only satisfaction. But achieving victory requires finely honed human reflexes, perfectly tuned machinery, lots of luck, and acceptance of death or crippling injury as the silent passenger in each race; as Higdon says, it's ""a very complicated sport."" A point underscored by the Andrettis, Donohues, Pettys, Unsers (both Al and Bobby), Revsons, and lesser known speedmongers who talk freely about their successes, professional secrets, accidents, capers, philosophies, heartbreaks, the thrill of the checkered flag, as they relax with Higdon between burnouts at Watkins Glen, the Baja, Schultz Road, Daytona, or the Indy. Nothing unusual, nothing to zing your gears about -- just that inside stuff which makes these men go-go-go as told to Higdon, a guy who understands and also wrote Thirty Days in May about the Indianapolis 500.