This is the story of one summer in Alabama, weaving together the experiences of three families entangled in youth racing. Wheelboys is an emotional and action-packed novel, having won four high honors in fiction:

  • 2020 Readers’ Favorite Bronze Medal for Fiction – Social Issues
  • 2020 eLit Book Awards Bronze Medal for Popular Fiction
  • Finalist in the 2019 Somerset Book Awards for Literary, Contemporary, and Satire Fiction, a division of the Chanticleer International Book Awards (CIBAs)
  • 2020 American Book Awards Finalist for Best Cover Design, Adult Fiction

Chad Gibbons and his best friend, Gary Lee Dillanger, have worked their way through the ranks of competitive go-karting with the legendary Kilgore racing family in Blue Springs, Alabama. The boys have high hopes of professional auto racing careers after graduating from high school, when tragedy strikes, and Chad is left to find his own way.

Elle Dillanger struggles with criminal charges against her son, Gary Lee, and the truth about his tragic accident is revealed as the story unfolds. Elle’s husband, Drew, tries to keep everything together, but can he withstand the events of the summer?

The Kilgore racing family is seen through the eyes of Monroe and Uma Kilgore, who preside over three generations of racers. They experience their world much differently from each other, and Uma’s conscience haunts her. She bears the weight of many years of racing and has learned to cope in her own unique ways. Monroe hosts motorsport luxury events, which provide a window into the world of automotive extravagance and wealthy risk-takers.

The Kilgore “White Party” is the turning point for the summer, and Chad suddenly finds new opportunities for his life and future after he meets Jessica, a smart girl-racer. His biggest challenge of the summer comes with Rodeo Kart, a national karting competition. He must face his future with honesty and courage.

Wheelboys challenges society’s complacency with youth exploitation and asks questions about adult and corporate responsibilities. Tragedy, love, and unintended consequences change everything in this story of loss and new beginnings.

Sample Chapters

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