In the film Shifting Gears, Tom (R. Keith Harris) is a hard-working manager at a big box super store. He started in the stock room, always imagining himself at the helm. Now poised for a big promotion, he gets the news he always feared: “No college degree, no promotion.” In the face of this new reality, and lamenting the time he devoted to work over family, Tom and his wife, Carol (Brooke Langton), decide to change course and start a family business. They pack up their kids and move to a small town to take over a run-down garage bequeathed to them by Tom’s estranged father, Clem (Drew Matthews, Paper Towns).
They sink their savings into renovating the garage, only to get another unfortunate surprise – the title to the property has been contested and now must be sold at public auction, with arch nemesis Conrad Baines (John Ratzenberger) poised to take over the land in the name of “economic development.” In a last-ditch effort to avoid financial ruin, Tom and his teenage son, Jeremy (Adam Hicks, “Zeke and Luther”), join forces with old time racer “Dirty Harry” Hawkins (M.C. Gainey) and enter the Dirt Track Grand National.