Control wise, it's pretty straight forward. Keep the fire button pressed to get to max speed (well, it's a figure of speech since it looks like you're moving at 20 miles an hour with the pedal to the floor). To brake, you just need to release the fire button. You can pick up money points and gas points when going around the various tracks. At the end of each "race", you can buy performance parts at the parts shop with the points you've gathered.
If you fall behind the other drivers and leave the screen, you lose 20 gas points and get some turbo action to bring you back on the screen. At first, I had no idea why the car would suddenly get a turbo boost while doing nothing special. Then, I read the manual and it all made sense.
First 2 levels of the game.
The graphics are what you would expect from a 2-d game. Now, should the game have been 3-d? No, a 2-d view from above is perfect for racing games (but that's just me).
In case you need it, feel free to check the Hot Rod manual.