Drive very fast, as in We'll have to burn rubber to get there in time. In this bit of automotive jargon, the rubber refers to tires that heat up when they rotate suddenly at great speed. [Slang; mid-1900s]
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.