RaceThe Trans-Country Race
Shooting Star 9
Speed and Trixie are driving in the Mach 5 on a windy road along cliffs by the ocean. As a puppy runs out on the road the Mach Five is able to spring over it safely avoiding catastrophe. Further down the road, they stop at a port where a cargo ship is unloading a yellow racing car numbered 9, Racer X's car. Reporters are milling about gossiping about how there are always crashes in races that Racer X enters. They wonder if he is to blame.
Behind them, Speed is holding hands wit and talking to Trixie. He says no one knows who Racer X is or where he comes from. [Ok, I can't resist...] ``Unknown to Speed, Racer X is his older brother Rex.'' Speed mentions that Racer X won the Grand Prix at Le Mann (sp?) four years in a row and that he has won most of the races he's entered.
As Racer Xgets in his car, a man, Mr. Wiley, runs up to the car. He says he wants to talk to Racer X and that he is on the Trans-Country Race committee. Racer X ignores him and drives off.
While Pops is sitting at a table in
his garage, two men have come to visit. One of them is never named and the
other is Mr. Fixer, a crony of none
other than Mr. Wiley. The two men
are trying to outbid each other to have Pops allow Speed to join their teams. Fixer has
introduced himself as being in charge of the
Alpha Team. When the bidding
reaches $50,000, Pops yells at them to get out; that Speed won't be on
either one of their teams.
By a road along the ocean, Speed and
Trixie are sitting on the hood of the
Mach Five watching a pretty sunset. [This
means they're on the west coast of whatever country they're in.] They talk
about the Trans-Country Race, and Trixie asks Speed to enter as a
favor to her. Who could resist? Speed sure can't. Just then, the red car
#2 from the Alpha Team drives up and
stops. Zoomer Slick says Pops made a
mistake not letting Speed join the Alpha Team and that Speed should have
signed on with Mr. Fixer. Slick
says he'll win and zooms off.
At the Racer family's home that night, they are listening to the news. The Trans-Country Race is described as a grueling 300 miles and the most dangerous race. They show some of the entrants; the Alpha Team with Zoomer Slick, Mr. Fixer and Mr. Wiley. Next, Racer X is shown, and Pops exclaims, "He's one of the best drivers I've ever seen." Finally, the tv announcer says that a young racer named Speed Racer has entered. Pops blows his top, needless to say. Pops then relates to Speed, the story of why Speed's older brother Rex left home.
Laying in bed that night, Speed wonders why Rex never returned home. Speed wishes that he would.
In his office the next day, Mr. Wiley the secret leader of the Alpha Team, is talking to Zoomer Slick. He tells Slick that the Alpha Team has to win. Slick says he'll do whatever it takes, whether it's by the rules or not, but he better be paid well.
Elsewhere, Spritle and Chim-Chim are playing outside with the coolest little models of the Mach Five and Racer X's yellow car, #9. As the models both crash into the sand, the real Racer X walks up scaring Spritle. He gives Spritle some candy to deliver a letter to Speed. Before Spritle gets to the candy, though, Chim-Chim, as usual, eats it first. [It's strange, though, that we never find out what this letter says. It's never referred to again. Maybe it's just to show that there is still a strong bond between Rex and the family?]
It's rainy and windy that night. In bed (at 10 past midnight), Speed is thinking about what Pops said; that he needs more experience before he can enter a race. It appears that Speed, respecting his father's advice, at this point has withdrawn from the Trans-Country Race. He decides that if he needs experience, driving bad weather of a night like this will help. Speed gets up and goes to the track.
When he arrives, another car does as well. It's Racer X. He tells Speed not to enter. Instead of responding, Speed issues a challenge by hopping in the Mach Five and starting to race. Racer X follows. As they speed along the circuit, Speed has trouble keeping the Mach Five under control. With visibility down to zero, one wrong turn spells doom for either of our heroes... Coming around a curve, Speed comes upon a road blocked by boulders and uses the powerful jacks to leap over them. [Does this mean Racer X's car also has jacks? He somehow has managed to successfully bypass them as well.] As Speed continues along a seaside road, the ocean beats against the road nearly washing over it. It distracts Speed and he hits some sand barrels barely controlling the Mach Five.
On a hilltop by the road, we see someone's hand. It's holding a knife and cuts a rope holding logs. The logs roll down the hill blocking the road. Speed hits them and falls, unconscious, out of the car. [We never find out who the person is or why he knew a race would be held that night. I know, I know. It's only a cartoon...]
After Speed's accident, Racer X brought him to him to his (extremely nice!) house. While Speed is still unconscious, Racer X is talking to him. He says some mysterious person is causing crashes to get Racer X. He doesn't want the person to mistakenly get Speed, and that's why he doesn't want Speed to enter the race. He also says that when he becomes world champion he will reveal his identity to the world.
Speed wakes up confused since he doesn't know where he is. He looks around the house and sees a vase of white roses, Mom's favorite flower, and many trophies and race pictures. Then he sees Racer X's mask on the floor and hears the shower running. Speed thinks he can finally see who Racer X is. As he thinks about it, he puts the mask on. As luck would have it, thugs from Mr. Wiley's organization have broken in to kidnap Racer X. Instead, they unknowingly make off with Speed after knocking him unconscious with a gun. If Speed's head didn't already hurt, it does now.
As the thugs leave, Trixie shows up with Spritle and Chim-Chim. She suspects nothing just then. By then, Racer X is out of the shower and realizes what must have happened. Trixie set off after the red car that left with Speed. The car has turned off the road into the woods, though, and changes its license plate from 1478 to 5539. The red color was simply a cover of some sort. After being pulled off, the car is now white. As they pull onto the road, Trixie sees them and suspects that they're the same car but can't catch them.
At the mansion, "Racer X's" mask is pulled off to reveal Speed. Meanwhile, Spritle and Chim-Chim have again stowed away and while peeking through the windows, Mr. Fixer sees them. Spritle is caught, but Chim-Chim escapes. Speed and Spritle are tied up in the basement.
At 4:10pm Trixie pulls in to a gas station asking the attendant if he saw a "red car, well a white car -- I mean first it was red then it turned into a white car." She only succeeds in confusing the attendant! Chim-Chim by now has run all the way back to Trixie and uses body language to tell her he knows where Speed and Spritle are. As Trixie begins racing towards Mr. Wiley's mansion, Chim-Chim sits on the hood of the car with horn. He does a pretty good impersonation of a police siren.
When Trixie finally finds them at Mr. Wiley's mansion, the "siren" distracts an armed thug guarding Speed and Spritle. As Speed kicks away the gun, he and Spritle run, but thug grabs the gun and shoots at them. Unfortunately, not-so-bright Mr. Wiley seems to have been storing many barrels of gasoline (or some other conveniently explosive liquid) in his basement. When the gunshots miss Speed and Spritle, the bullets hit the barrels and end up causing a chain reaction explosion. Everyone, good guy and bad, run for it, as the house goes up in flames. Trixie screams seeing flames and hearing gunshots thinking Speed and Spritle are in there. Racer X had arrived, though, and saved Speed and Spritle when they were knocked unconscious during their escape. He then asks Speed to stay out of the race because these men will play more dirty tricks. Of course, we know what Speed's response will be. So it seems that even though Pops half-convinced Speed to withdraw, Speed just couldn't help himself.
On race day, there are 36 cars at the starting line of "the most important race of the year." While Pops and Mom are watching the race on tv from home, the announcer says there is a new entrant, Happy Doodle, in the Mach Five. Ooh, that tricky Speed. Everyone, including the announcer and Pops and Mom at home, realize it must be Speed. At that point, Speed's parents go down to the track to watch in person. As the race begins, Racer X arrives just in time to take part. Again, Racer X asks Speed to get out of the race. During this, Sparky holds up a sign with "+4" in the 20th lap.
In the stands, Fixer tells Wiley he's set it up so that gasoline will be put in Racer X's radiator at the next pit stop. But wouldn't you know, Spritle and Chim-Chim overhear. They quickly run down to the pit and swap barrels. Racer X ends up getting water in his radiator, but poor Zoomer Slick gets gas in his car, #1. It promptly blows up dazing Slick. As another Alpha Team car bumps Racer X's, Racer X's car loses a wheel. As Alpha Team car #3 tries to avoid the rogue wheel, he swerves and crashes. From the crowd, though, another bad guy uses a mirror to shine light in Racer X's eyes. X swerves. Then, Racer X purposely slides sidewise to reflect sun off his mirror into an Alpha Team car #3's eyes [oops, animation mistake it seems!] who hits X, spins, and crashes. Then, Racer X slides sideways again onto 2 wheels making a ramp out of his car. Alpha Team car #4 flies up the "ramp" and crashes. Two more Alpha Team cars, #2 and #3 [again!??] hit Speed who swerves, then Racer X spins round causing more confusion. Alpha Team car #4 crashes [again!]. Racer X is hurt slightly, so Speed turns around to go help. But a race is a race, and they hop in their cars and go. On the last lap, Racer X has to push his car to the pit for repairs. Now, Alpha Team car #2 is in the lead, but not for long. The race finishes, first through third, with Speed, Racer X, and Alpha Team car #2.
In the crowd, Pops jumps for joy...and then pretends he's mad since Speed entered without his permission. At Trixie's and Sparky's urgings, Pops decided that Speed can become a racer.
Speed, meanwhile, is thinking about the race he's won realizing that Racer X is a far better driver than he is. He wonders why Racer X let him win. As Racer X drives away, he says, "Speed, I hope you'll be the best racer in the world."