In the year 2082, Earth has been invited to compete in the Great Race of Ōban, an intergalactic race whose winner can be given "The Ultimate Prize", supposedly granting any wish in the world - even bringing back a loved one. The invitation comes from the Avatar, a mysterious entity who ends hostilities between Earth and the sinister race of the Crogs, in return for Earth's entry into the race. Eva Wei, an Earth student, escapes boarding school to find her father, Don Wei, president of Wei Racing and the best race manager in the world. Having left his daughter in the care of the boarding school for many years without ever visiting, Don Wei does not seem to recognize Eva as his daughter. Unable to tell her father who she really is, she lands a job as a mechanic in his team under the name "Molly", a name chosen from a convenient poster on a crate in the hangar. When Wei Racing is ordered by the government to represent Earth at Ōban, Molly stows away as they are taken to a far-off planet. During the first race, the Whizzing Arrow, the Earth Star-Racer ship, crashes due to sabotage. Its star pilot, Rick Thunderbolt, becomes unable to race. After finding that the gunner, Jordan Wilde, makes a miserable pilot, Molly steals the ship and enters the next race. Don Wei grudgingly decides that the only one who can replace Rick is Molly. Haunted by the death of her mother - a famous star-racer - and the harsh "reunion" with her father, Molly is determined to win so she can be with her parents once again.