Sophocles and his Vikavolt arrive at the Pokémon School wearing a virtual reality headset and matching armor. He explains to Ash and Kiawe that he is competing in the upcoming Vikavolt race. The girls join the conversation, and everyone learns it is a much grander event compared to the Charjabug race. Sophocles admits that he is keen to win the prize, a Buginium Z, even though he doesn't have a Z-Ring yet. Kiawe asks if the contestants will be put into three-person teams like last time, but Sophocles explains that the Vikavolt race is a one-person competition.
Later, Sophocles practices his competition techniques in the schoolyard with Ash and Kiawe. He orders Vikavolt to fly down, but its velocity sends Sophocles into a spin. Sophocles urges Vikavolt to slow down a bit before ordering it to zip over to Togedemaru. Vikavolt does so with perfect precision. Sophocles orders it to fly over to Kiawe, but Vikavolt soars past the target and lands on a nearby tree for some sap. Later, Sophocles continues to wear the VR headset throughout the day in order to become adjusted to Vikavolt's own point of view. At home, Sophocles studies tomorrow's weather forecast to give himself an advantage, but he shows signs of being overwhelmed by the competition already. Vikavolt offers its Trainer some support, and Sophocles fist-bumps its jaw in validation.
The day of the 34th Fini Cup Vikavolt race has arrived, and a large crowd has gathered to watch the competition. Mallow urges Sophocles to not get nervous, and he replies that he has already studied every possible situation, as evidenced by the heavy bags under his eyes. Lillie admits that Sophocles shouldn't have stayed up last night, though her concerns go unanswered. Everyone's attention turns to reigning champion racer De Rosa, though Sophocles is not feeling intimidated. Suddenly, Horacio and his brothers Yansu and Dana arrive. Horacio declares that he is going to win and shows off his Vikavolt, which evolved during some training on Poni Island, but Sophocles is undeterred. Meanwhile, Team Rocket decides to compete in the race as well; James takes the controls while Meowth enters inside a specially-designed mecha Vikavolt suit.
The racers wait at the start line as Anna welcomes island kahuna Hapu to the podium. Hapu announces that she looks forward to a lively event before Anna explains the competition rules: the Vikavolt must traverse through various checkpoints scattered across the land and sea circuits, with the first to return to the finish line being declared the winner. Anna then presents everyone with a special ride gear each to help the competitors sync with their respective Vikavolt. James calls Meowth, who declares that he is ready to push the special button when the time is right.
At that moment, the race begins, with De Rosa's Vikavolt taking the lead as the troupe flies through the water section. Sophocles's Vikavolt attempts to speed up, but Sophocles orders it to remain behind for now. Just then, a sudden wind whips up the water below, sending many of the Vikavolt into the ocean. Sophocles has his Vikavolt use String Shot to grab a hold of one of the checkpoints to avoid falling in as well. Vikavolt emerges unscathed and enters the lead. Horacio's own Vikavolt soon catches up and matches Sophocles's speed, just as both enter a dense forest. However, the Vikavolt manage to weave through the obstacles with rapid ease.
As the competitors go into the cave course, Jessie and her Wobbuffet switches off the lights as part of their scheme. Horacio urges his Vikavolt to travel carefully as it navigates through the dark. The darkness scares Sophocles and immobilizes him, but Vikavolt illuminates the area with its electric sparks, allowing Sophocles to regain his composure and continue racing. Just then, Horacio's Vikavolt and several others are suddenly caught by a net by Jessie and Meowth. Sophocles's Vikavolt stumbles upon the scene, and it rescues Horacio's Vikavolt from a claw after it managed to wiggle its way out of the net. Vikavolt fights for control over Meowth's mechanical claw. Horacio has his Vikavolt swoop back and it strikes Meowth's mecha down with a Charge Beam. Sophocles then has his Vikavolt slash through the net, freeing all of the other competitors. Stufful suddenly arrives aboard a Vikavolt, and Bewear crashes through the cave's ceiling with James already under her arm. Bewear promptly scoops up the rest of Team Rocket and rushes off.
The crowd watches the large display scene in anticipation. Suddenly the Vikavolt emerge from the cave. Sophocles gives everyone a countdown, and they all set off together. Horacio and Sophocles quickly enter the lead once again. Sophocles speeds up as the pair round the final corner, though Horacio remains in the lead. The prime position narrows, and as Sophocles and Horacio reach the finish line, Sophocles's Vikavolt juts out ahead by mere amount to claim the victory. Vikavolt soars over to Sophocles and begins clamping its jaws around his head in affection. Horacio approaches Sophocles and holds his hand out as he admits that he lost. Sophocles accepts the handshake, and the rivalry seems to have calmed. The show of sportsmanship commemorates the end of the lively and challenging 34th Fini Cup's Vikavolt race.
Later on, Sophocles proudly looks at his new Buginium Z as he walks with his classmates along a beach. However, Sophocles admits that he doesn't know when he will receive a Z-Ring. Unexpectedly, Hapu approaches the group. She reveals that the other contestants informed her of his noble deeds and she rewards Sophocles his very own Z-Ring for his valiant efforts. Sophocles is overwhelmingly grateful and his friends congratulate him. He quickly places his Z-Ring on his wrist and admires it as it sparkles in the setting sun.