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Cruising along a road at night, Knock Out listens to a news report about illegal street racing. Switching it off, he pulls up alongside three other cars waiting to race. The driver of one decides to put a long scratch in Knock Out's paintwork, rousing the Decepticon's ire. After the race starts, Knock Out runs the other driver off the mountain road, informing the stunned human, "You scratch my paint, I scratch yours," before racing off.
Outside the high school, Jack encounters school bully Vince, who mocks Arcee's vehicle mode. Jack and Arcee leave, but while stopped at a traffic light, Jack's called out to by Sierra, who's keen on a ride. Before Jack can answer, Vince pulls up and challenges him to a race. Jack's still thinking about it when the light changes and Arcee takes off, reminding Jack of the rules about abusing their power. Vince catches up with them at the next light and insults Arcee's motorcycle mode, goading her to suspend the rules, just this once. The pair let Vince know they're ready for the race, and Sierra and her friend turn out at an old dirt road to spectate. Arcee's driving abilities far outstrip Vince's, and they win easily, but Arcee turns down Jack's suggestion that they should offer Sierra a lift.
On the Nemesis, Breakdown is buffing the comatose Megatron. Starscream wanders in to check on the patient and wonders aloud where Knock Out's got to. The 'Con himself walks in a few moments later, complaining about the scratch some "skinjob" put in his finish. Starscream is most disapproving that Knock Out's been street racing again, though what really annoys him is Knock Out's failure — and glib refusal — to refer to Starscream as "Lord".
At the Autobot base, Arcee reminds Jack not to tell anyone about the race, but it turns out that Miko and Raf already know, having heard about it at school. Jack swears them to secrecy.
The next day at school, Sierra tells Jack she was impressed with the outcome of the race, but Vince challenges Jack to race again, this time at the "Circuit," a meeting place for local street racers. Jack's compelled to agree, but Arcee flatly refuses to race.
Later, Knock Out is out cruising a road somewhere near Jasper, when a speeding street racer car gets his attention, and he heads toward the town.
That evening, at the Autobot base, Jack asks Raf if he can borrow Bumblebee so he can go street racing. Raf isn't so sure (much to Bumblebee's dismay), but Miko and Jack talk him into it. Jack and Bumblebee haul up at the race track, as does Knock Out. As the race begins and Bumblebee and Vince jostle for lead position, Knock Out recognizes Bumblebee and begins chasing the Autobot while firing. Jack finds he has problems overcoming the communications barrier with 'Bee.
Back at the base, Miko and Raf are playing a video game when Arcee asks them if they've seen Jack. They attempt to cover for their friend, but Arcee immediately works out what's up, and a short time later, Bumblebee's distress call comes though.
Bumblebee dumps some oil to slow Knock Out down, then ducks under a bridge. At first, it seems they've lost the Decepticon, but Vince hauls in to confront Jack and demand that he finish the race. Jack tries to warn Vince of the danger, but Vince's headlights have attracted Knock Out, who grabs the boy, renders him unconscious, and drives off. Knock Out, not knowing Jack from Vince, contacts Breakdown to announce he's captured Bumblebee's human "friend". Arcee and Bulkhead use the Ground Bridge to join Bumblebee, but before Arcee can start a lecture, Jack tells her about Vince, and they head off to mount a rescue.
Optimus Prime walks into the base and wonders where everyone else is. Raf and Miko give him the least convincing replies ever.
The three Autobots track Knock Out to a warehouse area, and Bulkhead and Bumblebee stroll in while Arcee scales a nearby water tower. Bulkhead and Bumblebee are ambushed by Breakdown. Just as Knock Out is wondering where Arcee is, she jumps on top of him. Knock Out decides to bail, but at least has the courtesy to radio Breakdown and let him know. Unfortunately, the call distracts Breakdown long enough for Bulkhead to deck him with a street lamp. Knock Out streaks down a road with Arcee in pursuit, but is suddenly sideswiped by Optimus, who knocks him onto the embankment. With the 'Con unable to flee, Optimus rips his door off and retrieves the unconscious Vince. Knock Out is outraged at the damage done to him, but retreats when the rest of the Autobots arrive. Vince finally recovers in Bumblebee on the way back to his car, and Jack spins a story to cover the whole thing.
Starscream is very upset with Knock Out's antics. Knock Out assures Starscream that he's learned his lesson and paid the price. Unfortunately for Knock Out, he once again addresses Starscream as "Commander" instead of "Lord", so Starscream gives him some more scratches as punishment.
At school again, Sierra asks Jack for a ride, but he turns her down. Arcee, however, is feeling more accommodating — just this once — and soon Jack and Sierra are zooming through town.
Arcee: 'Bee, do not engage. Your first priority is to keep Jack safe...*murmurs* until I get my hands on him.
- Epic Fail: Miko and Raf trying to lie to Optimus go as well as expected.
- Disproportionate Retribution: Two examples. First, when Arcee and Jack are about to race Vince:
Arcee: Beating him isn't enough. You want to make him cry.
- Then Knock Out runs a guy off the road for keying his vehicle mode.
You scratch my paint, I scratch yours.
- Fascinating Eyebrow: Optimus response to Miko and Raf's Acting Unnatural is to do this, entirely not convinced.
- It's Personal: When Jack wants to race just to impress Sierra, Arcee refuses. When Vince calls Arcee ugly, though...
- Oh Crap: Knock Out got one when Starscream tells him that his punishment will be "cosmetic."
- Stealth Insult:
Starscream: The day our master emerges from stasis, I will graciously relinquish the title. But I believe that outcome is unlikely - something to do with the quality of the medical care around here...