In Race the Sun, Sandra Beecher (Halle Berry), a new science teacher, arrives at Kona Pali High School in Hawaii. Her apathetic and self-defeating working-class students of mixed ethnic backgrounds are derisively called "lobos" by more affluent peers. Sandra encourages them to design and build a solar-powered car as their science project. When their entry wins a local competition, eight students head off to Australia with Sandra and another chaperon (James Belushi) to participate in a 2000-mile race.

This spunky and endearing film written by Barry Morrow shows how these teenagers are bonded together by facing a series of setbacks and adversities. The emphasis here is not on winning but on doing your best as a team. Race the Sun also celebrates Sandra's spiritual practice of enthusiasm which propels these "lobos" to become all they were meant to be.