COREY McCullagh knows winning the Sprintcar Association of Victoria Series will come at the expense of a close friend.
The Warrnambool driver is within striking distance of Werribee-based competitor Charles Hunter entering the series' finale at Allansford's Premier Speedway on Saturday night.
Only 26 points separate the mates as they vie for the $10,000 bonus.
Two-hundred points awaits the A-Main winner while an 18th place finish in the feature race will come with 35 points.
Heat racing points will range from six to 55 points.
McCullagh, who will also have challenges from Bobby Daly and Brayden Parr, said he was thrilled to be battling it out with Hunter.
"We're good mates. I am pumped for him to be up there with us,"he said.
"Those guys deserve it. They're a low-budget family team and if there was more people like the Hunters, speedway would be pretty awesome."
The Victorian 90 driver, who will race for Indy Race Parts, has endured an up-and-down SRA Series.
But McCullagh is confident of putting on a show at Premier - his home track and the venue for his remarkable 2018 Grand Annual Sprintcar Classic triumph.
"Some things you just can't control but being Premier, my home track, we're pretty confident going into it," he said.
"We missed a round two or three rounds ago for a wedding (when we were leading) so that spiced things up and let everyone else catch up.
"I was leading by 450 points. That hurt a fair bit. They clawed back to 100 points and then I had a bad weekend and now I am 20 behind.
"But we're pretty confident as a team. We've worked pretty hard this week to make sure we've got the best package come Saturday night."
McCullagh enters the grand final following a forgettable night at Ballarat's Redline Raceway in the penultimate round.
"I learnt last weekend, if it's your night it's your night," he said.
"I had a steering bolt break in one of my heats when I was running second, so I went from being top three on points to starting 14th in the B-Main and then there was a bit of a crash in front of me.
"I had nowhere to go and flipped. It was just a bad weekend."
A high-quality 50-car field, including World Series Sprintcars competitors and Warrnambool fan favourites James McFadden and Jamie Veal, will compete on Saturday night.
The influx of talent follows the completion of the WSS competition.
"The best part is there is qualifying this weekend which we seem to be pretty good at. Our qualifying programs have been really good," McCullagh said.
"Our A-Main speed this year hasn't been the best but I feel like come Saturday night we should be pretty close to the money.
"There's a good number of cars and if you want to be the best you've got to beat the best. There's 49 other guys who are thinking the same as me.
"And it's just a good format - qualifying, shootout and A-Main at the best track in Australia I feel.
"I am not only excited about how it's going to be a bit of a showdown between me and Charles and some other guys, it's just going to be a good race as Premier never really disappoints."
Have you signed up to The Standard's daily newsletter and breaking news emails? You can register below and make sure you are up to date with everything that's happening in the south-west.