SURPRISE packet Scott Bogucki won the South West Conveyancing Grand Annual Sprintcar Classic opening night A-Main, surviving a carnage-filled 30 laps on Friday night.
Warrnambool's James McFadden and American Tim Kaeding, both past winners of the esteemed event, filled the podium with reigning champion Robbie Farr fourth.
Ben Ellement and Troy Little were next in line.
Bogucki said he was rapt to beat a class field.
"We started OK tonight and worked on the car, worked on the car and worked on the car and got it better and better," he said.
"It's a dream come true.
"I haven't been here since 2014 and we were horrible. I hit a fence in the heat race and got a flat tyre and to come back tonight for the first time in all those years and get the prelim win is a pretty big deal."
Bogucki said he had known McFadden for a long time.
"I was only nervous because I want to get the win, I wasn't worried about James at all," he said.
"I have raced with him since I was a kid and he slid me early and gave me plenty of room and when I overtook him I gave him plenty of room.
"That's what happens when someone races a car 100 times a year, they are real good at it. It was a good time racing with him."
Kirkstall driver Brayden Cooley wins heat eight and he's living the dream in #48GASC. "I am loving every minute of it. I was a little fat kid with a can of Fanta watching the classic and now I am in it it's pretty cool." @SungoldStadium@WboolStandard 📸: @m_hancock29pic.twitter.com/O5IM0bzUE0— Justine McCullagh-Beasy (@JustineMB_29) January 24, 2020
There was damage on lap one with three drivers - Jordyn Charge, Jock Goodyer and Aidan Hall - forced out. Mailors Flat's Peter Doukas was also caught up in the stack up on turn four but re-started.
The re-start was just as dramatic with Portland's Brock Hallett and Brisbane's Mitchell Gee, who shared the front row, bundled out.
Victorian Jordyn Charge wins heat seven at #48GASC after "running with no brakes" in his first heat. "This season has been the best one for us...we've worked our butts off in the off-season to get better equipment and it's paid off." @SungoldStadium@WboolStandardpic.twitter.com/xL4Q3iCYUm— Justine McCullagh-Beasy (@JustineMB_29) January 24, 2020
Carnage followed two laps later with Ben Atkinson and Brenten Farrer coming to blows on turn two and also forced to the infield causing a stop to the racing with repairs needed for a damaged catch fence.
American Shane Stewart joined the omissions with 12 laps to run and the yellow flag was out again when US teen Buddy Kofoid was forced out.
NASCAR driver Kyle Larson had a dramatic night and didn't finish the B-Main.
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.