Confidence is key in sprintcar racing.
For Corey McCullagh, two recent results kick starting Speedweek has the Warrnambool driver feeling good about the direction his team's heading in.
Taking out the A Main at Simpson on Monday, McCullagh said it felt good to hang on for the win.
"With the tyre shortage, we had to run a different left rear than we wanted to, so we were at a disadvantage there," he said.
"We made the best out of the worst situation and it worked out well enough.
"Lap traffic was pretty dicey at times. I just managed to pick and choose the right lanes at the right time."
The victory came a day after McCullagh dominated his heats at Avalon, and while leading the A Main, two rivals prematurely crashed, putting an end to the night.
"It was a bittersweet feeling," he said. "I think we had the pace to win for sure.
"Unfortunately that's how racing and life goes, sometimes it doesn't work out.
"We were just happy with the car speed we had."
With the season in its infancy, McCullagh believes he isn't yet where he needs to be but that improvement is coming thick and fast.
"The team's working well. We've just got to keep getting better every night," he said.
"When you start feeling what the car is doing and you're giving the crew better feedback, things start rolling on.
"I feel we're starting to hit on something now. Hopefully by the time the classic rolls around we're on our A-game."
McCullagh spent much of his off-season in the shed looking for ways to "fine-tune the program", while a brand-new merchandise trailer has proven a hit with supporters.
He said the idea of becoming a two-time Grand Annual Classic winner was one of his biggest motivators.
"That would be everything; no-one could take that away from you" he said.
"It felt so surreal the first time, so if I won it again - it wouldn't be the same feeling - but I feel like I'd enjoy it more."
McCullagh is back in the car at Avalon on Thursday, before contesting the Sprintcar Victorian Title at Premier Speedway on New Year's Day.
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