JOCK Goodyer hopes his first win at Premier Speedway will give him confidence heading into the 50th South West Conveyancing Grand Annual Sprintcar Classic after the Tasmanian won a drama-filled Max's Race finale on Saturday night.
Goodyer, who started on pole, faced a stern challenge from World of Outlaws ace James McFadden who almost pulled off a dream debut for new Warrnambool team Hodges Motorsport.
McFadden came from 14th to finish the carnage-ravaged 30-lap A-Main second with Queensland-based teenager Ryan Newton enjoying a stellar night to place third.
Just eight drivers completed the crash-laden race with Warrnambool's Jamie Veal among those to pull into the infield. He was leading with six laps to run before a flat tyre ended his chances.
Goodyer, 21, said he was rapt to score a win in what was a challenging race.
"We felt pretty comfortable, to the extent you can be on that sort of race track," he told The Standard.
"We'll take the good result and roll onto the next one."
Brett Milburn, who finished fifth, took the lead from Goodyer early in the main show.
But the emerging driver kept his composure.
"I lost the lead at the start but I wasn't too stressed. It's obviously 30 laps," he said.
"I tried a few (racing) lines (on the track) and figured out what would work and once Jamie (Veal) got past me (later in the race) I still felt I was right on him and able to catch him.
"He came into turn one and hit a rut, which everyone has done."
Goodyer - one of the Apple Isle's best young drivers - said it was an honour to win Max's Race and receive a trophy off Max Dumesny, one of Australian sprintcar racing's icons.
"It is good to finally get a bit of momentum at this track," he said.
"It hasn't been that kind to us and it's good to finally get a good result here."
Goodyer relished racing at the front with McFadden and Veal - both past classic winners.
"You know you're going to get a hard race and they're going to be pushing you to your limits," he said.
"It's good to race against them because you know if you're racing them you're racing the best in the world."
McFadden found comfort in the driver's seat of his new car as the night progressed and was thrilled to sneak a top-two finish in.
"It's hard coming back with such big changes with the tyres," he told The Standard.
"Doing 75 races in a completely different set-up (in America), my feel was wrong and I just drove badly in qualifying but I felt like we had decent speed.
"We tried to throw everything this side and everything that side at it and whatever met in the middle we found out.
"I feel good now - I feel comfortable and the car's fast."
Weather conditions of late had an impact on track conditions as drivers found themselves in trouble.
Numerous competitors including Corey McCullagh, Cole Macedo, Brock Hallett, reigning classic winner Lachlan McHugh and Australian number one Marcus Dumesny failed to finish.
"It's a treacherous track - with all the rain they've been getting, it's been pretty brutal," McFadden said.
"You had to be smart and keep the tyres under you and that's what we tried to do."
The B-Main made a dramatic start too when Andrew Hughes flipped on turn three forcing a re-start which also came to an abrupt end.
Multiple cars were caught up in a huge crash on turn two including Robbie Paton, Tim Hutchins, American Carson Macedo and Jett Bell in his debut race at his home track.
Experienced driver Luke Dillon, Mailors Flat's Peter Doukas, South Australian Ryan Jones and Tasmanian Tate Frost finished top-four and earned their spots at the back of the A-Main.
Goodyer won the first heat of the night from American ace Cole Macedo - in his first meeting at Premier Speedway - and Veal, who clocked quick-time in flight one qualifying.
Josh Buckingham had his troubles in the opening heat, losing his wing.
V8 Supercars ace Cam Waters, who has again swapped bitumen for dirt in his off-season, collected heat two from Albury's Grant Anderson and McFadden, who made an early passing move to finish third.
Heat three started with carnage as Kale Quinlan crashed and was taken to the infield.
Newton took the win from Hallett - the quick-time performer in flight two - and Ash Cook.
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