NEWLY-CROWNED South West Conveyancing Grand Annual Sprintcar Classic winner Brock Hallett hopes his eye-catching drive will pique interest in the United States.
The Portland-based competitor - unassuming but always in contention throughout his career - won the Australian race's 50th edition in front of a packed house at Allansford's Premier Speedway in the early hours of Monday morning.
After jostling with American Sheldon Haudenschild throughout the second half of the 40-lap feature, Hallett made the winning move on the final lap after the World of Outlaws star came loose.
It drew applause from the crowd as Hallett, driving the Queensland number five car, etched his name into the classic's history books.
"It was unexpected. I knew we were down to the last lap and when Sheldon got past me (after I lead for a number of laps) I thought he was going to drive past me but obviously the lap cars helped me," Hallett told The Standard from the infield.
"We were able to move through the lap cars which I am sure the crowd loved. It is really cool with a packed Warrnambool crowd."
Making the triumph - which paid $50,000 to the winning team - even more special was the fact Hallett came from fifth on the grid.
It was also his first feature victory at Premier Speedway "which builds momentum and shows how good we really are".
"Sheldon is known for ripping the top and passing him on the first corner on the outside is pretty cool," he said.
"He gave me a lot of racing room and a lot of respect so I appreciate that and it's good with him and James (McFadden) running behind me - two world-class drivers - it just shows how good this team is.
"We passed both of them. We didn't start up the front and kept away from it; we had to work for it.
"Being a local boy and passing one of the yanks got the crowd on their feet and I loved to see the reaction of them all."
Hallett raced formula 500s in America in 2014 but would love the chance to compete there in a sprintcar.
"We are looking to go back at some point but we have to weigh it up and see what happens," he said.
"It (winning this) definitely helps and opens a few eyes."
Hallett, who thanked the naming rights sponsor, said it was a special achievement for his hard-working team too.
Partner Skye has been a pillar of support. Some of the prizemoney will help furnish their new Portland home.
"I don't get to spend a lot of time at home in the summer months because we're away racing and we have animals to look after so it's good to have her here for once and be here to celebrate with me as well," he said.
Reigning classic champion Lachlan McHugh rounded out the podium after advancing from P4.
McFadden took an early lead from pole-sitter Tate Frost, with Haudenschild and Hallett also moving past the Tasmanian.
But McFadden, searching for his third classic title, couldn't sustain his lead and eventually faded to fifth.
Tasmanian Jock Goodyer finished fourth with Frost, Cory Eliason, Kerry Madsen, Aaron Reutzel and Warrnambool's Jamie Veal rounding out the top-10.
American duo Carson Macedo and Brad Sweet finished 11th and 12th.
While the second half of the feature race ran smoothly, the first half had its troubles.
A number of Americans were early casualties, with teenager Chase Randall and Cole Macedo flipping their cars on turn three within the first 10 laps.
Brock Zearfoss, driving the USA95, also went for a roll on turn one but kept racing despite a damaged wing.
Warrnambool's Corey McCullagh, who announced he would finish racing after this year's classic, retired mid-way through the race, while V8 Supercar driver Cam Waters also returned to the in-field.
Frost drew pole in the gold scramble and held on as Haudenschild, McFadden and McHugh picked off spots to climb up the A-Main starting slots.
Six drivers - American Tyler Courtney, Terang's Jack Lee and Zearfoss (B-Main 1) and Matt Egel, Aaron Reutzel and Waters (B-Main 2) - tacked onto the end of the A-Main.
Zearfoss charged from 15th to third to make the main show.
In the second B-Main, multiple classic champion Brooke Tatnell, who had worked his way from eighth to a transfer spot, crashed out after teenager Ryan Newton, who produced quick-time across the weekend, hit a rut and bounced exiting turn two and pushed up the track. It was a heavy collision for both drivers.
Grant Anderson had an issue with his rear-end near the finish line of the second B-Main and Waters, who had surged from deep in the field, crashed into the back of him.
The Albury driver was deemed at fault and was denied third spot and a transfer spot, with Waters taking his place.
In somewhat of a controversial call, a disappointed Anderson said his disqualification was "a poor decision" by stewards and he shouldn't be responsible for what comes up behind him.
Bendigo's Rusty Hickman walked across the track to have words with rival Jye O'Keeffe after the former crashed out in the B-Main 2 following a massive collision.
Features started with an F-Main.
The D-Main was full of early carnage.
Lisa Walker was pushed backwards on turn one with Alex Attard flipping while caught in the chaos.
Up ahead Luke Thomas rode a wheel and rolled multiple times.
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