Five Australians were among the field at the first night of the prestigious Knoxville Nationals began on Wednesday (US time) night.
Lynton Jeffrey (2K), Scott Bogucki (10L), Brooke Tatnell (16), Kerry Madsen (55) and James McFadden (83) took to the famed track.
The first Heat race of the night began in dramatic fashion with the QuickTime pace setter David Gravel finding the wall outside of Turn 4 after contact with Justin Sanders with barely a lap in the books.
The contact forced gravel to the work area where multiple teams banded together to change the front axle and replace the front wing but were unable to complete the works before the restart.
The inverted Heat format made it difficult for drivers to find a way forward, with Aussie James McFadden starting seventh and climbing to sixth, more than 10s adrift of heat winner Brady Bacon.
South Australian Scott Bogucki started seventh in a stacked second Heat race including regular Australian tourists Sheldon Haudenschild and Aaron Reutzel.
Reutzel would spin into the wall early, with Haudenschild scoring the heat win with Bogucki finishing fifth.
Heat three saw two Sydneysiders in action with Brooke Tatnell starting from fourth, with Lynton Jeffrey from seventh.
The Heat would be won by Justin Henderson from Cole Macedo and Kasey Kahne with Jeffery and Tatnell finishing sixth and seventh.
Kerry Madsen was in action in Heat 4, starting sixth and climbing to fourth before a late caution stacked the field up with two laps to run.
A two-lap dash ensued but Madsen was unable to improve finishing several seconds behind winner Drew Lynch, but importantly making the direct transfer to the A Main later in the night.
Carson McCarl And Tanner Carrick started on the front row for Heat 5 while adopted Aussie Donny Schatz and Jamie Ball shared the fourth row.
Schatz put in a stellar drive to pick up five positions and the second transfer position to the night's A Main, behind McCarl in a flag-to-flag victory.
Due to his earlier issue in the first heat Gravel shared the front row of the C Main with Christopher Thram and convert it to a comfortable half-lap victory to transfer to the rear of the B Main alongside Thram, Kade Higday and Mckenna Hasse.
With Madsen transferring directly to the A Main, the remaining Australians McFadden, Bogucki, Jeffrey and Tatnell all featured in the Last Chance showdown.
Lynton Jeffrey found the outside wall on the back straight on Lap 5 after hard contact with fellow Australian Bogucki, ending his night with a broken rear end.
On the re-start J-Mac took full advantage of the developing high line in the Roth Motorsports #83, railing the top side of the racetrack to pick up one position and comfortably take the third transfer position behind Gio Scelzi and Corey Day.
Blake Hahn started on pole for the Night One Feature Race, with Kerry Madsen Starting the best of the two Australians from fourth, with James McFadden 23rd of the 24 cars.
Madsen moved up early in the 25-lap race to third with a frantic battle between World of Outlaws superstars Donny Schatz (#15) and Sheldon Haudenschild (#17) ensuing for fourth.
Up front, Blake Hahn and Chase Randall were having a sizzling battle for the lead with Randall Running the cushion and Hahn down low, until a red flag for a frightening side-impact crash involving Justin Peck halted proceedings temporarily.
Peck emerged unscathed from the wreck.
A well-timed slide job from Randall on Lap 19 took the lead from a drifting Hahn, with Schatz using the high line to his advantage and taking third from Madsen.
The 10-time World of Outlaws Champ began to turn the screws on the leaders, with his car seemingly coming to life and able to run wherever he needed to get by the leaders.
He made short work of Hahn to move into second and traded slide jobs with Chase Randall several times before taking the lead on Lap 23, a position which he never conceded to take the victory from Randall, with Haudenschild and Madsen rounding out the top four placegetters.
It was Schatz's first Preliminary victory at the Knoxville Nationals in 20 years.