Kiwi Morice McMillin took the win in Nitro Funny Car at the Goldenstates at the Perth Motorplex, defeating points leader Justin Walshe in the final round.
Walshe shut the car off after the burnout in the final citing a clutch issue, denying him the chance for a second consecutive event win in the NDRC after winning the Sydney Nationals in October.
McMillin would have been difficult to beat in the final however, being the only racer on two wins after the first two rounds of racing before logging the quickest run of the event at a 4.737s run in the final.
“I am absolutely gutted for Justin. You always want to win, but it is much better when it is a side-by-side Nitro Funny Car pass,” McMillin said.
“The dad of one of our guys passed away, so Jamie, this is for you brother,” he said with high emotion in the bottom end of the track, raising the trophy to the sky for his crewman Jamie's father, Lep Robertson.
Earlier in the third round for Nitro Funny Car, Adam Murrihy tagged the wall on his solo pass before going deep into the sand trap after only one parachute blossomed. Murrihy would emerge unhurt from the incident.
Number one Qualifier Brandon Gosbell had a mixed day, first being shut off on the start line in round one due the a loose fuel fitting and then bouncing back to take two wins in the final two rounds (albeit one on a redlight for Justin Walshe).
Local hero Anthony Begley had a weekend to forget, plagued by mechanical issues.
The one bright spot on the radar for Begley was an almost full run-in round 1, however a track timing system malfunction left the team scratching their heads as to what the car actually ran.
In Top Doorslammer Qualifying, the postponed final from the Springnationals at the Dragway at the Bend was completed with Ronnie Palumbo taking an emotional victory at what was his first event deputising for the late Sam Fenech in the ACDelco Doorslammer.
Palumbo bested Lisa Gregorini by only thousandths of a second in a tight final round.
The Goldenstates trophy however was won by another newcomer to the category, West Aussie Russell Taylor over the Legendary John Zappia.
Taylor was making his second start in the class after many years of sportsman racing, driving the car that carried Steve Ham to back-to-back National Titles under the 400 Thunder banner.
Zappia was dead late on his reaction time, giving up almost half a second on the start line to Taylor.
Despite running a quicker 5.790s, Zappia could not drive around Taylor's 5.810 in the final.
Taylor said after the race, “To come up against John and to take home a win and a tree, my first Christmas Tree ever – this is definitely a good moment.”
In Pro Alcohol, Russell Mills kicked off his two-week coast-to-coast-to-coast odyssey with a win, his second in succession after winning in Sydney in October.
His victory over Perth local Craig Glassby gives him a commanding lead in the Pro Alcohol points, given that none of the other championship regulars made the trek to Perth with the next round of the series in Sydney only six days later.
Mills and Glassby were undoubtedly the class of the field, being the only two cars that dipped below the 5.60s mark throughout the event.
Mills said, “We have been trying hard, whittling away at things, and it has gone well, other than one really hairy ride on Friday when I got a bit out of line, but we straightened things out.
“The track here is fantastic, I am so glad that I came over, not just for winning, but just to race and enjoy the hospitality over here. Thank you to everyone for all of their help and for being so welcoming.
“We are on target now to get back to Sydney and hopefully everything is looking okay when we get back on the East Coast for next weekend. Here is hoping we might be able to try for three from three.”
Wayne McGuiness won a trilling final round in Top Fuel Motorcycle, besting Benny Stevens in an All-Harley final round.
McGuiness' 6.46s was too much for Steven's 6.62s, with speeds for both Racers over 330km/h.
The NDRC series now moves on to Sydney Dragway next weekend with round two of the Top Fuel and Pro Mod Championship, and Round 3 of Pro Alcohol.