The stage is set for a nail-biting Supercars series finish after Shane van Gisbergen looked like he'd snatched a last-gasp win over title rival Scott McLaughlin in the season finale's opening 250km race in Newcastle.
But the tables were turned when the winner received some bad news after an anxious wait on a stewards ruling before Sunday's battle with series leader McLaughlin that will decide the 2018 Supercars championship.
Officials convened on Sunday morning and handed van Gisbergen a 25-second penalty for a pit-stop breach during his dramatic win. The dramatic development stripped van Gisbergen of his win and saw him drop from first to fifth in the race result behind McLaughlin, David Reynolds, Jamie Whincup and Scott Pye.
The penalty also means McLaughlin extended his championship lead from two to 53 points ahead of van Gisbergen. Today's final race is worth 150 points.
Van Gisbergen remarkably reeled in McLaughlin on the 95th and final lap to clinch what looked liked a stunning victory.
However, van Gisbergen's Holden was lowered to the ground with the refuelling hose still attached during his final pit-stop on Saturday. After the deputy race director recommended a penalty on Saturday night, the stewards reviewed the incident and pinned van Gisbergen with his 25-second penalty.
"What on earth has happened in the past 24 hours," Fox Sports reporter Chris Stubbs said.
Aiming for his maiden Supercars title, McLaughlin came into the final round with a 14-point lead over 2016 champion van Gisbergen to ensure the closest season finish in a decade.
The 2019 title will now be decided by Sunday's 95-lap race on the tough 2.6km street circuit.
Van Gisbergen was buzzing on Saturday before he received his penalty. "What a race. That sets up tomorrow. I can't wait," he said.
McLaughlin tried to get it done without his wingman Fabian Coulthard after his teammate smashed into the wall at turn one on lap 42, prompting a safety car. Nick Percat narrowly avoided spearing into Coulthard but had one side of his Holden's bodywork shaved off like a can opener by the prone Falcon.
But the biggest victim was the ever popular Craig Lowndes. In the final round of his stellar 22-year career as a full-time driver, Lowndes' race was all but over when Holden's Scott Pye made contact in a frenzied pit lane after Coulthard prompted the safety car.
To make matters worse, Ford's Mark Winterbottom then dragged a tyre that was about to be fitted on Lowndes' Commodore downpit lane prompting the veteran to lose his cool.
Lowndes dropped his trademark smile when he stormed into his garage following the pit lane incidents.
He finished last in the 23-strong field with three drivers failing to finish.