The pre-meeting publicity promised fireworks, both on and above the track, at Fast Lane Spares Oceanview Family Speedway on Saturday night.
And that's exactly what was delivered.
Perfect weather, a big crowd and good fields of race cars, especially in the Superstocks class, laid a foundation for a stellar early-season meeting.
Add in a fast and drivey track prepared by local track guru Mike Annabell, and all the elements were there for a meeting to be remembered.
With Superstocks from Gisborne, Kihikihi, Wellington, Baypark and Stratford visiting, a field of 25 cars faced the starter in Heat 1.
Chaos ensued as drivers scrambled for position heading into the first corner, giving a foretaste of the kind of action the punters can expect at the Elite Mechanical New Zealand Superstock Championship in January.
Scott Duncan (23V) was the major casualty, getting squeezed high up the wall, almost rolling and having much of the car's bodywork ripped away.
Ethan Rees (127G) avoided the carnage and looked like he was headed for his fourth win in four starts at Oceanview this season, but he was chased hard by his brother Asher (126K).
Heading in to turns three and four for the final time, Ethan's car lost power and ground to a halt, allowing his brother through for the victory.
In the chase, Asher Rees broke Darryl Taylor's 13-year-old lap record with a scorching 16.12 second lap.
He was chased home by Benji Sneddon (471K) with former New Zealand Stockcar champion John Prentice (15W) coming third in just his second meeting behind the wheel of a Superstock.
Heat 2 saw a Rees family 1-2-3, with Asher again winning from father Peter (2NZ) with Ethan in third place.
Sneddon broke the Rees stranglehold with a win in the feature race ahead of Kihikihi's Asher Rees and Daniel Hole (371K), while Ethan Rees finally took the chequered flag in the Grand Slam ahead of his father, with Prentice picking up another third placing.
Carl Burns (25V) was again the pick of the local drivers with three Top 10 finishes, including a seventh in the feature race.
The Superstock racing was incredibly fast-paced, with no beg-your-pardons, as drivers used their bumpers to clear their path.
It bodes well for the NZ Championship, where more than 100 cars from all over New Zealand are expected to descend on Whanganui.
A small field of seven Midgets still turned on the action.
Stratford hot-shot Duane Hickman (95S) left the field in his wake in the opening heat, and in the process set a new lap record for the class of 14.35 seconds.
The second heat was marred by two periods of yellow caution lights.
The first came when Glen Huijs (4V) spun at the southern end, and in short order Brent Huijs (12V), Neville Thompson (6s) and Hickman piled in, ending the night for the latter two.
After the restart Brent Huijs overcooked things at the city end, clashing with his brother Glen, allowing Mark Willans (24S) to take the win.
Brent Huijs finally kept it all together in the feature race, taking the win from Karl McGill (93P) and Willans.
The Stockcar class proved a benefit night for the Mooney family.
Dion Mooney (6V) took out the opening heat ahead of Mark Johnston (78V) and Blair Lockett (89V), then repeated the dose in Heat 2, winning from his son Kaelin, with Lockett again in third place.
Kaelin Mooney then turned the tables on his father in the feature race – taking his first win in just his fourth meeting in his new car, ahead of Lockett and Dion respectively.
Father Dion got his revenge in the Grand Slam, heading off the improving Blair Reeves-Smith (212V), with Lockett taking yet another third placing after a very consistent night.
In Youth Ministocks, Emilly Meehan (27V) took her maiden win in the first heat, while Trent James (56V) took out the second by just one hundredth of a second from Harry Prince (34B), and Rotorua visitor Milla Theobald (89V) won the feature race from James and Meehan.
Shayne Hughes (23V) took out the opening Production Saloon heat.
After that however, the night belonged to Rotorua-contracted Grant Loveridge (7R) who picked up two wins and drove away with a new lap record of 17.39s in the feature race.
Stratford drivers again dominated the Adult Ministocks, with Nathan Nolly (39S) winning the first heat and Craig Mason (77S) leaving the field in his wake in the other two races.
Rounding out the night was another spectacular fireworks display courtesy of the Kairanga Lions Club, to the delight of the large crowd.
Racing will continue next Saturday night from 7pm in what is the Wanganui Stockcar and Speedway Club's biggest season for many a year.
If the quality of the racing from the first two meetings continues, this could also be the club's best season ever.