Will Davison has claimed a first-up win at Pukekohe Park, holding off hometown hero Andre Heimgartner in a tense Supercars battle.
Davison leapt off the line to lead the 41-lap race, showing superb control and using his Mustang's speed to take his third win of the year.
Heimgartner benefitted from lightning-fast pit work for his best result of the season, with pole-sitter Cam Waters finishing third.
A late bingle between Macauley Jones and James Golding led to a safety car and a flying restart with just five laps remaining.
"I just had to take a breath," Davison said.
"Once I got the restart underway I was quite relieved. The car was great ... a really, really special memorable moment."
Heimgartner's second-place finish makes him just the fifth Kiwi to take a podium at Pukekohe Park, after Shane van Gisbergen, Fabian Coulthard, Scott McLaughlin and his hero, Greg Murphy.
"It's pretty awesome being a Kiwi, growing up on the other side of the fence ... watching Murph get all his trophies," the delighted Aucklander said.
"I came second but it felt like I won the race the way the crowd acted.
"Hopefully we can go one better tomorrow."
Murphy and a beaming Heimgartner shared an embrace after the race.
Waters' podium made a tiny dent in Shane van Gisbergen's championship lead.
The Kiwi series leader arrived in New Zealand with a 500-point buffer, but now leads by 493 after finishing fifth on an underwhelming day.
Van Gisbergen qualified just seventh and raced sixth for most of the race, staying out in an attempt to overcut the field.
After pitting, he was only able to get past Anton De Pasquale, the pair racing door to door for three turns before finally claiming the spot.
With the benefit of fresh tyres, van Gisbergen was able to claim the bonus five championship points by posting the race's fastest lap with his last effort.
Beyond Davison's lead-stealing move, there was drama on lap one when a four-wide entry onto turn one saw James Courtney and Tim Slade make contact.
Mark Skaife called Slade a "miracle man" as his Mustang drifted down the circuit without hitting the wall but he would retire soon after.
The weekend is the final meeting at Pukekohe Park, which is being relieved of its motorsport duties.
The meet finishes with two 41-lap races on Sunday, at 12:55pm local (10:55am AEST) and 4:10pm local (2:10pm AEST).