Speedway racer Paul Sullivan said he exceeded his own expectations at the recent AMCA Nationals.

The Bacchus Marsh driver clocked up a career highlight with a second-place finish at the Australian title event at Redline Raceway earlier this year and now has his sights set on an all-star title in March.

Sullivan, whose previous best result at nationals was ninth place at Carrick Speedway in Tasmania in 2014, said he “couldn’t be happier” to have come away with a podium result.

The 47-year-old driver was shaken by an early crash with former Australian champion Matt Hardy in lap two of the race.

He resumed in fourth place, with no damage to his Panther chassis, but a collision between the two front-runners elevated him to second in the final lap.

“I couldn’t have been more excited to cross the finish line in second place and to me, it honestly felt like I’d won it,” Sullivan said.

“I was hoping just to finish inside the top-five, so to improve on that and do much better than I thought I would was just an incredible feeling.

“It was definitely a challenging day dealing with the condensed schedule in the extreme heat, but I amazingly didn’t get too nervous. I just set myself goals in each race and focused on them.”