Lowndes wins the race, Whincup wins the war
Craig Lowndes won today's 67-lap race at Winton Raceway, but it was his teammate Jamie Whincup's fightback from a pit lane penalty to a podium finish that was the story of the day.
Whincup was handed a drive thru penalty after his rear wheels were spinning during his pit stop. He dropped from the race lead to as low as 22nd but drove back through the field to grab the final podium spot with just a handful of laps remaining.
"We did it the hard way today!" said Whincup.
"That spinning in the pits, it's a bit of a wanker rule but at the end of the day I broke the rules and deserved the penalty."
He now has a 317 point lead in the championship, and with a maximum of 300 points on offer at the season finale in Sydney, his fourth V8 Supercar drivers title is all but a formality.
"Mathematically everything is looking pretty good but with the potential to lose points in Sydney I'm going to keep going hard right up until the last lap of the last race." said Whincup.
Mark Winterbottom finished 6 seconds behind race leader Lowndes.
"Yesterday we had a very good car and today my car was quite good as well but something went funny in the steering," explained Winterbottom.
"You just try and hang on and survive, but we'll fight back in two weeks time and try and finish off strong."
Stone Brothers Racing teammates Shane van Gisbergen and Tim Slade battled somewhat controversially for position throughout the race, eventually finishing 4th and 5th respectively.
Jason Bright made a late charge into 6th, displacing Tekno Autosport's Jonathon Webb.
David Reynolds, Russell Ingall finished 8th and 9th while yesterday's podium finisher Lee Holdsworth recovered from an opening lap incident to finish in tenth place.
Tyre strategy didn't work in favour of TradingPost Racing's Will Davison, who started on the front row on soft tyres.
An early safety car for a slowing James Moffat gave everyone else an opportunity to pit for softs, causing Davison to end the race on hards and out of sync with the rest of the field. He finished 11th.
Today's race win hands Craig Lowndes his 88th career race win- just two wins behind Mark Skaife.
It also marks the 35th consecutive race win by either a TeamVodafone or Ford Performance Racing driver.
The Sydney Telstra 500 will conclude the season in two week's time.
V8 Supercars Australia