Jamie Whincup's title defence is definitely back on track, the five-time champ crossing the line first in Race 23 at the Coates Hire Ipswich 400.
Whincup started alongside teammate Craig Lowndes, and while Lowndes leapt to the lead, it was lap 21 of 33 that saw the two crisscrossing furiously for the top spot.
It was the #1 who gained the advantage, and then sailed away to a 4.5sec victoryat the 3.12km circuit.
"The car was obviously very good, and I had a good little battle with Lowndesy there," Whincup said.
"That was promising, but we're not out of the woodwork."
With title rival Mark Winterbottom qualifying eighth, Whincup took the opportunity to close the points gap at the top of the table, now only 72 between them.
There's potential to earn 75 points in this afternoon's later race, when Whincup starts from the second row of the grid.
"We've got to keep chipping away. Come from a long way back, getting closer but still a long way to go," Holden's Whincup said of the title.
Volvo's Scott McLaughlin came home third, and while there was a brief exchange of positions with Lockwood's Fabian Coulthard, the "blue beast" made the podium at the same circuit McLaughlin won a race last year.
Starting from ARMOR ALL Pole Position next race, McLaughlin is positive about tuning the car a little more and maintaining the lead.
"The thing's good, hopefully we can try and pick these guys off, but we've got a good position to start from!"
Winterbottom, meanwhile, came home sixth and said his mind was not on the points.
"You can't worry about the Championship -if you're not quick enough there's a lot of rounds to go. They're going to eat you up."
Coulthard, James Courtney, Winterbottom, Will Davison (Erebus), Garth Tander, David Reynolds and Shane van Gisbergen completed the top 10.
Others to note include first Nissan Rick Kelly in 11, later pole starter Michael Caruso in 13 with his Norton Nissan, Chaz Mostert 14, and Jason Bright 18.
Today's later race begins at 4.30pm AEST.