An emotional Michael Caruso has taken Nissan’s first win since 2013, and second in the new gen Supercars era at the CrownBet Darwin Triple Crown.
The Altima pilot becomes the 10th winner from 12 races after pouncing off the finishing 1.77sec ahead of six-time champ Jamie Whincup, and having completed the fastest lap of the 42- lap race.
The Nissans have been quick this year but the top step has eluded the four-car group – until today.
The victory is Caruso’s second Supercars career win since debuting full-time in 2008 with Garry Rogers Motorsport.
“I promised the boys we were close this year and it’s nice to pull through and deliver for them,” Caruso said.
“The last four years have been tough … to get this today to get this today – to Nissan and everybody in our team… everyone over all four cars have been a part of this.”
Following the Nissan home, Whincup took second and the championship lead with 18 points over Mark Winterbottom, with Chaz Mostert third.
It was a lively lap one with Craig Lowndes turned around – Rick Kelly and Tim Slade are being investigated for that incident.
Nick Percat suffered race-ending damage, and Garth Tander’s missing driver’s door triggered the Safety Car.
Shane van Gisbergen was the main challenger early, but was penalised after an incorrect Safety Car restart.
Scott Pye tapped the wall on the restart, but that didn’t stop him from coming home fifth, behind Will Davison.
Lowndes made it back up to 11th, while Van Gisbergen finished 16th after copping his drive through penalty and taking his compulsory pit stop late.
Click here for full results.
The Supercars hit the track tomorrow with qualifying, a Top 10 Shootout and 200km race.