A long stint for Russell Ingall and well-timed safety car has the Holden Racing Team #22 just outside the top 10 at the Wilson Security Sandown 500.
Ingall, 51, jumped out of the Commodore after 76 laps, though co-drivers are only required to complete 54.
The #22 has shown pace all weekend and HRT pitted Ingall early in the race to get him in clean air.
After qualifying 24th - with primary driver Jack Perkins involved in two incidents during his qualifying race yesterday - the team rolled the dice on strategy to get #22 back in contention. The Safety Car for Alex Buncombe's off at turn nine played into their hands.
"I think I need the make-up girl," Ingall said after getting out of the car.
"I tell you what, I forgot how hot these things are inside the car - especially today, she's got a few degrees out there.
"The pace is pretty hot too - tyre degradation's pretty steep, means you're working twice as hard in the car to keep it on the black stuff."
Ingall left the car in 12th position on track, and on lap 95of 161 Perkins had gained another position.
"That's where Jack qualified the car so we've sort of done a full circle," Ingall said.
"We just had to play this - it was risky to do what we did and pit early, but at the end of the day we had nothing to lose from where we started so just give it a swing and see what happens."
HRT has shuffled its driver line-up this weekend in the absence of an injured James Courtney, with Ingall playing the co-driver role and Perkins stepping up as primary driver. Courtney is hopeful of a Bathurst return.
At the Wilson Security Sandown 500, Jamie Whincup leads the way - follow on v8supercars.com.au or live on FOX SPORTS 506 and TEN.