Having broken Peter Brock's record for career pole positions, Jamie Whincup is conscious that he has to make his strong qualifying pay by getting good starts in this afternoon's two 100km races at the Sydney Motorsport Park 400.
Whincup broke Brock's record in qualifying for Race 26 and then followed up with second fastest time in Race 27 qualifying. Volvo's Scott McLaughlin joins him on the front row for both races.
The five-times V8 Supercars Champion leads the points chase by 15 points over arch-rival Mark Winterbottom, who has qualified well back in his factory Pepsi-Max Falcon. Whincup, therefore, has a big opportunity to take a stronger hold on the title.
"I am thinking to myself that I have to get of the line," the Red Bull Holden Commodore driver said. "That's the main thing, so I will put a bit of focus on that.
"Also, most likely there are no pit stops today so it's all going to come down to getting off the line and having a car that looks after its tyres."
Today's two races are both conducted on hard tyres, but tomorrow's 200km mini marathon will include both hard and soft tyres. Whincup has struggled to win on Sunday and on soft Dunlop tyres this year.
"I am reasonably comfortable on the hard tyre today, but no idea what tomorrow is going to bring," he admitted. "Anything can happen, it's going to be a long race.