Tim Slade is upbeat despite being robbed of a top five finish in Tasmania by an engine issue, which is being investigated by Nulon Racing.
Slade started fifth for Race 12 on Sunday, but slowed following his pit stop and came home 25th, four laps off the pace.
The #23 Nulon Camaro had been battling in the top five, with Slade eyeing his best result of the season.
Heading into the race, Slade was on a run of three straight top 10s, having finished sixth and seventh in the first two races.
It comes after Slade suffered a broken gearshift tower in Perth, which caused an overrev of over 9000rpm.
While disappointed by the issue, Slade was buoyed by his team’s speed, and is just 80 points from the top 10 in the standings heading to Darwin.
Teammate James Golding qualified eighth, sixth and 16th, and finished 14th, ninth and 16th.
“Went down to the hairpin — the rear wheel was locking on our own fluid,” Slade told the Schick Cool Down Lap podcast.
“I think Cam [Waters] speared off behind me. Noticed a bit of water on the windscreen, smelt it and thought, ’This isn’t very good’.
“It sounded pretty horrible and dropped a lot of power. Unfortunate way to finish a weekend, but I think we can be pretty happy.
“Lots of positives to take out of it. Move on to the next one and keep trying to move forwards."
Team Principal Matt Cook reiterated Slade’s point, and says the team needs luck on its side.
"Overall, we had a really good and solid weekend. The cars were consistently quick which was very pleasing," Cook said.
"They showed a lot of pace, and our pit stops were very good, but we had a bit of up and down luck as the weekend pressed on.
"We had a really weird engine problem with Tim’s car… these are new cars and new engines, and this is the first time we have seen something like this.
"I was really upset for Tim, the guys he was battling with were fourth, fifth and sixth position at the end so we should have been around there, so I am gutted for him.
"Our cars are quick — we just need to have a little bit of luck on our side.
"We move to Darwin now, so with a longer track and warmer conditions hopefully we can have some success there.”
The team will be on double duty in Darwin, which will host the final round of the 2022/23 Burson Auto Parts Australian Top Fuel Championships.
Team boss Peter Xiberras is equal second in the championship standings heading into the final round.