Mark Winterbottom retained his top five position in the standings despite a bruising Sunday at the Penrite Oil Sandown SuperSprint.
The surprise package from the Bathurst season-opener, Winterbottom scored another top four in Race 3 at Sandown.
However, the 2015 champion toiled through Sunday’s wet races to drop from third to fifth in the standings.
Team 18’s shining light in the first race of the day was Scott Pye, who charged five spots to eighth.
WATCH: INCREDIBLE PASSES AT SANDOWN
Winterbottom didn’t have as much luck dropping outside the top 10 after an off at Turn 9.
It came after the IRWIN Racing driver vaulted into the top five after a stunning start from the sixth row of the grid.
Winterbottom fell as far back as 13th, and recovered to 11th, his first race result outside the top 10 in 2021.
He started sixth for the later Race 5 and brought the #18 Commodore home in 10th.
Winterbottom fires off at Turn 9 on Sunday
With Shane van Gisbergen scoring a hat-trick of wins, Winterbottom is now 194 points adrift of the championship lead heading to next month’s Beaurepaires Tasmania SuperSprint.
"In the dry we had great pace and we had a good chance at a trophy, but Sandown being Sandown, the clouds came over and the rain came down,” he said.
"It was definitely a day I wasn’t hoping for wet weather but we do race in it, simply we weren’t fast enough in the wet today.
"Overall a great weekend, a top ten finish, fifth in the points and we’ll continue to build as we go back to Symmons Plains in Tasmania for our next event."
Winterbottom survives his off at Dandenong Road
Starting 13th for Race 4, Pye survived the opening-lap traffic and wet conditions to gain two positions.
He pinched three more positions on lap 2, and held position for the remainder of the race.
It came after Pye vaulted the #20 DEWALT Commodore from 18th to 12th in the thrilling Saturday race.
"A trying finish to our weekend but we came away with a top ten in the first race which was a strong result," Pye said.
WATCH: RACE 4 HIGHLIGHTS
"We had good speed in the wet in the first race of the day but that went missing in the afternoon which was a bit of a mystery for us.
"I always get excited when we see conditions like this as it brings an opportunity but unfortunately today we weren’t able to capitalise on that."
The Repco Supercars Championship field will return to Symmons Plains next month for the Beaurepaires Tasmania SuperSprint.
The event will be broadcast live on Foxtel and will be streamed on Kayo.