Shane van Gisbergen was "lucky" he incurred damage in Race 13 on the final lap, says Mark Dutton.
Van Gisbergen clashed with Cam Waters at the final corner on Saturday at Winton.
The series leader suffered a broken steering arm, but only had to coast to the line.
Red Bull Ampol Racing team manager Dutton said van Gisbergen would have suffered more had the damage come earlier.
"When you’ve got lock on, if you hit the wheel at the wrong angle, it’s hanging out because it’s turning, you can snap the steering arm," Dutton said on Supercars’ post-race Facebook live.
"He would’ve finished, but down 10, 15 spots at least.
"Lucky in that regard, but unlucky at the same time.
"Watching from the wall, it looked like he had Cam."
Van Gisbergen was forced to catch a golf buggy ride to the podium.
The points leader coasted his car around the cooldown lap before pulling up to safety.
Speaking afterwards, the points leader was adamant Waters left the door open.
"Towards the end, I was kind of settled for second, but then Cam gave me an invitation to pass," he said.
"I drove in and had a go, but then he cut across me at the last corner which I would have done as well.
"That damaged our car. Sometimes I need to settle for second, but sometimes I can’t help myself."
Cars will return to the track on Sunday morning for dual ARMOR ALL Qualifying sessions.
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