Dave Reynolds soars in Supercars contention
HOLDEN'S Dave Reynolds made good on his promise to deliver in Darwin and celebrated a big win over championship leader Scott McLaughlin with a newly named "booty".
Just three days after declaring he would win his first race at Hidden Valley since he created a worldwide sensation by drinking from his shoe, the Erebus Motorsport star put himself back in the title race by storming through the field to break a three-year Darwin drought.
In beating DJR/Team Penske driver McLaughlin and Red Bull Holden Racing's Jamie Whincup, Reynolds moved into third place in the championship standings.
"My car was just amazing,'' Reynolds said.
"I could not fault it. Darwin has been the best weekend for us as a team for a long time. The whole weekend has just been magical.''
Reynolds last week predicted his win in an interview with the Daily Telegraph.
"I have been telling anyone that asks that I am going to win this weekend,'' Reynolds said.
"I will tell you the same thing. We always go well here.''
And that he did.
Rick Kelly dominated qualifying to deny McLaughlin pole position by winning the shootout.
The Nissan driver came from nowhere to surprise even himself by claiming his first pole in 12 months.
"This one is completely unexpected," Kelly said of the 10th pole of his career.
"I thought if we did a clean lap we might be in the top four, but this is massive."
But Reynolds blasted his way off the start line to steal the lead.
Beginning from the second row after qualifying in fourth place, Reynold out-braked both Kelly and McLaughlin into to turn one to steal the lead.
In a bold move, Reynold went around the outside to jump from fourth to first and set up what would be an emphatic win.
"It was business for usual because I always try and get a good start,'' Reynolds said.
"I just hung my balls out at turn one and went a bit deeper than everyone. It paid off and that is what set up our race.''
Flawless as his followers attempted to catch him with both strategy and speed, Reynolds had blitzed his way to a five-second lead over McLaughlin after the last of the field completed their second race stop.
McLaughlin was forced to a chase with a wounded car after his Falcon began dropping oil mid-race and a helmet cooling fan broke inside his scorching cabin.
"I feel as could as I can be,'' McLaughlin said.
"It was pretty hot going today. The engine was hot and I was hot. There was stuff going on everywhere but I think it ended up by a solid day for us. We will take that and run.''
Reynolds' five-second lead was stripped to nothing with just 16 laps to go when the safety car was called for the first time all weekend.
Putting a certain win for Reynolds in doubt, the race was stopped for four laps as officials rushed to remove debris from track.
But not even the safety car could deny Reynolds with the V8 larrikin powering away from the field at the restart to seal his second win of the season.
"Hopefully we can go on a run now,'' Reynolds said.
"We need to find some consistency and perform to our maximum at every race.''