Supercars championship leader Scott McLaughlin has become the first driver in a decade to win six consecutive races in the category with victory in Saturday's 200km event in Townsville.
The DJR Team Penske driver made the most of a pitlane mishap for pole-sitter David Reynolds before overcoming a bold strategic play by Jamie Whincup to secure his 13th win of a dominant 2019 season.
McLaughlin now holds a 358-point lead on the championship standings and is closing in on Craig Lowndes' record of 16 race wins in a single season in 1996.
It's the first time since 2008 a driver has won six or more races in a row, with Lowndes' overall record of eight in 1996 under threat.
Yet the win was far from straight forward for McLaughlin, who started third on the grid behind Reynolds and Ford's Chaz Mostert.
While the 26-year-old got the better of Mostert in lap 19 after a two-lap tussle for position, it wasn't until the second set of pit stops two-thirds into the 70-lap race that Reynolds faltered.
The Penrite Racing driver lost crucial seconds during his second pitstop after a crew member attempted to fit a tyre with the wrong wheel nut and the delay effectively removed him from race contention.
Reynolds went on to finish sixth behind McLaughlin's teammate Fabian Coulthard, who salvaged a fifth-place finish after starting 13th on the grid.
McLaughlin then had to find a way past Whincup - a 10-time winner on the streets of Townsville - who had used an alternate fuel strategy to climb from sixth on the start line to the race lead.
Using fresher tyres and the superior pace of his Ford Mustang, McLaughlin clawed away at Whincup's advantage and hit the front with 20 laps to go.
"I think that was one of the most complete races I've had," McLaughlin said.
"I had a good start, especially for this year. Felt like our tyre life was really good and we were driving to what we needed to do and I made the passes I needed to make, which was really cool.
"It was a good thing, something I didn't think would happen after qualifying."
Holden's Whincup finished almost five seconds adrift off McLaughlin in second, while Mostert came home third.
The Tickford Racing driver enjoyed his early battle with McLaughlin but admitted he was unlikely to hold him off across 200km.
"It was always a matter of time for Scotty to get me in there," Mostert said.
"I thought maybe if I could keep him a lap or two it might start to degrade a little bit like me, but that wasn't the case."
McLaughlin will look to extend his winning streak to seven when the Townsville 400 wraps up with a second 200km race on Sunday.