There were tears of joy in the Jack Daniel's Racing camp after Todd Kelly came from the heavens to win the first race in the Falken Tasmania Challenge at Symmons Plains on Saturday.
Kelly gave the Jack Daniels Holden team their first V8 Supercar race victory, storming through the field in the wet from 10th on the grid to grab the win.
Series leader Jamie Whincup held off main rival Mark Winterbottom for second and third to edge further ahead in the Championship race.
Kelly, who is leaving at the end of the season to form his own team with brother Rick, said the victory was a breakthrough for the beleaguered team who had worked tirelessly without reward this season.
“It's pretty special. I don't think anyone can understand without knowing what it's taken to get to this point,” Kelly said. “I've been at the team every day of the week and giving it everything I've got to make it happen. It's great to be able to give them a result.
“That one little race was probably as rewarding a result than I have had in a long while, probably only second to Bathurst with Skaifey.
“When I got back to the garage it was like I had just won Bathurst. Those guys have pumped out some crazy hours and been through a lot of bad stuff through the year to get to this point. There have been times when the guys have been reduced to tears trying to make this happen.
“To walk through the garage it was hard not to shed a tear after the year we have had. It's fantastic. I am absolutely wrapped for them.”
It was the first individual race win for the Jack Daniels team although they did have a round win with Steven Richards at Western Australia in 2006.