By Matthew Agius

For a five-time Australian Touring Car Champion and Bathurst winner, success is like the lifeblood of a racer, however today's opening Indy 300 V8 Supercar support race has confirmed for Mark Skaife what many loyal fans have presumed for the latter half of the year ? that the legendary Holden Racing Team driver is out of luck.

Whilst his polesitting teammate Todd Kelly was cruising to a well deserved victory, the lead Holden Racing Team Commodore was forced to make another pitstop after a loose rear wheel nut came loose on track and resulted in an unscheduled return to the lane to have it tightened. Later in the race, Skaife's hopes of salvaging a reasonable result were dashed when he was handed a drive through penalty for short cutting the circuit at the turn seven chicane. He finished twenty-fifth.

?We made a few changes to the car from qualifying and it was actually a lot better in the race,? said Skaife.

?But the bad pit stop basically took us out of where we should have been, with would have been around seventh or eighth. But at least the car was a lot better and we'll make some more changes tonight and go attack again tomorrow.?

Todd Kelly was ecstatic with his run of good fortune in the #22 machine as he took victory after finishing second twice at Sandown and Bathurst with the Toll HSV Dealer Team.

?It's been a hell of a rough year this year. We've had a fair bit of place at a fair few places and a bit of bad luck and non finishes,? said Kelly.

?So it's good to be back up the top and give the guys something back after all the hard work they have been through, particularly after Bathurst. To see Rick hit the fence knocked the edge off the thrill of getting pole, but in the race the initial start with Garth was quite close.

?From there on I tried to look after the brakes and tyres as well as possible. We'd looked at the weather and it looked like it was going to hose down by the end of the race so we went for a setup leaning towards rain and it was a bit of a struggle at the end.?

The final two races for the weekend will take place on Sunday, with a race each before and after the Lexmark Indy 300 Champ Car race.