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Tander takes Homebush race one pole

Holden Racing Team's Garth Tander took a dominant pole position for the inaugural race of the Telstra 500 on the streets of the Olympic precinct at Homebush.

After just making it through the first leg of qualifying in 20th, he turned it around in the second leg before a superb lap in the top-ten shootout in which he was half a second faster than anyone else.

Behind him it was an unbelievably close battle in the shootout, the next six cars covered by less than a tenth of a second. Alongside Tander on the front row will be Garry Rogers Motorsport's Lee Holdsworth.

Third on the grid will be championship leader Jamie Whincup, who after struggling for pace throughout the weekend made it into the top ten in ninth before going close to pole before Tander's final flyer. Alongside Whincup is the second Garry Rogers car of Michael Caruso.

Having recently announced his retirement from full-time driving, fifth for Cameron McConville was a surprise, just ahead of Greg Murphy, with Ford Performance Racing's Mark Winterbottom completing the group of cars within a tenth of Holdsworth.

Completing the top ten on the grid are James Courtney, David Reynolds who backed up a good first race at Barbagallo before the late tyre issue, and Paul Dumbrell who will be switching teams and marques for next season.

Just missing the top ten were a number of fancied runners, with 11th through 18th filled by Rick Kelly, Russell Ingall, Jason Bright, Todd Kelly, Shane van Gisbergen, Steven Johnson, Will Davison and Fabian Coulthard.

Davison's 17th position on the grid will make things difficult for him in the championship, as not only has it made his hopes of beating Whincup slim (he needs to win or finish second in this race with a Whincup DNF to have any hope) but his 128 point margin over team-mate Tander on pole is also likely to narrow significantly.

Tander's third place looks extremely secure with his only rival for the position, Team Vodafone's Craig Lowndes, having a disastrous session. Lowndes will start 21st and needs to make 222 points up with 300 remaining available.

Pos  Driver                Car                   Time
 1.  Garth Tander          Holden Commodore VE   1:29.8489
 2.  Lee Holdsworth        Holden Commodore VE   1:30.3376  + 0.4887
 3.  Jamie Whincup         Ford Falcon FG        1:30.3631  + 0.5142
 4.  Michael Caruso        Holden Commodore VE   1:30.3938  + 0.5449
 5.  Cameron McConville    Holden Commodore VE   1:30.4007  + 0.5518
 6.  Greg Murphy           Holden Commodore VE   1:30.4018  + 0.5529
 7.  Mark Winterbottom     Ford Falcon FG        1:30.4168  + 0.5679
 8.  James Courtney        Ford Falcon FG        1:30.5638  + 0.7149
 9.  David Reynolds        Holden Commodore VE   1:30.6887  + 0.8398
10.  Paul Dumbrell         Holden Commodore VE   1:30.8739  + 1.0250
11.  Rick Kelly            Holden Commodore VE   1:30.0583  + 0.2094
12.  Russell Ingall        Holden Commodore VE   1:30.1824  + 0.3335
13.  Jason Bright          Ford Falcon FG        1:30.1841  + 0.3352
14.  Todd Kelly            Holden Commodore VE   1:30.1967  + 0.3478
15.  Shane Van Gisbergen   Ford Falcon FG        1:30.2261  + 0.3772
16.  Steven Johnson        Ford Falcon FG        1:30.3236  + 0.4747
17.  Will Davison          Holden Commodore VE   1:30.5986  + 0.7497
18.  Fabian Coulthard      Ford Falcon FG        1:30.6254  + 0.7765
19.  Tim Slade             Holden Commodore VE   1:30.6369  + 0.7880
20.  Tony D'Alberto        Holden Commodore VE
21.  Craig Lowndes         Ford Falcon FG        1:30.7873  + 0.9384
22.  Steven Richards       Ford Falcon FG        1:31.1049  + 1.2560
23.  Alex Davison          Ford Falcon FG        1:31.1968  + 1.3479
24.  Jason Richards        Holden Commodore VE   1:31.2101  + 1.3612
25.  Michael Patrizi       Ford Falcon BF        1:31.2781  + 1.4292
26.  Jack Perkins          Holden Commodore VE   1:31.3646  + 1.5157
27.  Dean Fiore            Holden Commodore VE   1:31.9459  + 2.0970
28.  Mark McNally          Holden Commodore VE   1:32.6307  + 2.7818
29.  Jason Bargwanna       Holden Commodore VE
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Courtney wins season finale
Holdsworth claims race two pole
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Tander dominates Homebush race one