Craig Lowndes
Craig Lowndes David Nielsen

Lowndes secures victory in second race at Hidden Valley

RED Bull Racing's Craig Lowndes continued his dominance at Hidden Valley, winning a thrilling second race at the Darwin track yesterday.

The Holden star held out Pepsi Max Crew FPR Ford driver Mark Winterbottom by just 0.117 seconds, to record his sixth win at the Northern Territory venue.

This allowed Lowndes (pictured) to close the series gap on leader and teammate Jamie Whincup to 159 points.

The Bottle-O Racing team and Ford driver David Reynolds claimed third, after starting from pole.

The race will be remembered for a spectacular eight-car crash on the first lap, forcing a restart, a push on Jason Bright starting the chain reaction.

Whincup was penalised 50 points for a pit-stop wheel spin, dropping him to 19th place.

Earlier, Pepsi Max Crew FPR Ford driver Mark Winterbottom cruised to a six-second win in the first race, in 42m28.7456s, over 35 laps.

It was the Sydney man's first win since notching up his 20th win at Phillip Island last year.

Winterbottom passed pole-holder James Courtney on the seventh lap and was not headed from there.

Lowndes finished third, a commendable effort after starting from sixth place.