Some intriguing season statistics tell the story of the closest Supercars Championship in memory as Jamie Whincup edged Kiwi Scott McLaughlin courtesy of a steward's decision as the chequered flag flew in the final race.
A total of 21 points separated the two drivers after McLaughlin was handed a post-race penalty for contact with Craig Lowndes on the final lap in Newcastle.
It is staggering to think that after more than 6,000km over 26 races of hard racing that the championship came down to a fight over one place on the last lap of the season.
McLaughlin's numbers look impressive at first glance and you can't help but feel that he was the dominant driver all season. He secured 16 pole positions from a possible 26, won eight times and set the fastest lap of the race on seven occasions.
Compare that outright speed with Whincup's consistency however and you can start to see why the championship was so close. The Red Bull Holden Racing star was only driver to not record a DNF throughout the season. The seven-time champion only qualified outside the top 10 on one single occasion – at Bathurst – and he took his career wins tally to 108 and two clear of the next best in Lowndes.
Kiwis won 18 of the 26 races in the most dominant season by our drivers. Shane van Gisbergen won five times, Fabian Coulthard four and Richie Stanaway once, joining McLaughlin's eight wins.
McLaughlin and van Gisbergen combined to show the Kiwi dominance and how close the championship is when they were separated by just 0.0001s in qualifying for the opening race of the season in Adelaide. Reigning champ van Gisbergen edged McLaughlin and went on to win both races in Adelaide but made too many mistakes from that point on to really defend his title.
Ford edged Holden in 2017 – taking 16 race wins as well as the team's championship courtesy of Shell V-Power Racing. Whincup's drivers' title at least gave Holden fans something to cheer about however.
The 2018 season promises to be just as exciting. McLaughlin will be fiercely determined to bounce back strongly and win what he went so close to securing this year. Teammate Coulthard will hope to improve on his third-place finish in this year's championship while van Gisbergen will take some beating as always.
Those guys will be joined by two other Kiwis on the fulltime grid with Stanaway getting a start with Prodrive Racing while Andre Heimgartner gets an opportunity with Nissan Motorsport.
The series will add two additional rounds next year as well with the Australian Grand Prix event in Melbourne becoming a point-scoring round while Bend Motorsport Park - a new track in rural South Australia – joins the championship as well.