Long-time rival Mark Winterbottom has applauded Whincup's aggressive pursuit of the victory, which eventually led to the Red Bull Holden running out of fuel on the final lap.
Whincup was heavily criticised by his own team post-race and issued a lengthy letter to fans on Wednesday telling his side of the story.
While surprised that Whincup had not made more effort to save fuel early in the final stint, Winterbottom praised the Holden driver for risking his title prospects in the pursuit of the race win.
“I'm surprised he didn't conserve fuel, before the (final) Safety Car more so than after,” said Winterbottom in an online Q&A.
“He had a massive chance to save fuel, so I'm surprised to be honest.
“But at the same time I respect the way that he went about it. It was pretty cool to see a guy that was that focussed on winning.
“If he'd have run out of fuel that's zero points, which is championship deciding stuff. He actually took it on, went for the win and fell short.
“It was pretty good to see him do the aggressive thing and try and win it.”
Winterbottom was on a similar strategy to Whincup but, having made his final pitstop two laps later, says he had no such problems making it to the end.
The FPR star was running second to Whincup when he was turned around by the second Red Bull Holden of Craig Lowndes and eventually came home sixth, one place behind Whincup..
That meant Whincup extended his lead in the championship to 297 points over Winterbottom with just three events and 900 points still remaining.
“It's going to be tough now but it's maximum attack, we've just got to get really aggressive,” said Winterbottom of his championship quest.
“We'll attack and see what happens but it's probably our fault, we lost too many points in the last couple of rounds.
“If we're good enough we'll fight back. It's nice to have speed again so hopefully that continues.”
Winterbottom pointed to the new 17 psi minimum tyre pressure rule as a possible contributing factor in the upswing.
“We made a few little improvements that hopefully carry on to the rest of the year,” he said.
“The car was really nice to drive. I think the tyre pressures may have helped our team and hurt other teams, but I think our car was the best it's been for quite some time.
“Hopefully it's not just track specific. We'll see when we get to the Gold Coast and then on to Phillip Island. I think we may have found a little bit.”
Winterbottom is one of many to flag the tyre pressures as a major issue ahead of the Castrol Edge Gold Coast 600, where the championship returns to the soft tyre.
While the hard tyre, as seen at Bathurst, has proven largely unresponsive to aggressively low starting pressures, teams have been known to experiment with pressurses as low as 9 psi in the soft tyre in order to improve its performance.
“The pressures definitely made a difference (at Bathurst), but when we get to the Gold Coast it's going to be a massive difference on the soft tyres,” he said.
“At Bathurst you got away with it a bit because of the track surface, but at the Gold Coast it's going to be absolutely horrible.
“It's going to play massive at the Gold Coast. You don't get any more tyres and they degrade twice as quick, so it's going to be ugly.
“But it's the same for everyone and hopefully there's ways that people aren't fudging the numbers. You'll get a big gain if you try and fudge the numbers.”