Jamie Whincup believes the enormity of his record Supercars race win tally will only sink in when he decides to hang up his helmet.
The Triple Eight driver further etched his name into the record books by claiming the most race wins in Supercars/Australian Touring Car Championship history with a faultless drive to victory in Race 18 on Sunday.
Whincup scored a 106th career Supercars win to claim the milestone overtaking team-mate Craig Lowndes in the process.
The 34-year-old’s victories have all arrived with Triple Eight with his first in Race 2 of the 2006 Clipsal 500 on his debut for the Brisbane team.
He has since gone on to assume the all-time records for pole positions (71) and championships after recording his sixth in 2014.
Despite accruing an incredible collection of statistics over his Supercars career, Whincup has downplayed the milestone.
“The number doesn’t mean much, as I always say. It’s great to get another win today, wins this year for me have been few and far between, so it’s great to grab another one,” said Whincup, who achieved the milestone at the same venue that saw him score his 100th win.
“As I said, Lowndesy will be around for another 25 years I reckon, we won’t get too carried away about 106.
“The most poles will probably be taken away in another couple of months I guess so those numbers are happening (referring to Scott Mclaughlin’s recent qualifying prowess).
“They don’t mean a huge amount right now. I’m sure they’ll mean a lot once I hang the helmet up and move on to something else. But at the moment I’m still doing it, doing the best I can.
“I’m not out to tick boxes or stack up numbers or anything. I’m just out there to race hard, have a good time at the end of the day.
“When you get older and a bit wiser you realise that if you’re not having fun it’s not worth doing.
“Going out, having fun, love the racing more than ever. The battles that are going on this weekend are right up there with any battle I’ve had over the years, since I started karts when I was seven.
“As long as that continues we’re having a good time.”
Long-time engineer to Whincup and now Triple Eight team manager Mark Dutton has witnessed Whincup’s journey, hailing the milestone as a special achievement.
The win didn’t arrive without its challenges after a lock up at Turn 2 at the start of his final stint that allowed Shane van Gisbergen into the lead.
Van Gisbergen then moved aside with 10 laps to go to allow the faster Whincup to take the win.
“It is truly unbelievable. It is credit to himself and to Lowndesy to set the bar so high that is took someone like Jamie to sneak in front,” Dutton told Speedcafe.com.
“It is pretty special but there wasn’t any talk of it over the weekend at all as we are all just focussed on our job.
“It was business as usual in the end.
“It was a lot harder than it should have been as the Safety Car came out at the most inopportune time with Jamie having already pitted and put in nine to ten seconds of fuel.”