Jamie Whincup says he’ll look back on his 500th start in the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship with pride in years to come.
The Red Bull Holden Racing Team driver will make his 499th and 500th starts across Race 7 and Race 8 of the season at Sydney Motorsport Park come June 27-28.
The 37-year-old currently lies second in the standings, 27 points adrift of championship leader Scott McLaughlin of the Shell V-Power Racing Team.
Speaking with Speedcafe.com, Whincup said he won’t get caught up in the moment of the major milestone.
“I don’t chase numbers so to speak, I’m not there saying ‘gee, I really hope I can get to 500’, those numbers just happen in the background,” said Whincup.
“As I always say, I’m sure those numbers I’ll massively respect at the end of my career. Right now, I’m in the heat of the battle.
“But was does it mean? It means I’ve had a fantastic career in the highest level of Australian motorsport, so it’s something to be really proud of.”
Whincup was set to notch up the historic moment at the ill-fated Melbourne 400, which was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Gold Coast-based driver had scored pole position for his 500th race but was unable to take to the grid with the Australian Grand Prix called off after just one day of on-track running.
While there won’t be any crowds at Sydney Motorsport Park, Whincup is anticipating a significant television audience to see him and the Supercars field racing again.
When the season resumes, it will have been three months since they were last on track.
“For sure, there would have been a big crowd at the Grand Prix, but I don’t underestimate how keen everyone is keen to see race cars go around,” said Whincup.
“I think there’ll be millions of people tuned in to watch the race next weekend. I think from a telecast point of view it’s going to be massive.”
And what of his celebrations? For the seven-time Supercars champion, his focus is firmly on getting back in the car without distractions.
“We bottle it up until the end of the year and then reflect on what the year was all about,” he said.
“No doubt, me racking up 500 will be part of that celebration come the end of the season.
“Once we get going again it’s going to be flat stick.”
The Virgin Australia Supercars Championship resumes with the BP Ultimate Sydney SuperSprint on June 27-28.
Three 33-lap races will take place with one on Saturday and two on Sunday.