Johnson praises Story’s DJR contribution amid illness

Left to right: Ryan Story, Scott McLaughlin, and Dick Johnson

Dick Johnson has praised the contribution of Ryan Story to his Supercars team amid the latter’s ongoing health struggles.

While it is not widely spoken about, Johnson himself brought up Story’s illness battle on the KTM Summer Grill.

A raft of changes has swept through the Shell V-Power Racing Team since mid-2022 after it was announced the Ralph family would become majority shareholders of the Stapylton-based outfit.

Dick Johnson Racing, as it is better known, also recently welcomed former AFL coach David Noble as its new CEO.

He will take over the reins from Story who moved to the role of  non-executive Chairman of the team.

Story’s attendance at Repco Supercars Championship events were less frequent last season due to his health, however, Johnson alluded to that void being filled by Noble.

“David comes with an awful lot of experience of sport and teams and how to run teams,” Johnson said on the KTM Summer Grill.

“He’s settled in pretty well … it’s been rather difficult because Ryan has been rather ill and that really has played a big hand in the performance of the team.

“When people want questions answered and they can’t get answers to them because he’s not well and hasn’t been able to sort of be on hand most of the time.

“But that now will be rectified with David.”

Johnson reinforced that Story remains imperative to DJR moving forward, a point also made by new owner Brett Ralph.

“Don’t get me wrong, Ryan is not going anywhere,” added the eponymous team founder.

“He’s going to be there as much as he possibly can and I think he’s on the way up at this point in time and I think you will find that it will all be roses and all full steam ahead for [2023].”

Last year, the historic team became the first to notch up 1000 races in Supercars, doing so at the Bathurst 1000.

Johnson gave his assessment on DJR’s 2022 season, noting the distraction of Gen3, given the squad is the Ford homologation team.

“1000 races I suppose is a few,” he quipped.

“I don’t think anyone else comes relatively close to that at this point and they won’t catch us because we’re going to keep going.

“We could have done a lot of things better [in 2022]; I think the guys did a magnificent job with what they had to deal with because we were building the Gen3 car, which obviously took a little bit of focus off the main game.

“I think we probably made a number of little mistakes which I think we’ve rectified.

“I can assure you we won’t be seeing any mistakes again going forward.”

DJR will field Anton De Pasquale and Will Davison in a pair of Gen3 Ford Mustangs this year.

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