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How DJR has fared in milestone rounds

DICK Johnson Racing could be in for a bumper weekend, based on its history of success in milestone ATCC/Supercars Championship rounds.

DJR is this weekend celebrating its 500th championship round start – making it the first team to do so.

In fact, DJR has not missed a round since its 1981 debut at Symmons Plains, where Johnson took victory.

With Johnson himself having also contested 29 rounds prior to DJR’s formation, Johnson/DJR has now had a presence at 529 of the 604 rounds in championship history (87.6 percent).

V8 Sleuth has trawled the archives to check in on how DJR fared at previous milestone occasions.

50th round: 1988 Symmons Plains

Dick Johnson at the head of the field at Symmons Plains in 1988. Pic: an1images.com / Graeme Neander

The Ford squad marked its half-century with a dominant performance from its pair of Shell Ultra-Hi Racing Sierra RS500s.

Johnson smashed the field in qualifying and converted pole position into victory while John Bowe secured the team’s first one-two, complete with a form finish.

100th round: 1992 Eastern Creek

Dick Johnson at the 1992 Eastern Creek round. Pic: an1images.com / Andrew Hall

There was plenty more reason to celebrate upon raising the ton in Sydney four years later.

Johnson put his #17 on pole but it was Bowe who starred in the races.

Bowe won both encounters while Johnson was crashed into by Larry Perkins early in the opening race, leaving him to come home 11th and 15th.

200th round: 2001 Pukekohe

Paul Radisich runs ahead of Steven Johnson. Pic: an1images.com / Graeme Neander

This was also the championship’s first ever points-paying race outside of Australia, and it was a less spectacular milestone affair for DJR and its AU Falcons.

Steven Johnson took finishes of ninth, sixth and sixth, while Paul Radisich was 17th, eighth and 19th in the #18 entry.

300th round: 2009 Townsville

James Courtney (middle) on the 2009 Townsville podium, joined by Garth Tander and Jamie Whincup. Pic: an1images.com / Justin Deeley

Round #300 was a tale of two halves for DJR.

Saturday was a disaster, front-row starter James Courtney retiring after five laps due to an engine issue, while Steven Johnson was just 13th.

That agony was quickly forgotten amid Sunday elation as Courtney took his first win for DJR, backed up by Johnson charging from 22nd to fifth.

400th round: 2016 Townsville

Scott Pye aboard the #17 entry at the 2016 Townsville round. Pic: an1images.com / Dirk Klynsmith

Coming during the earlier stages of the team’s Penske co-ownership era, the quadruple century was not one to write home about.

Fabian Coulthard was eighth on the Saturday, 10 places ahead of teammate Scott Pye.

The tables turned the following day, with Pye seventh and Coulthard 15th.

An addition DJR has made to its livery for this weekend’s Adelaide 500. Pic: Shell V-Power Racing Team
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