It's not often Jamie Whincup opens up on his personal life.
But the newly crowned Virgin Australia Supercars Champion did just that when he spoke at Monday night's Gala Awards in Sydney.
The Championship's greatest in terms of titles after winning his seventh in Sunday's action-packed Coates Hire Newcastle 500, the 34 year old spoke about the 'big calls' made late last year.
Whincup split from his long term partner not long before they were to get married.
“Massive, massive sacrifices had to be made,” he said.
“I would have loved to have walked through the door with a wife tonight, but the reality is it’s the silverware or that."
After losing to teammate Shane van Gisbergen last year, Whincup was determined to come back stronger - even if he didn't have the fastest car on the track as was the case this season.
"We’ve dug deep, had to stay off the alcohol, that was painful for a few months, but we got the job done.
“It was all or nothing. As I said, it’s probably pretty sad, but this sport means everything to me and this trophy means everything to me.”
Whincup also paid tribute to his Red Bull Holden Racing Team colleagues.
“It’s quite embarrassing that there’s one name on the trophy when it’s a massive team sport,” he said.
“We’ve won the engineering battle for many years and won through pure pace, but this year there were some cars that were equally as fast as ours, not faster but equally as good.
“We certainly had to dig deep and I feel like this one is very, very special because we won as team on the day.”
The icing on the cake was the Drivers' Driver Award which is voted on by fellow drivers based on their conduct in races.
“It’s obviously a massive deal. Clearly I haven’t punted too many people off this year,” he smiled.
“I do race hard. I’d like to think that I’m fair most of the time, but to be voted by the people out there shedding blood week in, week out, my peers, it’s great.”
As for his favourite race of the year?
It had to be Newcastle where he won his seventh Championship on the final lap of the final race.
“It wasn’t a nice position for me and Scotty [McLaughlin] on Sunday, but that battle is what you look back on and truly, truly love.”