Fourth in a series looking at the IZOD IndyCar Series championship season of Scott Dixon through various eyes. Today, wife Emma Dixon talks about how he's changed over the years.
After Scott Dixon clinched his second IndyCar Series title in September 2008, his wife of seven months was credited, in part, with bringing the quiet Kiwi out of his shell. A demure Emma Dixon noted that it just took a while for the 28-year-old to unearth his public persona.
After wrapping up his third series title in October, the driver was downright effusive in the post-race celebration and subsequent media obligations with his wife by his side.
There has been a metamorphosis of sorts, she concedes, that dovetails with family.
“I think away from the track he’s changed a lot, but I feel when he gets to the track he’s no different (from 2008),” Emma Dixon said of her husband’s passion. “He’s very focused; he goes very quiet during the weekends. But when he comes home he’s able to relax a lot more.”
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The Indianapolis residents are the parents of two young girls.
“Between races he used to get a bit uptight getting ready for the next weekend but now he comes home and messes with the kids and we try to take them out and enjoy those couple of days before he packs up and drives off again,” she continued. “He’s an amazing father and I think he enjoys that as much as being at the track. I do think it is a stress relief for him.
“He’s able to break away when things aren’t great at the track. He can put it at the back of his mind until the next weekend.”
Emma Dixon, a former Welsh and British middle-distance running champion, has a perspective among wives of professional athletes that goes well beyond a hug and making pancakes on race mornings. The mental rollercoaster is prevalent in motorsports, especially with the depth of competition in the IndyCar Series.
Dixon was seventh in the championship standings through 10 events in early July before making a charge with four victories in the final nine races to secure the title in the final race.
“With my background, it’s the same routine as we’ve always done,” she said. “I know he has good and bad days and I can respect those and know when to give him space and be there for him. And when he’s tired I can be there and say, ‘This isn’t an easy ride, this is when you have to dig deep.’ If it’s worth going after, you have to know put in the work. That’s one thing I can bring to him.
“That’s the one thing I find and get to see at Ganassi first-hand is it’s such a family and they are there for each other and I think that’s why it works.”