(This story originally appeared as exclusive content on the Verizon INDYCAR Mobile app.)
Scott and Emma Dixon appear to be the perfect couple. In many ways, they are.
“It’s a pretty perfect life,” Emma, wife of the five-time Verizon IndyCar Series champion, recently said. “I don’t think we have bad moments. We’re living the dream. Our kids are doing really well, and Scott does what he loves.
“I hope it lasts for as long as it can. We are incredibly lucky. We come from similar backgrounds, so everything else is such a blessing for us.”
The Dixons, married 10 years, provide a balance for each other. When Scott was at the beginning of his Indy car career in the early 2000s, he was a man of few words. Emma has always been energetic and bubbly, one of the most engaging and outgoing people in the INDYCAR paddock.
“I like people and Scott is shy,” Emma said. “He has given me confidence in areas where I lacked and a confidence to my personality, and I have brought a confidence and self-belief in him.
“We have a normal married life, but we also talk about the car and strategy and setup. When we go into a race weekend, I know where his head is at. We work as a team. We bring a really nice balance to each other’s personalities.”
It wasn’t always the case. When the two met, Emma Davies was a rising track and field star in England. Sparks didn’t exactly fly when they were introduced.
“It’s really bizarre,” Emma recalled. “Because we were both in the sports industry, our worlds ran in the same circles. We had mutual friends. I actually met him five years prior to dating him. I was dating a friend of his, a really nice friend we are both really good friends with.
“I actually said to the guy I was dating at the time, ‘Oh my God, (Scott’s) so shy and moody and quiet.’ That was five years before I started dating him. Then I met him again and thought, ‘Oh My God, he’s actually a really, really funny, smart guy. When you get to know Scott and he lets you in, he’s sweet, he’s generous. He’s an extremely generous person. He’s an extremely kind guy.”
That “guy” Emma was dating before Scott was another Indy car driver, Tomas Scheckter, the son of 1979 Formula One champion Jody Scheckter.
“I don’t hide the fact it was Tomas Scheckter,” Emma said. “Me and Tomas dated when we were very young. He is a great guy. He is a daddy now. He’s doing really, really well in England and a very good friend of Scott’s and a really good friend of mine. … Me and Tomas (dating) as youngsters, being good friends, led me to my destiny.
“I was 19 when I started dating Tomas and didn’t start dating Scott until 2006. He had already won a championship in 2003 and had some problems in 2004 and 2005. He wasn’t focused, and then I came in and said, ‘C’mon, bro, we have a short window to get this done.’ And then I got him refocused.”
At the time, Emma was a British and European champion in the 800 meters. She represented her nation in the World Track and Field Championships, Commonwealth Games, European Championships and competed in qualifications for the Olympic Games.
“The U.K. has a very strong track and field community,” she said. “We are a small country but do very well in track and field. To be at the top of my game for a country that bears well on the world stage was a big deal for me.”
Across the Atlantic, Dixon was a young star on the rise in the Verizon IndyCar Series, driving for Chip Ganassi Racing.
“When I met Scott, I was in a difficult time in my career,” Emma recalled. “I was the quickest in Europe and was sponsored by Puma, I had big agents and sponsors and managers. I was ready for the big time in my sport, but my dad had died, and I was in a dire position.
“Scott gave me an olive branch and said, ‘Come to America, take a couple of months off your sport, come and help me, we can train together.’ I left the U.K. and came to help Scott train. Then we fell in love. I saw a window of opportunity to help him fulfill his dreams.
“Our whole relationship has been built on family and love, but it has been built on our dreams. My dream is the same as his. It’s a championship, it’s an Indy 500. Our relationship is built on what I want him to do in INDYCAR as well.”
Scott and Emma were married Feb. 16, 2008. It was the start of a year unlike any other for them.
“It was an amazing year,” she said. “We got married, I got pregnant that year, we won the Indianapolis 500 and the INDYCAR title that year. We wrote our bucket list for the next 10 years.”
The Dixons are now the proud parents of two daughters, 9-year-old Poppy and 7-year-old Tilly. Scott has added three more Verizon IndyCar Series titles since the 2008 crown, including this year. His five championships rank second only to the legendary A.J. Foyt as the most in Indy car history.
But in Emma Dixon’s mind, it’s not the on-track accomplishments that make her husband special. It’s the man who puts others first in their time of need.
“That’s the guy that, when the going gets tough, is the guy that answers the phone at 4 a.m. and makes things happen when things aren’t going well,” she said. “There have been tough situations in INDYCAR and that’s when I see the real Scott come through for me. He leaves his emotions to the side and he gets stuff done. He is an incredibly good friend.
“That is the Scott that I go home with. The guy that is loyal, would do anything for anyone whether it is a volunteer at the track or someone in the sport. If something needs to be done, he would help in whatever way he could.
“That is the Scott Dixon that I know.”