Well, I’m just a normal guy who loves to race! But my wife Emma would probably say I’m sometimes a pain in the butt and I don’t talk enough …
For many kids around the world, becoming an Indianapolis 500 winner seems like an unreachable dream – but for Kiwi race-car driver, Scott Dixon, it’s become a reality. Competing for Chip Ganassi Racing, he won the 92nd Indianapolis 500 in 2008, and has since won the INDYCAR championship three times!
Here in New Zealand, he’s been awarded NZ Sportsman of the Year twice, was appointed Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit, and won numerous other notable awards. In 2009 Scott was inducted into MotorSport New Zealand Wall of Fame.
He was born in Australia to Kiwis, Ron and Glenys Dixon, who owned a speedway track in Townsville and were dirt race-car drivers themselves. So there was no mistaking it – racing was in his blood!
Moving back to New Zealand as a child, Scott settled into Kiwi life and began racing karts as a seven-year-old. Growing up in Manurewa, South Auckland, he spent a lot of time at Pukekohe Raceway Park where he soon started racing in the Nissan Sentra series. In fact, he was the youngest racer ever, and needed to get special dispensation for a license to compete at age 13 – two years below the legal age for a road license!
Now living in America, he still considers himself a true-blue Kiwi, and says the three most important things in his life are his wife Emma, his kids Poppy and Tilly, and his extended family. If he could be remembered for anything it would be for being a great husband, an awesome dad, a loyal friend … and a fast Kiwi!
1. Your business card says you are Scott Dixon, but who are you really?
SCOTT: Well, I’m just a normal guy who loves to race! But my wife Emma would probably say I’m sometimes a pain in the butt and I don’t talk enough … (although she sometimes has verbal diarrhoea). The girls (Poppy and Tilly) have started to understand what I do, so that’s really exciting. They love telling anyone who will listen that I race cars.
2. Tell us about your greatest personal highlight and your greatest professional highlight.
SCOTT: Personally, it’s been getting married to Emma in 2008 and, later, having our two lovely girls.
Professionally, it would have to be winning the Indianapolis 500. I had the honour of being the first Kiwi to ever achieve this.
3. You’re lucky enough to have fantastic people around you. How do you fit an intense schedule such as yours into the hustle’n’bustle of family life?
SCOTT: It sure can be tough. The travel is probably the hardest part – and when you add two little ones into the mix it becomes insanely hard! But Emma is amazing. She holds the household together, which allows me to focus on my workload.
4. How has becoming a dad changed your racing life?
SCOTT: These days, there are more mouths to feed … therefore, I need to have better results and make more prize-money!
5. What’s one thing you’ve learnt in life so far that you’d like to pass on to the readers?
SCOTT: The importance of being nice to people. It goes a long way!
6. If you were the Prime Minster for a day, what would you do?
SCOTT: Lower taxes! But I don’t’ think I’d be a very good Prime Minister …
7. What would be your greatest challenge – and your recipe for confronting it?
SCOTT: That’s a hard question. I think it’s remaining competitive in my sport. And the best way to confront this is to continually try and better myself, make sure I keep an open mind, and remember that I have to be constantly learning.
8. Imagine you go back in time to talk to your 13-year-old self – what do you say?
SCOTT: Stop crashing your dad’s cars!
9. If you could be any car in the world, which make, model and colour would you choose?
SCOTT: Funnily enough, I’m not much of a car-guy – although I’m starting to appreciate classic cars. I’m pretty laidback, so maybe an SUV or a cruisey vehicle that can occasionally go off-road.
10. And lastly, if you could take a piece of New Zealand life back to America, what would it be?
SCOTT: Big Ben mince-and-cheese pies! Plus the beauty of New Zealand. I didn’t realise how amazing the country was when I was young and living there.
Issue 3 2014 Take 10 (434 KB)