Scott Dixon’s ‘we’ team

Marlborough Express - - FRONT PAGE -

race fans won­der­ing whether the pop­u­lar New Zealand driver had be­come the next.

Re­mark­ably, Dixon not only walked away from the wreck but did so with a smile and shrug, fin­ish­ing sec­ond the fol­low­ing week in Detroit and win­ning a few weeks later at Road Amer­ica in Wis­con­sin.

Tag­ging along for the en­tire ride was a film crew from Univer­sal Pic­tures.

Dixon had granted un­fet­tered ac­cess to his pur­suit of a fifth Indycar Se­ries ti­tle, be­gin­ning with his prepa­ra­tions for the sea­son and end­ing long after his third-place fin­ish in the stand­ings. The re­sult, Born Racer, is sched­uled to be re­leased later this year.

‘‘Ob­vi­ously we’re at a point in my ca­reer where we’ve achieved a lot. The team has, too,’’ said Dixon, who has had the pole three times for the Indy 500 and won from there in 2008.

‘‘It was just re­ally try­ing to find the right fit, mak­ing sure the essence of what they were cap­tur­ing was good.’’

The film, di­rected by Bryn Evans and pro­duced by Matthew Met­calfe and Fraser Brown, pro­vides view­ers with an inside look at an Indycar team. It wades into some con­tro­versy, the pres­sure and the eu­phoric highs that driv­ers ex­pe­ri­ence on a week-to-week ba­sis.

It also pro­vides an in­ti­mate look at Dixon away from the track, where his wife Emma and their two daugh­ters, Poppy and Tilly, are firmly planted at the cen­ter of his uni­verse.

‘‘I think I can speak for all the wives, fi­ances, girl­friends, other halfs, but when I speak of Scott’s wins, I al­ways say ‘we.’ It’s re­ally bad. I catch my­self say­ing it some­times,’’ Emma said. ‘‘The team, Chip, Scott, Mike, ev­ery­body be­hind the team has done very hard work.

‘‘I don’t know,’’ she said, ‘‘when he’s up on the top of the podium, I’m feel­ing that win, too. Not just be­cause I love my hus­band and I’m proud of him, but it re­ally does feel like a win for us.’’

Of course, that also means the fam­ily had to en­dure his star­tling wreck last sea­son. But they know per­haps bet­ter than any­one that rac­ing is in Dixon’s blood, and that there is lit­tle they could say to make him walk away. He’ll put fam­ily first but rac­ing is a close sec­ond.

‘‘The girls ac­tu­ally, they love what daddy does. Sport is a small win­dow. We’re never like, ‘Man, he’s not com­ing home.’ It’s not a thing for us in our fam­ily,’’ Emma Dixon said. ‘‘Some­times he’ll go to an ap­pear­ance, I’m like, ‘Go straight to the test. It makes no sense to come home.’ I don’t want Scott fa­tigued at the test. I want him do­ing his best job.

‘‘When Scott is at home, he’s very present. That’s what he does so well, same as at the track. That’s all he cares for.’’

Dixon has spent al­most his en­tire ca­reer with Chip Ganassi Rac­ing, join­ing the team in the old days of CART and help­ing to el­e­vate it to in­cred­i­ble heights. He has weath­ered the ups and downs of the sport, en­joyed the tri­umphs and shrugged off the wrecks, all with the most even of dis­po­si­tions.

That’s another rea­son why no­body was sur­prised that, after his crash last year at Indy, he was ready to hop back in the car the mo­ment he walked out of the in­field care cen­ter.

‘‘I think Scott rep­re­sents who we were, who we are and who we will be,’’ said Mike Hull, the team’s man­ag­ing di­rec­tor.

‘‘He wants to make him­self bet­ter be­cause he knows that makes the team bet­ter. He pushes re­ally, re­ally hard. He rep­re­sents the lin­eage we’ve had over the years of cham­pion race driv­ers.’’

AP

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.