Fast Father: Dixon says parenting 'best thing you can do in life'

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This NTT IndyCar Series offseason will be more special for Scott and Emma Davies Dixon, who await the arrival of their third child in December.

The wife of the five-time series champion shared the good news on Twitter in July with an ultrasound picture and the tweet, “Hello little one … I’m so in love with you already and we can’t wait to meet you in December.”

The couple shown above doesn’t know whether it will be a boy or girl. They already have two girls, Poppy (born in 2009) and Tilly (born in 2011). It sounds like the Dixons will wait to be surprised.

“We don’t know, man,” he said. “I guess we could find out. Odds would say it’s going to be a girl, but that’s fine, as long as it’s healthy.”

As much as Dixon is a celebrated champion for Chip Ganassi Racing with 46 career wins that rank third on the all-time list, the 39-year-old New Zealander relishes the role of being a father.

“I love it,” he said. “Having children is the best thing you can do in life. I’m very lucky and very fortunate to have the career that I have in a passion and the sport I get to do. But by all means, Poppy, Tilly and the third one on the way is the greatest achievement I’ve ever had.”

Poppy and Tilly Dixon with Tony Kanaan

(Tilly and Poppy are shown here in 2018 with their father's former teammate, Tony Kanaan.)

Dixon disagrees with the popular assertion that having children can slow a driver down or become a distraction. Quite the opposite, he’s that much more upbeat about life.

“I always told Chip (Ganassi) that I’ve got more mouths to feed so I’ve got to earn more prize money,” Dixon said with a smile.

One of the best parts about being a parent is when he has to separate himself from racing.

“For me, the biggest thing is being able to segment things and focus on racing, not get worn out or overthink situations,” he said. “If you have a great weekend, then you can kind of split away. And the best is when you have a bad weekend and you get home and you kind of just think about something totally different, taking the girls to dance lessons or school in the morning. It’s been amazing for me.”

He welcomes the reality that children demand his attention.

“Which is nice, and also to share the great situations,” he said. “Last year for me, to have them both on the podium for the championship, we hadn’t had that before. We had had that with Poppy previously. Those moments are moments that you will never forget. That’s what makes it even more special.”

Dixon concedes that his childhood in New Zealand differs dramatically from the world in which his children are raised in America.

“My childhood was at race tracks,” he said. “My dad owned a speedway that I went to all the time. I started go-karts at a young age. So growing up in America is totally different from New Zealand. I did love the freedom of being back home. Nobody wore shoes. It’s definitely a different environment to grow up in.

“My dad was stern, but also very loving. He was fairly laid back, but also got fairly revved up. We had quite a good balance. I was fairly quiet for the most part, but especially in a competitive environment, it really brought out of me that I could be quite aggressive whereas my dad tried to contain a lot of that. I’d have a bad race and throw a helmet. I’ll never forget when I threw my helmet and I sat out of karting for months because I acted that way. He wanted me to be a better person, but he was loving, too.”

Dixon is known as the “Iceman” for his icy, cool demeanor in a race car. He doesn’t rattle in pressure situations.

But perhaps his best adjustment in life is when he shifts away from racing. He credits his family for always reminding him of what’s most important.

“When you’re in an environment like this, it always kind of becomes your show, right?” he said. “The season takes over so much of the year, it’s about the testing, it’s about the racing, and once the racing is done it’s about testing again or commitments.

“Having kids kind of breaks you out of that cycle and it’s kind of nice. You do think more about them, you think more about the family, but it helps you too, so you think about other things and you don’t get sick of the sport.”

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