However, winning the Indy 500 – the sport’s most prestigious race – is every IndyCar driver’s dream. First ridden in 1911, it became a weekend tradition on Memorial Day. It is the largest one-day spectator event in the United States with around 350,000 fans on the 2.5-mile oval track. This year, the audience limit will be around 135,000 due to coronavirus concerns.
Dixon fondly remembers the memory of 2008 chugging milk among the winners as so many champions before him did. Then he got a call from New Zealand and offered him what he ecstatically considered to be “land for life”. Now he tells the story with a laugh. He heard wrong. The award was “Lamb for Life,” given by a New Zealand sheep farmers’ association, and it didn’t fit well considering that Davies-Dixon had persuaded her husband not to eat meat other than chicken.
Dixon finished second three times – including last year when he led 111 of the 200 laps. All of these races ended under a yellow warning flag, which meant Dixon couldn’t bother to overtake the leader.
“It’s so unfair,” Davies-Dixon said of those frustrating second places. She grabbed Dixon’s arm and leaned against him. “But this is your year, isn’t it? This is our year! “
Dixon smiled and said, “I really hope so.”
Dixon was in his mid-twenties and already a former IndyCar champion when he met Emma Davies in 2006. He’d lived a bachelor’s life, partied with friends, skipped main courses to go straight to dessert, and found taco bell or whatever to eat in his fridge and cupboard.
Davies’ eyebrows rose when she learned that Dixon could win without buttoning up every aspect of his life. She didn’t run as a runner at the time after her father, who was also her coach, died of cancer at the age of 47, took a break. Davies diverted her passion for competition to Dixon and fell in love with him while planning on supporting his career.
She improved his eating habits, had nuts, seeds and fruit ready so that it wasn’t just Swedish sugarfish or Twix chocolate bars when he blindly fetched something from the kitchen. She got rid of the red flesh; now its menu is mainly plant-based. She extolled the re-energizing power of napping. Every evening at a specific time, she tapped him with her watch to let him know when to go to bed.