A family affair: The women behind IndyCar drivers

The twists and turns of the IndyCar season take drivers on a wild emotional ride

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The twists and turns of the IndyCar season take drivers on a wild emotional ride. The sweet taste of victory and the agony of defeat affect not only the driver, but their biggest supporters.

Meet Emma and Heather, the wives of drivers Scott Dixon and Ed Carpenter, respectively. Come the month of May, their husbands shift their focus to Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The same can be said for their spouses.

“For me, it’s really important that Scott can solely focus on the racing,” Emma Dixon said. “So it’s keeping him healthy, making sure everything is in order at home, whether it’s travel, looking after his eating habits, making sure he’s training, getting enough rest.”

Heather Carpenter plays a similar role. “I’m in charge of his scheduling, taking care of the home and making sure the kids are taken care of, and running all of the different appearances.”

“The thing about IndyCar is they have the most historical, prestigious, amazing event — the 500. It is so special, it’s like a championship in itself,” Emma said.

The joy of winning the Indy 500 goes beyond the driver. It’s a family affair.

“Excitement doesn’t even begin to describe our household right now!” Heather said. “The kids…you know, our 3-year-old just talks about wanting to pour milk on daddy’s head!”

Heather has even teamed up with Windsor jewelry to create a special line of bracelets and earrings for the 100th running.

With so much in common, the wives have a special bond with one another that gives them the ability to see beyond the competition between their husbands.

“They’re all so lovely. It’s such a rarity in sports, being such a competitive sport, that such a group of women could come together. Because of the risk factor, it is a very dangerous sport that somehow brings us closer together and we have a lot of respect for each other as well,” Emma said.

Heather knows first hand the dangers of the sport. Ed was involved in a violent crash during an Indy 500 practice round in 2015.

“I do feel like he’s safe out there. Now when you do have those crashes, your stomach drops, and you say an extra prayer. I think with what he does for a living, we’re forced to think about what could happen,” Heather said.

“You want your man to do really well, we all have that competitive edge,” Emma explained. “But at the same time, we’ve all got our fingers secretly crossed for safety.”

While they support one another, the wives want nothing more than to see their man kiss the bricks.

“Just to see the relief in their faces, their body language, it’s like winning the Olympics,” said Dixon. “You can finally say you’ve done it.”

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