Indy 500 Live: The Indianapolis 500 returns to its rightful place on the calendar the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend after the 2020 race was moved to August because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
And the fans will be back for “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing” at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, though not a full capacity.
Penske Entertainment Corp. and Marion County (Indiana) public health officials determined this year’s race would have 40% capacity, so up to 135,000 fans can attend. While it stands to be far smaller than pre-pandemic attendance IMS usually holds 300,000 people on race day Sunday will still be the largest gathering of people at a sporting event since the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak.
Long before Scott Dixon became one of the most successful racecar drivers in history, winning six IndyCar Series championships and 51 races in a span of nearly two decades, he relied on his natural talent to get ahead.
Turbocharged reaction time. Willingness to drive on the itty-bitty edge that separates maintaining control from losing it. An instinct for how to adjust a car to make it go faster and for using a chess master’s mind to predict how a race will unfold.
And, of course, fearlessness even at speeds around 240 miles per hour, which can make a car so ornery that a driver needs to wrestle the steering wheel to tame it. Even after losing close friends to crashes and serving as one of their pallbearers.
Ask around the sport these days, though, and many people will explain that Dixon, 40, is within a win of tying Mario Andretti for the second-most American open-wheel car victories because he is a hard-working star with a secret weapon.
That would be Emma Davies-Dixon, his wife. Davies-Dixon, 42, was a standout middle-distance runner who competed internationally for Britain. She knows what it takes to win.
I’m convinced more than ever that his greatest asset is Emma,” said Chip Ganassi, owner of the team Dixon has been with for 20 years. “I didn’t put anything down for that 10 years ago, but now I realize just how important it is. She’s even more competitive than he is and has a complete understanding of what a championship racecar driver needs.