Going Above And Beyond

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One of the main comments that I read here and elsewhere is that fans don’t like Scott Dixon because they find him boring. Please excuse what will certainly come across as a sexist comment, but I’ll submit that anyone who can get, and keep, a wife like Emma Davies Dixon cannot possibly be boring.

I’m not quite sure what people want out of the guy. He’s not a loose cannon that flashes double-birds at race officials, but he is no milquetoast driver afraid of a camera and a microphone. Perhaps one reason I like him is that he is very even-keeled; a trait that I try to emulate myself – not only here, but in my day-to-day living.

One of the most legendary drivers in IndyCar history was Al Unser. If you think that Dixon is dull, you should have seen some of the post-race interviews that Big Al delivered. They were yawn-inducing. There are stories about how reporters would cringe when Unser won a race, because they knew they were about to be treated to the dullest interview possible.

But today, I’m not arguing the dullness of Scott Dixon. Dull is in the eye of the beholder. For every example I could offer up to prove that Dixon is not boring, someone would throw out one indicating his dullness.

But venture off of the track, and there is no argument as to what kind of person Scott Dixon is – or the entire Dixon family, for that matter.

Scott Dixon does not seek the spotlight. That seems to contradict someone who has just won his fourth IndyCar championship to go along with his Indianapolis 500 victory. Most people would associate those accomplishments with someone who liked to pound their chest in a “look at me” fashion.

But Dixon doesn’t really care if anyone looks at him. That’s why more than a month went by after Justin Wilson’s fatality, before any of us knew that Dixon stayed at Wilson’s bedside for practically twenty-four hours until Julia Wilson could travel to Pennsylvania. Curt Cavin relayed that story on Trackside the other night.

It wasn’t like Dixon had nothing to do that night. In just a few days, he would have to be across the country in Sonoma to prepare to win a championship. But knowing what I know about Dixon, it was probably about a two-second decision; whether to leave the hospital and go about his business or to stay. He stayed because it was the right thing to do.

Dixon didn’t send out tweets praising himself for this. He did it because someone had to do it and he was the one that did it – regardless of the pending championship. Had it not been for Curt Cavin relaying this bit of information to us, we never would have known. And that would probably suit Scott Dixon just fine.

Keep in mind, it was the Scott Dixon that moved his entire family to St. Petersburg right after the death of fellow driver and former teammate Dan Wheldon – just so he and Emma could be near Susie Wheldon, as she acclimated herself to a new life without her husband and her children’s father.

This is what is known as going above and beyond what is expected. Perhaps it’s that same mentality that has earned Dixon four championships and placed him among the elite drivers in the history of the sport – doing much more than is expected.

If Scott Dixon never wins another race, he’ll have my admiration forever. When he finally hangs up his helmet, I suspect that he’ll have a couple of more championships to his credit and at least one more Indianapolis 500 win. But when his career is over, do you know what the first thing I will think of when I hear the name Scott Dixon? It won’t be the championships, the “500” victories or the multiple race wins. It won’t be that some considered him boring. It’ll be that he stepped up when his friends needed him.

I don’t have the accolades that Scott Dixon does, nor the fame or the lifestyle. What’s more, I never will. But when I die, if someone can say about me what I just said about Dixon stepping up for his friends – I will have died a fulfilled man.

We should all be as boring as Scott Dixon.

George Phillips

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31 Responses to “Going Above And Beyond”

  1. We need all the Scott Dixons both on and off the track that we can get.
    Scott Dixon is anything but boring…

  2. Br!an McKay Says:

    Oh, I’m not the first to vote and comment (4:27 Central).
    All I’ll say is that not every champion should be a chest-thumper, a loudmouth, a clown, a boor, a whinybags … I’m glad that Dixon isn’t like a K. Busch or Intimidator or M. Waltrip or L. Hamilton.

  3. Doug Gardner Says:

    He is boring when compared to the WWE driver personalities we get elsewhere. Hut, he is not a boorish fool and a real good friend, man, husband, father etc…Not to mention he is closing in on the real greats in Indycar in terms of wins. Class Act.

  4. He is a bit dull to me but he is as good as the come in and out of the car! I guess though, I will take that over anyone in NASCAR, “tough guys” like Denny Hamlin and Kasey Kahne who look like they haven’t started shaving yet! I will also take him over Kanaan or Helio who smile for the camera but that is about it, they seem fake. Dixon is boring and real, so be it.

  5. Maybe people are affected this way by SD because he is one of those human beings that does everything well. I mean look at the guy. He is multi talented: he carries himself well, he speaks well, he gives very intelligent answers to the media, he smiles, he does not pull a Tony Stewart or a Will Power (all though I really like Will Power) when he gets really pissed off, he has a sense of humor, he is soft spoken but when he speaks, people listen to him, he is an athlete, has a beautiful wife and kids and one hell of a fast race car driver. On top of the he has a cool New Zealander accent. Would you want his life? Ummm….. sign me up. Can you think of one negative attribute of Scott Dixon? I can’t.

    • Above all of that, like George mentioned, what Scott Dixon does for his friends and others launches him into the stratosphere. I wish I had a friend like that.

  6. Dixon is one of the nice guys. I’ve always found him personable and open and he has a great sense of humor. As impressed and moved as we are by Scott’s actions after Justin’s accident, very few people will be shocked by it. That says a lot all by itself.

  7. Sounds like a true friend to his friends. And no doubt he is one of the best race drivers out there. And I have never quite understood the “boring” comments.

    I just wish he didn’t drive for Ganassi.

  8. DZ-groundedeffects Says:

    Dixon isn’t a guy who will garner you extra TV ratings or “buzz” or whatever the metric du jour may be. That’s fine with me. I appreciate him exactly the way he is and in my (perhaps old-school) view, represents exactly what a Champion really is.

  9. Amen to that! Spot on George. IndyCar ain’t the traveling Trump show or Entertainment Tonight. One who would judge a race driver by how entertaining his or her interviews are might be suspected of being a bit shallow.

  10. What drew me to Scott Dixon when I started watching IndyCar again when we reunified was we were similar in age, at similar stages in life, and what George described as an “even-keeled” demeanor that I look for in any athlete I choose to pull for. He will be the last of the (new) old guard that has been so valuable to IndyCar in their recent dark times. I hope the new guard is paying attention.

  11. About as original as a Hollywood remake, George. The same points were made by us last year in “Scott Dixon: IndyCar’s Tom Hanks” http://indyracereviewer.com/2014/11/27/scott-dixon-indycars-tom-hanks/ At least you’re reading, though. As the saying goes, “Imitation is the highest form of flattery.”

    • Sorry, but I didn’t read it. My thoughts are my own. – GP

    • I read yours and they are not a thing a like. However, disparaging another blog to publicize yours is cheap.

      • Couldn’t agree with you more, Jeb. Our piece is witty, imaginative and funny – all things GP’s isn’t. And it is cheap publicity – worked like a charm with you, didn’t it? Thanks for reading and check back Monday for a very special IRR surprise.

        • Actually, I found your post to have no special quality and by the third paragraph it had become monotonous. With that, I won’t be back. Comparisons with Tom Hanks have become an everyday activity and reveal a regurgitation instead of imagination.

          At least you admit trolling for readers. That may not be imaginative and witty, but it is humorous.

          • If there’s one thing you might be able to comprehend Jethro, it’s trolling. Sadly, you’re not even successful at that. Keep reading this site – it suits your utter humorlessness well. Meanwhile, big things are coming at indyracereviewer.com starting Monday. Thanks for reading.

          • Childish name calling?! My opinion seems to have hit a chord and hurt your feelings. Obviously you can’t play in the big leagues. Keep trolling.

    • Having never heard of IndyRaceReviewer I decided to take a look. I found most of the stuff there to be sophomoric at best. Little wonder I had never heard of it.

      • Thanks for the praise, Ford. Coming from the comments section on a grade school level site, sophomoric is high praise in deed! Obviously what you’ve never heard of when it comes to racing could fill up an entire bank of supercomputers. You’ve the sense of humor of an Edsel and the tastes of test dummy. Thanks for reading and remember to check back Monday for a surprise.

    • Sherman Nelson Says:

      I paid this site a visit, too. There was no substance and I have found shampoo bottles with more creative wit.

  12. Scott Dixon is the best example in sports that I can think of as a person who sets the standard for how all of us should try to live.

  13. billytheskink Says:

    Al Unser’s interviews were so boring they came back around to being funny. His “Well I don’t know” verbal tic was the stuff of racing media legend. I used to make fun of Michael Andretti for giving most of his interviews as if someone was holding him at gunpoint, Dixon is much, much better than that.

    Dixon is not a thrilling interview, but he is a pleasant and fairly engaging one. He also seems plenty willing to share his honest opinion in an interview, he just does it a several steps down from Morton Downey Jr. level.
    He and his success are not detriments to Indycar, and I give all the kudos for being an excellent driver and a quality individual.

    A driver who is a great interview, however, is a definite positive for the sport, and drivers who give good interviews do help win fans. It is definitely a part of the appeal of guys like Josef Newgarden and James Hinchcliffe. Going further back, it was also a part of the appeal of a guy like Eddie Sachs.

    An example: On Youtube you can find an old ESPN2 rebroadcast of the 1966 Wide World of Sports broadcast of the Langhorne race, watching it I was struck by the difference in interviews between two of the guys who ran front-engine cars in that race. Smiling and engaging, popular Jim Hurtubise mockingly takes Chris Economaki to task for calling his new car an “old roadster”. Don Branson, on the other hand, gives a somewhat stilted interview of simple answers punctuated by a lot of “uhs”. Branson was a bit more successful as a driver than Herk, but, as I understand, was not nearly as popular. This is not to slight Branson, but to illustrate that the personality that Herk displayed in interviews added to his appeal. Sadly, we lost the talented Branson later in 1966 to a sprint car accident.

  14. I actually thought Dixon and Franchitti made for a great “Two Peas In A Pod” pair when Dario was still racing. They were both laid back, not prone to overt displays in public, always had a ready smile for fans, kept even keels when things were going pear shaped… that was great. Sure, they didn’t have the fire and sparkle that too many people demand of public figures. It’s actually led me to lament that in nearly everything – sports, government, business, non-sports entertainment, etc. – people spend too much time looking for the flash and not enough appreciating the steady, workmanlike but unspectacular talent. It’s almost like we’d rather have our public figures look good instead of actually perform well. And it’s terribly disappointing.

    I hope his publicist reads this and tells Scott this sentiment: The world needs more Scott Dixons in all fields. Even outside of racing. The world would be a better place like that.

  15. Dixon is a class act. I had heard about both his support of Suzie Wheldon and the boys in 2011 and the fact that he stayed with Justin in the hospital until his wife could get there. Maybe from Racer.com or Robin on NBCSN. I agree with all of you that we need more solid people like Scott in this world.

  16. I never have seen Dixon as boring. He is fast and tough on the track and his interviews are to the point. He is great with the fans and I can’t think of a better representative of the series. Also, he is as tough as nails.

  17. All I’ll say is NASCAR is hurt by the retirement of Tony Stewart and Jeff Gordon, but if Dixon retired tomorrow Indycar would be better off then it is today. Just like Indycar would have been better off if Rahal had won the title. 1 car Rahal winning the Indycar title in 2015 would have been the coolest title win I’ve personally seen in any form of racing.

    • You often make good comments here and I appreciate your interest in the sport. However, to say that “if Dixon retired tomorrow Indycar would be better off then it is today” is a bit over the top to put it mildly.

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