that over the years, you push to a certain
point and sometimes you push too hard,
so the secret is to learn that limit. Accept
fifth place instead of trying for fourth and
crashing. It’s tough to teach an old dog a
new trick. I finally started left-foot braking
and it’s helped. But I am calmer.
“Ice Man” is a moniker you’ve had forever.
Has your disposition been an asset?
SD From a young age you’re in situations
and you learn how to work through them,
so if things aren’t going right, you don’t
panic, you figure it out. As long as I give
100 percent, I’m happy. I ran my ass off at
Milwaukee just to finish sixth, but I felt good.
Has fatherhood factored into the way you
each approach your profession?
HC Put it this way: before, I was on my
own and didn’t worry about anybody else.
Now, having a kid is awesome, it gives me
stability and balance in life. I learned that
from Gil [de Ferran]. I appreciate things
more than I did 10 years ago.
Circumstances change and today fifth
place can be a good result; it’s all about
the timeline of your life. I feel as confident
as I ever have, but I’m probably driving
smarter than in the past. I push when I
have to, like in Toronto – although Scott
pushed even harder! Yet I’d say it’s not
about my lifestyle, but about balancing life.
SD You learn to appreciate things in life at
different stages. Some things that once
pissed you off are no longer relevant.
There is nothing better after a bad
weekend than seeing your little girls and
they ask if Daddy got a trophy. You tell
them, no, not this week, and they say,
“That’s OK, you’ll get one next time.”
I know there’s a stigma that if you have
kids, you slow down as a racer, but hey,
I figure I’ve got more mouths to feed
so I gotta make more money!
You two battled for the championship in
2003 and ’08: Any special memories?
HC Well, I hope the result will be different
this time. I remember that last race in ’08
when we battled each other to the finish.
At first, they gave the victory to Scott and
then found out that I’d won. But I think I
lost the title by 17 points.
INDYCAR TITLE RIVALS AGAIN
TOP LEFT) Dixon took
two wins in Toronto,
concluding a run of
three straight victories
for the Kiwi; Ganassi
Racing now has its cars
handling at road/street
courses; Scott finds
happiness in family life,
whatever the highs or
lows out on the track;
Ricky Davis, his
longtime crew chief.
Helio came to America via the UK
(he finished third in the 1995 British
F3 championship); New Zealander
Scott arrived from Australia, and
started his Indy Lights career racing
for Stefan Johansson, who remains
his manager to this day.
Helio’s third year
in Indy cars,
2000, was his
first at Penske.
He won in his
seventh race for
fittingly in Detroit.
That same year,
Scott took the
Indy Lights title
for Pac West, with
whom he made
his Indy car debut.
He won his fourth
ever CART race.