Wives big part of IndyCar drivers Ed Carpenter, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Scott Dixon's success

Women balance aspirations with support of drivers

INDIANAPOLIS - Ed Carpenter, Ryan Hunter-Reay and Scott Dixon have had a lot of success on the track, but their wives are the driving forces behind their success.

When Carpenter won pole position for the Indianapolis 500 on Saturday, his wife Heather was by his side.

While the drivers are in the spotlight, their spouses -- Heather Carpenter, Beccy Hunter-Reay and Emma Dixon -- are hardly in the shadows.

Emma and her husband, the 2008 Indy 500 winner, have two daughters -- Tilly, almost 2, and Poppy, 4. Their Geist Reservoir home has a serene view, but it's a lot busier than it looks with the children, animals and Scott's hectic pace.

"I don't clean the house much in May. Normally, I'm a very good house cleaner. The month of May, everything goes out the window."

Emma, a native of Wales, is used to being on the move.

"I ran for Great Britain until I was 26, did the World Commonwealth Games," Emma said. "I try to get at least 30 miles in a week, still."

"(Indianapolis) grew on me really quickly, and the transition was easy, because I love the people," she said.

In May, Beccy and Ryan live in a motor home inside the Speedway oval, along with 4-month-old Ryden.

It's a long way from the couple's cozy south Florida home, but it's all about convenience for the big race.

Beccy is an off-road racer who formed All-American Girl Racing and comes from a family of drivers, including her mother.

"My mom pre-ran the Baja 500 when she was seven months pregnant with me," she said. "When (Ryan) starts talking about certain things, I get it, and when there's things going on in the industry, I get it."

Ed Carpenter's pole position celebration wouldn't have been complete without Heather and the couple's children -- Makenna, 5, Ryder, 3, and Cruz, 4 months.

The growing family expects to move into a new home in Indianapolis in June.

"I grew up in Anderson, and my parents are still there," Heather said. "Ed grew up here. This is where our family is. This is where we want to stay."

Heather is president of the Indy Family Foundation, which puts on the Festival on Main to raise money to support racing families in a crisis.

All three women touted the tightness of the racing community and of their bond.

"We all had our own careers and we all had our own dreams, but we all fell madly in love with somebody who couldn't leave their dreams, and we unselfishly chose to support them."
 

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