INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The race world can be a roller coaster ride, which doesn’t lend itself to a typical family life.
24-Hour News 8 sat down with several wives of IndyCar drivers to get their perspective on a variety of topics around the race world. Ed Carpenter’s wife, Heather, Scott Dixon’s wife, Emma, and Alex Tagliani’s wife, Bronte, all shared stories of their lives.
In each case, their love story started with a race connection.
“We have two different versions,” said Heather of her and Ed’s meeting. “I was actually an employee at the speedway. I gave him his physical, so you can take that whatever way. He has one version. I have another.”
Bronte and Alex met at a race in her native Australia.
“I was there for a — it’s essentially a glorified bikini contest — but it’s called the Miss Indy,” said Bronte. “Alex actually invited me to go on a date while he was sitting in his car before the start of the race. He had one of his crew guys over the radio ask me to go on a date the next day, and of course I had to say yes. I didn’t want him to crash on the start or whatever.”
Emma and Scott met in London through a mutual friend who worked in racing.
“He’s like, ‘My mate Scott’s in town, he’s had room service for the past few nights, which is a crime in London, can he come out?’” said Emma. “And me and my girlfriends were going out for dinner that night, and I was like, ‘Sure.’ He turned up with a little bit of red wine — Dutch courage — but by the end of the evening we just really clicked.”
In each case, the romance moved quickly and the ladies joined them on the circuit, giving up their careers in favor of their husbands’.
“It was hard,” said Emma, who was a a former Welsh and British 800m track champion. “Even now, there’s four days, I’ll be like ‘Ahhh I gave up everything for you,’ but I’ve had so many amazing opportunities, and I love supporting Scott.”
As kids came along, things got even more challenging.
“I am a travelling circus,” said Emma, who has two young daughters. “I won’t lie. It’s so hard. it’s tough. It’s a lot of work.”
Heather said they try to keep things educational for the children.
“I’ve been to every children’s museum possible,” she said. “If there’s a beach, we don’t have beaches here obviously, we’ve been to the space museum in Alabama.”