Chip Ganassi Racing's Scott Dixon will swap his fire-proof racing suit for a simple pair of exercise shorts later this month when he competes on the popular American Ninja Warrior TV show in Indianapolis, Indiana.
The NBC obstacle-course competition will visit the Circle City on April 29-30 to film its qualifier and city finals episodes, as well as give Dixon the chance to add one more accomplishment to his already stunning list of achievements. The New Zealand native has been involved with motor racing his entire life and has been winning in IndyCar since 2001. In fact, he's currently the series' winningest active driver, with 41 career victories to his name including one Indy 500 win and four IndyCar titles.
The 37-year-old racer will face some stiff competition in his quest to become an "IndyCar Ninja," but it would be a mistake to write him off simply because his daily workout typically doesn't involve parkour or other circus-like acts. In fact, Jim Leo, founder of PitFit Training, a high-performance training facility that works with some of the world's top racing drivers shared with The Drive Dixon's newly adjusted workout routine.
"We've implemented a lot of box-jumping and rock-climbing to his work out," said Leo. "Scott also focused on trimming up a bit in order to make the climbing sections a bit easier on him, as the lighter you are the easier it's on your hands and arms. We (Dixon and Leo) realized after looking at the videos and after the first day of training that hanging by a single arm from a rock wall is a lot easier if you weigh less. Not rocket science."
While Dixon will surely take his commitment with the hit TV show seriously, he's had to find a balance between training for American Ninja Warrior and for the 2018 IndyCar campaign, but most of all, make sure he doesn't suffer any injuries that could compromise his day job.
"It's a fine line because with anything he does, he wants to do his best and be well prepared, but I had to figure out a specific training plan for him that would avoid some of the most common injuries these 'Ninja' activities tend to involve," added Leo. "I had to do a lot of research and keep in mind Scott's priorities."
The new season of American Ninja Warrior premieres on May 30, just three days after the 102nd running of the Indianapolis 500. The Indianapolis episode featuring Dixon is currently scheduled to air on Monday, June 18.