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Dixon tests his athletic skills
Indianapolis 500 motor race champion Scott Dixon tested his athletic skills against the results of some of the best in other professional sports during a visit to the Michael Johnson Performance Centre in McKinney this week.

New Zealander Dixon, a fitness enthusiast and triathlete, visited the centre's Nike SST Lab - one of two in the world - and took part in an abbreviated, 90-minute session of Sparq training, which stands for Speed, Power, Agility, Reaction and Quickness. It was the first visit to the sports lab for a race car driver.

"It was very interesting in there," said Dixon, who will compete on Saturday night in the IndyCar Series race at Texas Motor Speedway.

"It's definitely a big difference from what I normally do, and to get the side of analyzing things has been big.

"I think, most of the time, as has been said today, you're always working on endurance and not so much your technique, I think that it's good to see it from a different point of view."

After completing the tests in the lab, Dixon moved to exercises that tested his strength and mobility. After several warm-ups with Lance Walker, director of sports performance and training at the center, Dixon tried his hand at sprints and movements designed to enhance his upper body mobility.

"He is definitely an elite athlete," Walker said. "We found some holes where there are opportunities for him to become more efficient.

"But he picks up and learns things really quickly, and that's always a sign of a true athlete. I wish I could work with him on a regular basis."

Dixon said the experience was very worthwhile.

"I think this will definitely help my training away from racing and maybe for my triathlon and things like that," the 27-year-old Kiwi said. "I think, overall, if you can improve yourself in any area it's going to help you, with my racing, with anything."

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