Gary Nixon: A Legendary Original
"So, which one of you is coming in second?"
Gary Nixon was born in 1941 in Oklahoma, and as a youngster became a promising baseball player. After getting whacked on the head by a teammate’s bat at 15, he decided to try the safer sport of motorcycle racing. And a legend was born.
Known for not letting injuries keep him off his bike, Nixon became renowned for his toughness in the late 1960s and early 1970s. At one point, he raced for three years with an 18-inch stainless steel rod holding his left leg together.
In 1967, he won the 100-mile race aboard a Triumph during the Daytona 200 weekend, and the next day, he took the 200-miler with an average speed of 98.227 mph. Triumph marked this achievement with the introduction of a new 500 twin for the street, aptly named the 500 Daytona.
His old friend Robert Glick said of Gary: “He was known to go to the starting gate before the start of a race and say, ‘So, which one of you is coming in second?’”
Although Nixon officially retired in 1979 with 150 Grand National finishes and 19 AMA National victories, he never truly hung up his #9 leathers, racing and winning well into his 50s.
To learn more about Nixon and his career, visit his bio page on the AMA website here.