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Racing Legend Gary Nixon Passes Away

Friday, August 5, 2011
Gary Nixon
Gary Nixon and Steve Rapp
It is with great sadness that we bring news of the passing of Motorcycle Hall of Famer Gary Nixon. Nixon died today at the age of 70 in Baltimore Maryland due to complications from a recent heart attack. His accomplishments included back-to-back AMA Grand National titles in 1967 and 1968 and the U.S. National Road Racing Championship on a Kawasaki in 1973. He also competed in the Formula 750 championship, where he was denied the championship due to a point deduction and the ensuing politics. He was inducted into the Motorcycle Hall of Fame in 1998 and the Motorsports Hall of Fame in 2003.
I personally had the pleasure of hanging out with Gary during my time at Kawasaki, and he was always the joker and forever a 20-year old. I have more than a few tales that can’t be told in mixed company, but they would put you to tears with laughter if you were there at the time. Even when he was in his mid-sixties, he was showing me the fast lines around the race track and suckered me into diving too deep into a corner more than once.

The motorcycle world was lucky to have him as long as we did. Godspeed, Gary you will be sorely missed.

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Murf   August 9, 2011 05:38 PM
From: letters2010@roadracingworld.com
To: Pat Murphy/Poughkeepsie/IBM@IBMUS
Date: 08/08/2011 07:03 PM
Gary Nixon.
I am very saddened to learn of the passing of one of the
truly great flat track and road racing legends of our time. I have fond memories of seeing Gary Nixon race at the Orange County Fair grounds inupstate New York back in the sixties. My Dad who rode a Triumph Bonnieville use to take us kids to the fair grounds to watch the flat track races. On a sunny Saturday afternoon, I watched Mr. Nixon dominate the field and win the 1/2 mile expert class beating Denny and Larry Palmgren and The Flying Farmer,George Roader. Mr. Nixon won by the length of the front straight that afternoon. When Al Knapp ( The starter ) handed Mr.Nixon the checkered flag,he tucked it under this right arm and proceeded to ride a wheelie around the entire length of the track !. The crowd went wild. I was in awe.That day has been forever etched into my mind.. His white and blue Triumph and matching helmet reflected in the sunlight .I can still see him sliding sideways through the corners, the dirt flying as his steal shoe slid along the track, tucked in across the tank his left hand
holding on the front fork tube,his right hand holding the throttle wide open, running flat out ! He was the best !

Thank you Mr Nixon.It was an honor to watch you race... Rest in peace...

Patrick A. Murphy Jr.

motousa_adam   August 7, 2011 11:12 AM
gary nixon was a motorcycling madman like no other. i hope i can run it like him when i become an old mang. rip.
CerkMX   August 6, 2011 08:22 PM
Having grown up 10 minutes from Sante Fe Speedway, I quite literally grew up around flat track. Gary's racing days were before my time, but he's been a legend in my world since I was a kid. Godspeed Gary, you'll be missed, but certainly not forgotten. One of the coolest cats that ever was.
Thewall67   August 5, 2011 09:44 PM
It's guys like Gary Nixon that make me wish I was into motorcycle racing long before I was. What a classic.
Thewall67   August 5, 2011 09:41 PM
It's guys like Gary Nixon that make me wish I was into motorcycle racing long before I was. What a classic.