Sturgis Motorcycle Museum - Preserving our Motorcycle Hertiage

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GARY NIXON


Hall of Fame Inductee - Pre 2001 (1996)


Born in Anadarko, Oklahoma in 1941, Gary wanted to be a sports star when he grew up. He was pretty good at football, but everybody got bigger. He was a good basketball player, but everybody got taller. He was good at baseball, because he could hit, pitch and field real well. He got hit in the head with a baseball bat one of his teammates was swinging when he was heading to the bench to sit down. He decided maybe baseball was a little too dangerous, so he decided to be a motorcycle racer...and be number 1.  


He set out to attain that goal as follows: In 1958 Gary began racing professionally as an unlisted B Rider. He won the Oklahoma State Scrambles Championship; 1959 he was a listed B Rider and was 6th in the nation in the point standings; 1960 he was an Expert with a lot to learn; 1962 he was noticed at the Sturgis Races and received a National Number the next year; 1963 he won his first National in Windber, PA and the National Race in Chicago the next week; 1967 he won the Daytona 100 Miler on Saturday, came back and won the 200 Miler on Sunday. He won the #1 plate that year and again in 1968; 1969 he crashed at a Mile Race in Santa Rosa, California, because of a transmission problem. There were no hay bales guarding the 4 X 4 fence post that he hit, it resulted in a compound fracture to his left femur; 1973 he won the US Road Race Championship, and was 3rd overall in the nation; 1974 he was on his way to Europe to “win the world Championship” when he had an engine seizure at a test track in Japan, hitting a tree 12 feet in the air at 120 MPH; 1975 he set out most of the year trying to get his arms to heal; 1976 he and Erv Kanemoto won the Formula 750 World Road Race Championship Title, then lost it politically, thanks to the European FIM and the AMA;  1979 he quit professional racing to concentrate on his business; 1985 he was Team Manager for Jim Francels "Super Team" at Daytona 200 throughout 1985 and 1986; 1995 he won the Legends Race at Daytona; 1996 he tied Jay Springsteen in the Legends Race at Daytona. 


In the course of his three-decade long career, Nixon won 19 AMA National victories.  He had over 150 Grand National finishes.


Nixon died in August, 2011 at the age of 70.

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