I was saddened to hear the news of the death of motorcycle racing legend Gary Nixon today. Gary had fallen ill with heart problems in recent weeks and died a few days after having heart surgery. He was 70.
Nixon was one of the all-time greats. He won back-to-back AMA Grand National Championships in 1967 and 1968 and he should have been a world champion. The fact that he wasn’t is a travesty. In 1976, Nixon laid claim to the World Prize Formula 750 Road Racing title, but was denied the championship after international politics cost him a victory, and ultimately the title, at the Venezuelan round of the series.
His international success earned him the title of AMA Pro Athlete of the Year in its inaugural year.
Many of Nixon’s contemporaries say that he was the greatest racer of his era.
To the great thrill of his fans and today’s racers Nixon continued to be a regular at pro races, both flat track and road racing. His presence at the races will be greatly missed.