Well over a year later and it still strikes us almost as hard as it did when we first learned of Gary Nixon's death. Today, as then, a side of us finds it almost shocking to realize that Nixon is actually gone. Mostly because we didn't think there was anything on this planet strong enough to actually kill Gary Nixon.
From the early 1960s on, Gary Nixon didn't miss many Daytonas, including of course his epic Daytona 200 win in 1967. You could count on Gary Nixon being at Daytona every year, and until the very end he had a laser-like memory for nearly every 200, especially those he competed in. He'd usually sum them up with one unquotable sentence, one you could never use in a story simply because of Nixon's, ah, clear, way of describing the past.
Ago's '74 win? "After the race that dude had more pussy in his hotel room than I've ever seen. It was standing room only--I was gonna call the fire marshall." The BMW Legends race? "It was rigged. I could have won them all." '72 Daytona 200? "Everybody either crapped out or crashed out and then that little bike won. It was sad."
One of the final times we saw Nixon in the flesh was in the paddock at Daytona. He might have had a little too much to drink and was telling stories one after another, the majority of which you'd never repeat, or never tell you mom.
That's just the way we like to remember old #9.