Gary Nixon's AMA racing career was marked by both extraordinary success and courage. Nixon's perseverance and talent at home and abroad made him one of the most popular and most respected racers in the history of the sport. Nixon rode a Triumph to back-to-back AMA Grand National Championships in 1967 and 1968.
By age 15, Nixon was already a drag racing champion. Weighing just 89 pounds, he had a big advantage over his fellow drag racing competitors. Nixon then took up scrambles racing and, again, quickly became a winner in that form of racing.Nixon began his professional racing career in 1958 and at the AMA Grand National level in 1960.
He won his first AMA national in convincing fashion on August 4, 1963, at the road race in Windber, Pennsylvania. He proved the Windber victory was no fluke when three weeks later he won a short-track national at Santa Fe Park in Hinsdale, Illinois. Nixon finished the season ranked sixth in the Grand National Series, his first time in the top 10.
The 1967 racing season turned out to be the best of his career.By the end of the '67 season Nixon had tallied a total of five victories and had earned his first national championship. He followed up in 1968 with another title.
Late in the 1970s, the number of national road races decreased, leaving little opportunity for Nixon to ply his trade. His outside business interests became more demanding and Nixon hung up his racing leathers in 1979. During his 22 years of pro racing, Nixon earned 19 AMA National victories and amassed over 150 Grand National finishes.