GARY’S RECORD-BREAKING WIN
Robbed of a possible win at Daytona in 1966 by a puncture, Nixon’s main opposition in the Daytona 200 staged on March 18, 1967 came from other Triumph factory riders. Dick Hammer, riding for western distributor Johnson Motors, was second fastest in bankings-only qualifying at 137mph. He made a super-fast start, pursued by Nixon. The two riders swapped the lead between them, with Elmore back in third, until the halfway fuel stops.
Hammer pitted first, but a rag he’d grabbed to wipe his visor and stuffed between the seat and tank was sucked into a carburettor. Until he cleared the cause of rough running, he lost time on Nixon, so afterwards he went all-out to catch up... until he entered the left-hander coming off the banking onto the infield too fast. Falling off at 100mph, he broke a collarbone but remounted nevertheless to finish seventh.
Nixon took the win with 12 seconds in hand over Elmore, setting a record race average 98.22mph. All six of Hele’s 500s finished, with Romero eighth behind Hammer, Larry Palmgren ninth and Eddie Mulder tenth. Harley’s best finisher was George Roeder in third, followed by team-mates Mert Lawwill and Cal Rayborn. The best placing by a factory-backed Honda CB450 was 11th.