GARY’S RECORD-BREAK­ING WIN

Classic Bike (UK) - - Nixon’s Daytona Triumph -

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.

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