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Hayden Racing Patriarch, Earl Hayden Dies


advrider

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EARL-HAYDEN.jpg

Earl Hayden, former motorcycle racer and the patriarch of the Hayden motorcycle racing family, has died.  His death comes after a long battle with cancer.  He was 74.

Earl earned his stripes in racing as a dirt track racer.  Racing with the number 69, Earl said he had to choose a number that read the same way whether he was upright or upside-down.  Later, that very same number would become synonymous with his MotoGP World Champion son, Nicky.

Motorcycle racing champions

Imbued with his racing spirit, Earl’s children became three of the most successful and popular American motorcycle roadracers in the last few decades.  Nicky Hayden achieved World Champion status at the highest level of motorcycle road racing.  But even more impressive for Earl is that three of his sons (Tommy, Nicky, and Roger) were each AMA national motorcycle roadracing champions.

Along with these achievements, the Haydens were also among the elite in dirt track racing.  Both Nicky and Tommy garnered premier class Grand National Champion race victories.  Although he did not earn a Grand National Champion race victory, Roger joined his brothers on the podium at the 2002 Springfield TT, making it an all-Hayden event.

Support and mentorship

But none of the Hayden boy’s successes would have been possible without the support and many sacrifices of Earl and his wife, Rose.  And Earl’s generosity did not stop with his sons.  In addition, Earl offered his support and mentorship to many other aspiring racers, particularly those from his hometown, Owensboro, Kentucky.

Earl is survived by his wife Rose, sons Tommy and Roger, daughters Jenny and Kathleen, and his grandchildren.  His MotoGP champion son, Nicky, died earlier following a tragic bicycling accident in 2017.

Racing paddocks around the country will be poorer for the loss.  Rest in peace, Earl Hayden.

 

 


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