News & Multimedia

Hayden Remembered as Fan Favorite, Talented World Champion at IMS

2006 MotoGP World Champion Nicky Hayden never won a race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, but “The Kentucky Kid” still was one of the most popular, talented and respected racers on two or four wheels to compete at the Racing Capital of the World in the last decade.

Hayden, from Owensboro, Kentucky, passed away May 22 from injuries suffered when he was struck by a car while cycling May 17 in Rimini, Italy, where he was preparing for the next round of the World Superbike Championship. He was 35.

“Everyone at IMS mourns the loss of our friend Nicky Hayden,” IMS President J. Douglas Boles said. “When you met Nicky, you immediately felt you had known him for years. His humility and sincerity always made genuine connections with everyone, as he truly was one of the nicest guys you could ever meet in racing. Nicky was a tireless ambassador for MotoGP at the Speedway and a passionate supporter of all events at IMS.

“When MotoGP first came to IMS in 2008, we soon learned family and his beloved Owensboro meant everything to Nicky. We offer our thoughts, prayers and condolences to his parents, Rose and Earl; his fiancée, Jackie; his brothers, Tommy and Roger; his sisters, Jenny and Kathleen; and to all his friends, teammates and legions of fans around the world. He will always be remembered fondly at IMS.”

Hayden raced in six of the eight Red Bull Indianapolis GP events at IMS from 2008-15, competing for Repsol Honda, Ducati and the Aspar Racing Team. He finished on the podium in his first two starts at IMS, placing second in 2008 with Repsol Honda and third in 2009 with Ducati. He missed the 2012 race due to a broken hand suffered in a crash during qualifying and the 2014 race due to a wrist injury.

“The Kentucky Kid” was arguably the most popular rider during MotoGP’s eight-year run at IMS, rivaled only by his good friend and seven-time MotoGP World Champion Valentino Rossi. Hayden’s trademark No. 69 was seen on hats, T-shirts and banners everywhere at IMS, and big crowds flocked to fan forums in the infield to hear his self-effacing, funny answers to questions in his inimitable Kentucky twang.

Hayden also worked eagerly and often to promote the Red Bull Indianapolis GP, visiting the track and meeting media and racers from IndyCar and NASCAR during the Indianapolis 500, Brickyard 400 and other events.

In 2008, Hayden was the centerpiece of two of the most memorable promotional activities in recent IMS history. He eagerly donned a period-specific leather cap, goggles, IMS sweater, knickers and riding boots to turn the first laps on the newly paved IMS motorcycle road course on an Indian motorcycle that competed in the first motorized race at the Speedway, in 1909. A month later, he rode a long, smoky burnout down the front straightaway and across the Yard of Bricks on his high-revving Repsol Honda, carrying an American flag, during pre-race ceremonies for the Indianapolis 500.

View Photo Gallery of Hayden Over The Years at IMS

Show More Show Less
Now Viewing
Nicky Hayden
 
Hayden Remembered as Fan Favorite, Talented World Champion at IMS
2006 MotoGP World Champion Nicky Hayden never won a race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, but “The Kentucky Kid” still was one of the most popular, talented and respected racers on two or four wheels to compete at the Racing Capital of the World in the last decade.
Read More
Related Media
IMS
 
Davidson, Travers, Coon Comprise 2010 Class For Auto Racing Hall
Indianapolis Motor Speedway Historian Donald Davidson and Indianapolis 500 chief mechanics Jim Travers and Frank Coon are the 2010 inductees into the Auto Racing Hall of Fame, officials announced April 29. The induction ceremony will take place Thursday, May 27 at the Indianapolis Marriott Downtown.
Read More
IMS
 
Centennial Era Balloon Festival Returns May 8; Gin Blossoms To Play
After a successful, popular debut in 2009, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway's Centennial Era Balloon Festival presented by AT&T again will kick off Indianapolis 500 Mile Race activities for 2010 on Saturday, May 8. The 2010 Centennial Era Balloon Festival presented by AT&T will offer entertainment for every generation of the family, with a balloon race in the morning, late-afternoon live music featuring the Gin Blossoms and a balloon "glow" and fireworks in the IMS infield that evening. Admission is free!
Read More
IMS
 
'Good Morning America' Anchor Robin Roberts To Pace 2010 Indy 500
Robin Roberts, anchor of the Emmy-winning morning news program "Good Morning America" on ABC, will drive the 2010 Chevrolet Camaro SS Pace Car to lead the field of 33 drivers to the start of the 2010 Indianapolis 500 on May 30 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Helio Castroneves introduced Roberts as the driver March 25 live on "GMA" in Times Square in New York.
Read More
IMS
 
Your Vote Needed To Bring Energizer Bunny Balloon To IMS In May!
The Indianapolis Motor Speedway Centennial Era Balloon Festival is a finalist for an appearance by the iconic Energizer Bunny "Hot Hare" Balloon, but the competition is fierce. The Energizer Bunny balloon - the world's tallest - will appear at only two festivals in 2010 outside of its hometown of St. Louis, and if central Indiana residents want to see the "Hot Hare" balloon return to the IMS Centennial Era Balloon Festival on Saturday, May 8, they should vote now!
Read More
IMS
 
IMS Salutes U.S. Military With Special Value Ticket Packages
The Indianapolis Motor Speedway is saluting active members of the U.S. Armed Forces by offering a special military ticket deal for each of its three events in 2010. The package offers savings of up to $47 for a reserved seat ticket, official souvenir program and many other amenities at the Indianapolis 500 on Sunday, May 30, the Brickyard 400 on Sunday, July 25 or the Red Bull Indianapolis GP on Sunday, Aug. 29.
Read More
Items 148 - 152 of 167
Latest Tweets
It's Pole day on @CrownRoyal Armed Forces Weekend & we can't wait to see you! Check out details on the day: https://t.co/yKQ6Db3YRK
May 21
 
We've created a new webpage that will help even an #Indy500 first-timer enjoy Race Day like a pro! Check it out:… https://t.co/kB4UhMmAKR
May 21