Nicky Hayden was a professional motorcycle racer. Since his nickname was the Kentucky Kid, it should come as no surprise to learn that he came from the state of Kentucky. Unfortunately, Hayden was killed because of a car accident in May of 2017. Here are 10 things that you may or may not have known about Nicky Hayden:
1. Born in Owensboro, KY
Hayden was born in a place called Owensboro, which is a city in the state of Kentucky. To be exact, it is one of the biggest cities in the state when measured on the basis of population, which explains why it boasts its own metropolitan area. It is interesting to note that it hosts an international barbecue festival as well as a number of other cultural events of note.
2. Comes From a Roman Catholic Family
Speaking of which, Hayden comes from a Roman Catholic family with which he remained very close throughout his entire lifetime. Catholics are very common in Owensboro and its surroundings, so much so that the entire region is seen as being made up of Catholics for the most part.
3. Comes From a Racing Family
It is interesting to note that Hayden was far from being the sole motorcycle racer in his family. After all, both of his brothers are professional motorcycle racers as well. Moreover, both Tommy and Roger Lee remain active in the world of professional motorcycle racing.
4. His Traditional Racing Number Was 69
Hayden’s traditional racing number was 69. It is said that Hayden’s father has joked about the number having been selected so that it could still be read even when Hayden was upside down.
5. Started Racing from a Young Age
Regardless, Hayden started racing against older competitors when he was still at a young age. In fact, he was so young when he started competing in the CMRA that he had to start at the back of the grid. This is because he needed someone else to hold his bike upright for him because his legs weren’t long enough to reach the ground.
6. Came to Road Racing Via Dirt-Track Racing
Hayden went into road racing via dirt-track racing, which refers to racing on paved surfaces and racing on either clay or dirt-covered surfaces. This isn’t particularly unusual in the United States where more than one professional racer has made the same transition over the years.
7. Raced for Honda
There was a time when Hayden raced for the Repsol Honda team in MotoGP. However, that relationship eventually broke down, which is why Hayden went to Ducati. With that said, he eventually went to the Honda Aspar team and then the Ten Kate Racing Honda team, which was eventually renamed the Red Bull Honda team.
8. Had the AMA Horizon Award Renamed for Him
In 2017, Hayden had the AMA Horizon Award renamed for him. Said award is handed out on an annual basis to amateur racers who show great promise in dirt track, motocross, and road racing.
9. Sustained Lethal Injuries in a Car Accident
May of 2017 was when Hayden was struck by a car while he was riding his bike in Italy. The incident happened at an intersection where Hayden’s motorcycle collided with a driver in a car who was on his way to work. As a result, Hayden suffered multiple traumatic injuries, with the result that he passed away in hospital 5 days after the accident when he was still no more than 35 years old.
10. Most of the Blame Was On the Driver
The incident was captured on a home surveillance camera. As a result, there was a fair amount of footage for investigators to go through. In the end, they determined that 70 percent of the blame was on the driver of the car while 30 percent of the blame was on Hayden. The driver of the car got 70 percent of the blame because he was going at 73 km per hour in a 50 km zone, which was in addition to the lack of evidence that he had braked before smashing into Hayden. Meanwhile, Hayden received 30 percent because he had ignored a stop sign before entering into the intersection, which might have been caused by him being distracted by his iPod at the time.