Memorials Grow for Nicky Hayden

The memorials for Nicky Hayden continue to grow a day after his death.

More tributes are planned for the Owensboro native who became a worldwide racing champion.

Janie Cecil left balloons at the memorial for Hayden at his Walk of Fame plaque on 2nd Street.

"It's very emotional," she says.

It was her piece in the growing collection of flowers and motorcycle racing items. She remembers the times her brother raced Nicky's father, Earl, and the times Nicky remembered his hometown.

"I remember Nicky saying one time, as they always say, 'Well, is it in the water, the racing, from Owensboro?' Nicky would say, 'No, it's in the bar-b-q,'" Cecil recalled.

"It's wonderful that we can step up and do our part in this, recognize who he was," adds Debbie Lyle.

While he was known as the 'Kentucky Kid' on track, some referred to him as the 'Owensboro Kid', acting like an unofficial ambassador for the city. The day after his passing, he is being remembered for what he did on and off the track.

"By his friends, and family, one of the best gentlemen you'll ever meet. One of the best riders most dedicated to his sport that you'll ever see," Cecil says.

"He was one of those ones, I think, when he went out and raced, he talked about Owensboro. He talked about Kentucky. It wasn't just about the racing, he talked about his family and friends back here," says Sheri Jackson of Lewisport.

"He's one of those guys who nobody had a bad word to say about him," says Brad Bearden of Henderson.

As the memorial grows on 2nd street, so do the memories of Nicky Hayden, and what he meant to his home town.

"He never gave up on Owensboro," Cecil says.

A special tribute for Hayden will be part of this weekend's Friday After 5 event.

Organizers say they want to honor Hayden's accomplishments and celebrate his memory in front of his hometown fans. A special guest speaker, Army Armstrong, will take the stage at 7:45 PM. Armstrong is a motorsports announcer and a good friend of Hayden's.


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