When the green flag dropped, Mann got the start of his career and opened a 50-yard lead by Turn 1. Before exiting the infield, however, Hailwood and Nixon closed the gap. Romero was right behind until traffic forced him off-track, costing a precious, 15-second delay. By lap two Hailwood and Nixon had both ridden around Mann and were running away, until Hailwood’s bike overheated on lap six. Nixon led the race until the 110-mile mark, when he likewise retired with a burnt center piston. The factory Hondas of Bryans, Robb and Smith dropped out one by one, all suffering the same top-end problems. This left Mann, who built a tremendous lead after Nixon retired, as the only Honda rider in the race. Rayborn and the rest of Harley’s Wrecking Crew were non-factors. Not a single iron-head XR—soon to be nicknamed the “waffle iron” for its tendency to overheat—finished the race. The Motor Company’s best result that year came from Walt Fulton Jr., riding an “obsolete” KR.