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James Harvey Hylton
Hylton awaits driver introductions before his final ARCA race
Born August 26, 1934 (1934-08-26) (age 75)
Hometown United States Virginia
Awards 1966 NASCAR Rookie of the Year
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series statistics
601 races run over 27 years
Best cup position 2nd - 1966, 1967, 1971 (Winston Cup)
First race 1964 Old Dominion 400 (Old Dominion Speedway)
Last race 1993 TranSouth 500 (Darlington)
First win 1970 Richmond 500 (Richmond)
Last win 1972 Talladega 500 (Talladega)
Wins Top tens Poles
2 301 4
NASCAR Nationwide Series statistics
3 races run over 3 years
First race 1982 Coca-Cola 200 (North Carolina)
Last race 2008 Winn-Dixie 250 (Daytona)
Wins Top tens Poles
0 0 0
Hylton's 1985 Monte Carlo Winston Cup car

James Hylton (born August 26, 1934) is a part-time race car driver. He is a two-time winner in NASCAR and competed part-time in the ARCA RE/MAX Series until 2006, finishing 16th in points. He made headlines while attempting to qualify for the 2007 Daytona 500 at age 72. He was to also attempt to qualify for the 2009 Daytona 500 at age 74 in the #60 Dodge for Carter/Simo Racing, an alliance with E&M Motorsports and Simo Racing for at least the Daytona 500, with Boris Said in the #08 car but after carburetor and ignition problems and without any track practice he was forced to withdraw.

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Early life

James Hylton was born on August 26, 1934 to a Roanoke, Virginia family and was one of thirteen children. Hylton's early years centered primarily around farming but he soon found himself, like many other southern teenagers, immersed in the world of stock car auto racing.

Auto Racing career

Hylton's career in auto racing began in the late fifties when he began working as a mechanic for the legendary Rex White. James, Rex and Louis Clements teamed to win 26 races and most importantly the 1960 NASCAR Grand National championship. In 1964, White scaled back his driving duties and James began his tenure as crew chief for the Ned Jarrett / Bondy Long team. During the 1964 season the team won 14 races and finished second in points. In 1965, the team won 12 races and won the NASCAR Grand National championship.

On July 8, 1964, Hylton made his first Grand National start at the Old Dominion 400 at Old Dominion Speedway at Manassas, Virginia. James finished 19th and collected $100 for his efforts. Things improved dramatically in 1966, as Hylton finished second in the points chase and won the coveted NASCAR Rookie of the Year award. James also captured his first pole at Starlite Speedway in Monroe, North Carolina. Hylton again finished second in points during the 1967 season while driving Dodges for owner Bud Hartje. James was a model of consistency during this two year period as he had 46 top five finishes in 87 races.

Hylton won the NASCAR Winston Cup Rookie of the Year honors in 1966, and finished second in the season points standings. He won only two races over his career. Although, he only won two races, he was always in the thick of the championship hunt. He finished in the Top 10 in the season points standings in ten of the twelve years between 1966 to 1977.

In the 1972 Talladega 500, Hylton won an interesting win, when Good Year supplied teams with a special tire for super speedways. However the tire shredded after a while, Hyltons team couldn't afford the new tires, so they ran with the old ones. Hylton and another low tier driver who also couldn't afford the tires, skated around the other cars, and Hylton won it by less than a second.

On June 24, 2006, Hylton started his first Busch Series race since June 27, 1982 at the AT&T 250 held at the Milwaukee Mile. This made him the oldest driver to start in a 'top level' NASCAR event.

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Dual role

In 1968, James became a car owner / driver, a dual role that continues to this day. James found his way to victory lane for the first time on March 1, 1970 at the Richmond 500, driving the familiar number 48 Ford. During the late sixties and early seventies, Hylton amassed an amazing consistency record that was rivaled only by those of Richard Petty and Cale Yarbrough.

On August 6, 1972, James forever etched his name in the history books by claiming the Talladega 500. Hylton led 106 laps of the 188 lap race and won $24,865 for the day. Hylton won by one car length over ARCA legend Ramo Stott.

Hylton continued driving the full schedule until 1982, when he handed over driving duties to Canadian driver Trevor Boys. James soldiered on as an owner in NASCAR Winston Cup until 1993.

ARCA circuit

Hylton teaching Jim Lamorauex how to run Daytona 1999

James moved to the ARCA circuit during the 1990s, and ran in 16 of 23 ARCA REMAX Series schedule in 2006. He finished 18th in the final points standings. Hylton's final planned race was at the inaugural race at Iowa Speedway, but has since returned, running occasional races.

Comeback

At the age of 74 James Hylton returned to Daytona to attempt to qualify for the 2009 Daytona 500. Hylton has signed on with E&M Motorsports for the 2009 Daytona 500, and possibly a full season run.

Hylton attempted to make the 2007 Daytona 500 in equipment leased from Richard Childress Racing, sponsored by GrahamFest and Retirement Living TV. [1] [1] [2] Hylton said "I am doing this for seniors to show that at 70 years old, you don't have to go hunting for an old-folks home. You can go race for a little bit."

In the final practice session for the 2007 Daytona 500 he posted the 15th fastest time of 48.532 sec./185.445 m.p.h. [3] He was in a position to qualify for the Daytona 500 with 10 laps remaining in the qualifier when he was leading, then a caution for a wreck was called and on the re-start he fell out of the draft due to a clutch problem. He did not qualify for the race. It was announced that he was going to attempt several others races in 2007, including the UAW-Ford 500, but these plans did not come to fruition.

Hylton was planning on qualifying his #48 car sponsored by the Sons of Confederate Veterans for the ARCA race at Rockingham on April 19, 2009. Hylton lost that sponsorship on April 16, 2009, due to ARCA placing a ban on the organization's logo that contains a version of the Confederate Battle Flag. Since this ban breached the contract already entered into by ARCA and the SCV, the SCV cancelled it's sponsorship and participation with the race. ARCA was forced to refund the organization's fees due to the breach of contract. Hylton has since become a member of the SCV.

Hylton plans to attempt the 2010 Daytona 500 [2].

References

External links


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