Sunday, August 26, 2018

"Oldest Driver In NASCAR History" James Hylton Born

August 26, 1934 – April 28, 2018
He was a two-time winner in NASCAR Winston Cup Series competition and was a long-time competitor in the ARCA Racing Series. Hylton finished second in points in NASCAR's top series three times.

He has 2 wins in the NASCAR Cup Series. Although he only had two wins, he collected 140 top 5s and 301 top 10s in 601 races. Hylton was in the championship hunt several times in the 1960s and 1970s, finishing second in points in 1966, 1967, and 1971. Hylton also holds the record as the oldest driver to start a race in NASCAR's top 3 series when he raced at Pocono in the Camping World Truck Series in 2011 at the age of 76.The oldest driver to race in each of NASCAR's three highest divisions, Hylton called it a career at Kansas Speedway after an ARCA race. The 1966 Grand National Series Rookie of the Year, Hylton spent the last several years of his career racing in the ARCA series.

Born on his family's farm in Virginia in 1934, Hylton's family had to work hard to make ends meet during the Depression. Hylton remembers toiling in the fields all day to help out.

He started driving in his father's Ford Model T, his brother taught him how to work the pedals. And from that humble beginning, Hylton embarked on a winding career in motor sports. He served as a mechanic for Rex White and then as crew chief for Ned Jarrett in the early days of NASCAR, then got back behind the wheel and placed second in the Cup standings in 1966.

Hylton also finished second in points to Richard Petty in 1967 and 1971, and won twice in more than 600 Cup starts, at Richmond in 1970 and Talladega in 1972. In all, the good-natured Hylton racked up 140 top-five finishes and 321 top-10s in the Cup series.

On April 28, 2018, James, his son James "Tweet" Hylton Jr., and the team's crew chief Terry Strange were driving home from the ARCA race at Talladega, and the team's hauler was in a traffic accident going northbound on Interstate 85 near Carnesville, Georgia. Both Hyltons died in the accident, while Strange survived with severe injuries. It is unclear how the accident occurred

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