The accolades have been pouring in for James Harvey Hylton in his final season of competition behind the wheel of a race car. At 79 years young Hylton’s career accomplishments are enough to fill two records books, 1966 NASCAR Rookie of the Year, three-time runner up in Sprint Cup Series Championship standings, over 600 career Sprint Cup starts, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series winner, the oldest person to ever start a NASCAR Sprint Cup race plus 166 starts in the ARCA Series.
Having logged laps over the last 50 years Hylton has built an army of followers, crew members, race fans and fans of the young at heart. For his final career start on Oct. 4, in the Kansas Lottery 98.9 at Kansas Speedway a group of the Hylton faithful are preparing a special car for his final turn behind the wheel.
“This has been a group effort from the ARCA family,” said one of the contributors. “Icons don’t come around every day and giving James a nice piece to end his career with is important to a lot of people. Plus we think with the right equipment he can still get the job done on the track.”
Not only will Hylton have some serious horsepower under the hood and a car to go with it, he’ll be sporting a retro paint scheme from his first Daytona start in 1966 compliments of CGS Imaging.
Hylton’s contributions to the sport are not lost on ARCA President Ron Drager, “It’s been an honor for us at ARCA for James to turn his final laps and close out his career these past several seasons with our series. Over the last 60 plus years we’ve had a lot drivers compete with us but there is only one James Harvey Hylton.”
Hyltons final season has been a humbling walk down memory lane with fans, tracks and drivers heaping tributes on the self described country boy from Roanoke, Virginia. “It’s been overwhelming for me,” said Hylton. “Everyone has made this season so special, I’m looking forward to going out in style at Kansas.”
While Hylton is hanging up his helmet he plans on remaining a fixture in the ARCA garage mentoring and coaching new and upcoming talent. Who better?