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James Hylton
Born:
August 26, 1934
Home: Inman, SC

BIO  (Visit www.Hylton48.com, his Official Website)

James Hylton was born on August 26, 1934 to a Giles County (Hillsville), Virginia  family and was one of  thirteen children.  Hylton's spent his early years in Roanoke Virginia,  and his life centered primarily around farming but he soon found himself, like many other southern teenagers, immersed in the world of stock car auto racing.  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 Manassas, Virginia.  James finished 19 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, NC.  Hylton again finished second in points during the 1967 season while driving Dodge's 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.

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 soldier own as an owner in NASCAR Winston Cup until 1993. James moved to the ARCA circuit during the nineties and continues to participate as a both a car owner and a driver to this day.

and Now.

 (Visit www.Hylton48.com, his Official Website)

Past Story: At 72, Hylton plans comeback at Daytona 500  

January 15, 2007 DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Long after the big-budget NASCAR teams pulled into the Daytona garage, a bright yellow hauler -- sans the logos and pricey paint scheme -- navigated its way through the gate. Perched behind the wheel of the big rig was 72-year-old James Hylton, whose decades-old image donned the side of the truck. He steered his way past Jeff Gordon, Matt Kenseth and the rest of today's NASCAR stars to his assigned-spot along the fence then went to work unloading his car. Yes, his car.

The 1966 Rookie of the Year is attempting a comeback of epic proportions, bringing a car to preseason testing Monday as he chases his long-shot dream of qualifying for next month's Daytona 500. "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,'' Hylton said. "A lot of the old drivers want to come out here and hang out in the pits and see if I can do it.''

The odds are stacked against Hylton, who made the first of his 15 Daytona 500 starts in 1966. But he's not doing this because he foolishly thinks he can win the Super Bowl of NASCAR. Rather, Hylton just wants a spot in the record books as the oldest driver to ever make a Cup race. He already holds the mark in both the Busch and ARCA Series, but is now focused on making it a trifecta. The Cup record of age 65 is shared by Hershel McGriff (Sonoma, 1993) and Jim Fitzgerald (Riverside, 1987). Of course, Jimmy Johnson has the #48 right now . . . .

"More power to him,'' said David Stremme, one of 11 current Cup drivers who wasn't born when Hylton notched his only two victories. "You've got to believe that if he makes the race, he might earn more money finishing last than he did in an entire season of his early days. That kind of money could carry a guy through an entire year and make it worth giving it a shot.'' Indeed, Carl Edwards won $269,882 last season for finishing 43rd in the biggest race of the year. Hylton, meanwhile, estimates the most money he ever made in a single season was "right around $150,000. I won Talladega (in 1972) and it paid $24,000,'' Hylton said. "Now they pay you more than that just to show up.''

But Hylton has to do a lot more than just show up, which he learned the hard way on the first of three days of testing. When he headed out to the track at the start of the morning session, his radio didn't work and it took hours for him to get it functioning. By the time he made his first lap, every other driver had practiced, broke for lunch, then practiced some more. In all, Hylton ran just five laps and his top speed of 181.397 mph was the slowest of the day -- and a far cry from the 185.090 mph that David Gilliland posted to lead the day. "You can't beat youth, I know that,'' he shrugged. And he may not be able to beat the numbers, either. About 60 drivers are expected to vie for the 43 spots in the Daytona 500 field.

But Hylton will be giving his effort in a proven car and good strong engine, all courtesy of Richard Childress. Hylton has known the car owner since the two raced against each other in the 1970s, and Childress agreed to sell a superspeedway car to him from his fleet. The car that was selected is a good one, too: Robby Gordon drove it to victory in a Daytona qualifying race in 2004. "The ace in the hole for me is Richard Childress,'' Hylton said. "Unofficially, he's not backing this thing. But as a friend, he is. Him and I raced together back in the early 70's and we traveled together and doubled-up our pit crews. But I don't know what happened -- he went on to be a multimillionaire and I went on to be poor.''

Despite a decent career (he was runner-up for the NASCAR championship three times and finished outside the top 10 only twice in an 11-year stretch), Hylton is not living the good life. He comes from a time when driver salaries were next to nothing and the purses were peanuts. After starting his career as a mechanic and crew chief for Rex White and Ned Jarrett, Hylton made his driving debut at Manassas, Va., in 1964 with a 19th-place finish that paid $100.

He spent much of the past decade toiling in the ARCA series, running the full schedule last season before finally deciding to call it career. But after his final race last season, his old childhood friend talked Hylton into coming back. J.C. Weaver, owner of Mountain Rock Music, a publishing and recording company, bought the car from Childress and will sponsor Hylton for the 500. "He said, Who is going to sponsor a 72 year old man?' and I said, "I am. We going to Daytona,''' Weaver recalled. "Now here we are. I know everybody has a hero in racing and J.C. Weaver's hero is James Hylton.'' By JENNA FRYER, AP Auto Racing Writer       


(For an artist print of this [unsigned] Email Me)

Some of the Cars
  

     

 

   

                       

 (Visit www.Hylton48.com, his Official Website)

Grand National / Winston Cup Statistics

Year Age Races Win T5 T10 Pole Laps Led Earnings Rank AvSt AvFn Miles
1964 29 3 of 62 0 0 0 0 47 0 350   12.3 16.3 72.4
1966 31 41 of 49 0 20 32 1 10803 155 38,722 2 10.4 8.6 8497.9
1967 32 46 of 49 0 26 39 1 11526 109 49,732 2 10.0 8.3 8553.3
1968 33 41 of 49 0 16 28 0 10058 15 32,608 7 10.7 11.2 7284.6
1969 34 52 of 54 0 27 39 0 13540 162 114,416 3 9.5 9.3 10952.4
1970 35 47 of 48 1 22 39 1 12712 199 78,201 3 10.1 8.1 11223.2
1971 36 46 of 48 0 14 37 1 12785 105 90,282 2 13.0 8.3 12724.5
1972 37 31 of 31 1 9 23 0 9702 111 126,705 3 14.9 9.5 11476.0
1973 38 28 of 28 0 1 11 0 9324 1 82,512 4 18.5 13.2 10056.8
1974 39 29 of 30 0 1 8 0 6774 29 61,384 11 19.2 17.7 7969.2
1975 40 30 of 30 0 2 16 0 9650 11 113,642 3 18.7 11.7 11031.5
1976 41 30 of 30 0 2 5 0 8125 14 78,705 13 20.9 17.3 9330.4
1977 42 30 of 30 0 0 11 0 8375 3 108,391 7 19.9 16.0 9591.1
1978 43 19 of 30 0 0 4 0 5774 16 48,045 26 19.0 17.7 5018.2
1979 44 30 of 31 0 0 5 0 8658 11 97,427 14 22.3 16.9 9603.4
1980 45 31 of 31 0 0 4 0 9232 26 109,230 13 26.2 17.4 10546.7
1981 46 28 of 31 0 0 0 0 7051 12 87,304 19 27.6 21.6 8508.6
1982 47 13 of 30 0 0 0 0 4208 0 49,130 28 29.6 18.3 4331.6
1983 48 2 of 30 0 0 0 0 556 0 12,105   26.0 22.0 661.6
1985 50 1 of 28 0 0 0 0 201 0 3,945   22.0 26.0 201.0
1986 51 4 of 29 0 0 0 0 544 0 22,090 46 35.5 31.5 576.0
1987 52 2 of 29 0 0 0 0 93 0 2,550 81 41.5 37.5 99.5
1989 54 2 of 29 0 0 0 0 38 0 3,775 74 38.5 39.0 42.8
1990 55 1 of 29 0 0 0 0 202 0 2,800 106 38.0 35.0 202.0
1991 56 4 of 29 0 0 0 0 87 0 14,190 54 37.5 38.0 112.5
1992 57 8 of 29 0 0 0 0 611 0 37,910 42 38.2 34.5 1100.3
1993 58 2 of 30 0 0 0 0 86 0 11,945 64 37.5 37.0 109.1
27 years 601 2 140 301 4 160762 979 1,478,096   17.0 13.5 159876.4

From 1966 to 1973, James had an astonishing 3 Runner-up & 3 Third place Points Finishes!

Year Age Races Win T5 T10 Pole Laps Led Earnings Rank AvSt AvFn Miles
1982 47 1 of 29 0 0 0 0 114 0 0 150   23.0 115.9
2006 71 1 of 35 0 0 0 0 4 0 13,680 144 40.0 41.0 4.0
2 years 2 0 0 0 0 118 0 13,680   40.0 32.0 119.9


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