Friday's running of the Kansas Lottery 98.9 looks like an ordinary season finale for the series. Frank Kimmel will win his 10th career ARCA Racing Series championship and there is an Allison family member in the field. However, the Kansas Lottery 98.9 will be anything but ordinary for a driver named James Hylton from Inman, South Carolina.
Now if you are saying, who? Shame on you. Hylton has had a long career in racing that dates back over 50 years. The 79 year old driver is the 1966 NASCAR Grand National Series (now Sprint Cup) rookie of the year. Hylton will strap behind the wheel of his infamous #48 for the final time in Friday night's race as he will retire as a racecar driver following the race.
"I've been thinking about this for quite a while," Hylton said. "I'm 79, and the time has come. I may even have a surprise for everyone at Kansas; we'll see. Let's put it this way, I plan on running really well at Kansas, and there will be several factors contributing to the overall effort."
Surprise people? Hylton has gained many fans and followers throughout his racing career and with their effort Hylton will be driving a paint scheme that is a throwback to his first Daytona start back in 1966. Not only that Hylton will have extra horsepower under his hood.
Hylton's grace and old school approach will be missed by many fans and people in ARCA including ARCA Racing Series 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," Drager said. "Over the last 60 plus years we've had a lot drivers compete with us but there is only one James Harvey Hylton."
Hylton ran his last NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race back in March of 1993. He made 602 career starts that resulted in two victories, his last one coming in 1972 in a Mercury at Talladega. He beat Ramo Stott by a car length in one of NASCAR's greatest upset victories.
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