Hylton, 74, aims for 700th race start at Pocono
Thursday, Jun. 04, 2009
James Hylton can't seem to slow down.
He's at Pocono Raceway, hoping to make his 700th career start in Saturday's ARCA race.
"Throughout my career, I've raced on every surface imaginable," Hylton said, "In the sixties, we would run a one-third-mile dirt track one day and then turn around and run a high-banked paved oval the next."
Hylton's career includes 601 starts in NASCAR's top series, 82 ARCA races, six in NASCAR's East, three Nationwide events, three USAC stock car races, three NASCAR Grand American races and one IMSA sports car event.
"I grew up working hard seven days a week on the farm and I've carried that philosophy with me into my racing endeavors," said Hylton, a native of Inman, S.C. "If anyone asked me for my secret to lifelong endurance, I'd tell them to eat healthy, leave cigarettes alone, and drink plenty of milk."
During his career, Hylton has witnessed many changes in the sport.
"When I first started, it was still your basic Saturday night-type of racing," he said. "Over the years, it has grown into a full-fledged professional sport.
"And the big-block hemi motors we ran back in the '60s had so much torque that you could almost break your neck when you accelerated. But today's cars handle much better with the advances in tire and suspension technology."