Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

NASCAR Notebook; Hylton, 79, Walks Away

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

NASCAR Notebook; Hylton, 79, Walks Away

Article excerpt

Byline: Don Coble

James Hylton finished 18th in last Friday night's ARCA Racing Series race at the Kansas Speedway. And when he climbed out of his Ford, he vowed to never race again.

Apparently more than 59 years of racing was enough.

Hylton, 79, leaves the driver's seat as the oldest driver in NASCAR and ARCA history.

"I'm retiring at the end of the day, but my heart is wanting to keep going," Hylton said. "But it's a done deal. I won't be back as a driver."

Since NASCAR also was at Kansas, Hylton got a grand sendoff. Both NASCAR and ARCA honored the driver before the race. Other drivers provided their own farewells.

"I think it says a lot about somebody that wants to go out there and has a passion, desire to do that," Jeff Gordon said. "I don't have any real stories racing with James other than he just seems like he has been around forever."

Jimmie Johnson, 38, said he can't imagine being in a race car when he's 79. In fact, he laughed when he said he hopes to be "breathing" at that age.

"At 79, it's amazing," Johnson said. "He's truly passionate and loves our sport. It's nice to see him out there one last time."

COMPETITION TESTS GIBBS TEAMMATES

A hard crash dropped Kyle Busch from second to fifth in the Chase for the Championship standings after last Sunday's race at Kansas, so he probably will turn to Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Matt Kenseth for some help.

The only problem is Kenseth also is trying to win the championship.

Competition between teammates isn't new in NASCAR. But it really tests the resolve and commitment to cooperate when one teammate's success may have to come at expense of another.

"The things we've been doing all year long, we've been sharing some great information," Busch said. "We both have similar feedback. We both share similar feelings in the racecar of how we're feeling, how to get the most out of our equipment. The 18 [Busch's car] and the 20 [Kenseth] team work really well together. …

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