Thursday, March 9, 1967 – James Hylton, the 1966 NASCAR rookie of the year, tells the Charlotte News that he is considering giving up his career as a competitor in NASCAR’s top division. The Inman, S.C. resident beat out Bill Seifert and Frank Warren for rookie honors the previous year. Hylton cited the lack of factory support as a reason for the possible move.
• Why is this notable? Because Hylton did not “retire” from driving the following year. Far from it. In fact, he went on to race for three more decades in Cup.
• The owner/driver’s last race attempt in that series came in 2009 – he failed to qualify for the Daytona 500 at 74 years of age. In 602 career starts, Hylton won twice, at Richmond in 1970 and Talladega in 1972. His final NASCAR start came in 2011 at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway in the XFINITY Series – he was 76 at the time.
• Hylton continued to race in the ARCA Series for two more years, finally hanging it up after the 2013 season at the age of 78.