James Hylton was destined to drive racecars. Considering he learned to drive in one of Henry Ford's Model T cars before he was 10 years old, it's ironic that the 78-year-old Inman, South Carolina stock car legend would finish up his career in a new Ford Fusion.
Indeed, it's been quite a ride for Hylton whose journey is, in part, coming to a close. He in fact announced his retirement from driving racecars at the onset of the season. 2013 will mark his farewell tour behind the wheel of his famous No. 48 car.
"I've been thinking about this for quite a while," Hylton said. "I'm 78, and the time has come."
Hylton made 602 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts since 1964, winning twice at Talladega and Richmond. During the race at Talladega, he recalls a fan waving to him outside of turn four on every lap.
"There was a pretty girl and she waved at me every lap," he said. "I wasn't too busy, so I would wave back at her."