James Harvey Hylton, the oldest driver to race in each of NASCAR’s three highest divisions, and his son, James Hylton Jr., were killed early Saturday morning in a traffic accident on the way home from Talladega Superspeedway.
The accident occurred on Interstate 85 in Georgia when the vehicle went off the road and hit an embankment, according to a Georgia State Patrol report. A third individual, reported as the driver by WSPA.com of Franklin County, was transported to a hospital.
The Hyltons were on their way home from Talladega where the ARCA Racing Series had competed on Friday. Brad Smith was entered in Hylton’s No. 48 Ford but did not qualify due to problems in qualifying.
Fielding cars in the ARCA Series since 1986, the 83-year-old Hylton had one win with Kirk Shelmerdine in 2003 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Hylton last competed himself in 2013 and finished 11th in points. As a driver, Hylton made 175 ARCA starts.
Hylton last competed in a NASCAR national series race in 2011 at 76 years old. At age 79, he finished his career with a full season in ARCA in 2013.
A two-time NASCAR Cup Series winner, Hylton began his career in 1964 and made 602 career starts. Hylton won Rookie of the Year honors in 1966 and finished second in points to David Pearson in 1966 and to Richard Petty in 1967 and 1971. He also finished third in points on four different occasions.
Between the Camping World Truck and Xfinity Series, Hylton made five starts.
James Hylton Jr., known as Tweety, served as his father’s crew chief in Cup Series races in 1993 at Rockingham and Darlington. They were the final two Cup races Hylton ran. He was 61.