James Hylton to Make Final Career Short Track Start at Salem Over the years Salem Speedway has been host to many historic moments in automobile racing history. Its first ARCA RE/MAX Series race on October 9, 1955, saw Jack Harrison win the first...
James Hylton to Make Final Career Short Track Start at Salem
Over the years Salem Speedway has been host to many historic moments in automobile racing history. Its first ARCA RE/MAX Series race on October 9, 1955, saw Jack Harrison win the first of his three straight ARCA RE/MAX Series events at the track. It hosted a combined ARCA and NASCAR Grand National East Series event on July 29, 1973. This race saw Ohio racer Bruce Gould capture one of his three straight ARCA / Grand National East victories. Over the years Salem has also seen victories by racing legends such as Bobby Allison, Benny Parsons, Jack Bowsher and Ramo Stott.
On September 16, 2006, Salem will also host another historic event in stock car racing, the final short track race of the legendary James Harvey Hylton. Over the years, Hylton has competed in 273 short track races in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup, ARCA RE/MAX Series and NASCAR Grand National East divisions. Of these 273 starts, Hylton has one victory (Richmond 1970), 88 top-five finishes and 156 top-ten finishes.
"I love short tracking racing, plain and simple" states James Hylton "Salem represents the best of the best. The track is fast and it's very comparable to the track at Bristol. Its definitely a rough and tumble high-speed track. Salem, along with Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway, Martinsville, Bristol, South Boston and Toledo has been one of my favorite tracks to race on during my career." Hylton has competed in three ARCA RE/MAX Series events at Salem with the last start coming during the 2002 season.
Hylton scored a short track victory on March 1, 1970, when he won the Richmond 500 with a 15 second victory over Richard Petty. Hylton states "It was tough to get a victory over the factory-backed guys such as Petty back then." This victory would also be the last short track win by an independent/unsponsored campaigner in NASCAR NEXTEL Cup competition.
Hylton was driving a 1969 Ford Torino that had been built and owned by Holman-Moody and campaigned by David Pearson during the 1969 season. When asked to compare his 2005 Ford Taurus to the 1969 Ford Torino, Hylton said "There is no comparison between the cars, the tires are much better today and the engines can run at 8,000 -- 9,000 rpm's all day. In the old days we could turn the Tunnel Port 427 and Boss 429 motors to about 6,000 rpm's and that was it."
"We also ran a stiff springs back then that didn't allow a lot of car movement, they were totally different than the soft spring packages of today" said Hylton "We had a fully fabricated Holman-Moody front clip on the car and believe me, that was state of the art back then."