Johnson just hopes he’s around

James Hylton, a veteran of 602 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races, was made his final start in the ARCA Series Friday afternoon. (Getty Images)

James Hylton, a veteran of 602 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races, was made his final start in the ARCA Series Friday afternoon. (Getty Images)

KANSAS CITY, Kan.—At age 79, James Hylton, a veteran of 602 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races, was making his final start in the ARCA Series Friday afternoon- Jimmie Johnson’s spotter, Earl Barban, was set to fill the same role for Hylton’s swan song in the No- 48 Ford-

Asking what he hoped to be doing at age 79, Johnson had a one word answer: “Breathing.”

“I’m excited for him,” Johnson added: “Every time I see him out there in that No. 48, it puts a big smile on my face.”

“But at 79, it’s amazing. He’s truly passionate and loves our sport. It’s nice to see him out there one last time.”

Hylton ran the No. 48 in all but a handful of his 602 Cup starts. He won twice with the number, at Richmond in 1970 and at Talladega in 1972. He last race the No- 48 in the Cup series at Darlington in 1993-

Johnson has won 65 Cup races since taking over the No. 48 in 2001.

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