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Bobby Isaac

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Stock Car Racing

Bobby Isaac
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Wikipedia: Bobby Isaac

Memorial Event
Bobby Isaac Memorial 200

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Biography
Photographs
Merchandise
Born: 1 August 1934
Hometown: Catawba, North Carolina, USA
Died: 14 August 1977

Former NASCAR Grand National driver with 1 race in 1961 followed by a successful career between 1963 and 1976.

His accomplishments include:

1969 NASCAR Most Popular Driver
1970 NASCAR Grand National Champion
1970 NASCAR Driver of the Year

Died of a heart attack in the summer of 1977 during a race in Hickory, North Carolina.  The Bobby Isaac Memorial 200 was named in his honor, run in 1982 as a Budweiser Late Model Sportsman Series race and in 2009 as an ISCARS DASH Touring Series race.


Biography

The following section is an excerpt from Wikipedia's Bobby Isaac page on 24 September 2018, text available via the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Isaac grew up on a farm near Catawba, North Carolina, the second-youngest of nine children. He finished school after the sixth grade, which led to the incorrect rumor that he could neither read nor write.

He began racing full-time in 1956, but it took him seven years to break into the Grand National division. Isaac won the championship in 1970 driving the No. 71 Dodge Charger Daytona sponsored by K&K Insurance. His crew chief was Harry Hyde. Isaac and Hyde took the car to Talladega in November and set a closed-course speed record.

Isaac won 37 races in NASCAR's top series during his career, including 11 in his championship season, and started from the pole position 49 times. Isaac currently holds the NASCAR record for most poles in a single season, with 20 in 1969. In 1970 he turned a 201.104 mph lap at Talladega, a record that stood until 1983.

Isaac dropped out of the 1973 Talledega 500 mid-race in an impulsive decision which surprised his pit crew and the team owner. "I wasn't afraid I was going to wreck...I don't have anything to prove to myself or to anybody else. I know how it feels to win and lose. I know how it feels to be a champion. And now I know how it feels to quit. It just entered my mind at that moment," Isaac said. "I decided to quit and that was that. (Team owner) Bud Moore didn't know I had quit until after the race. I didn't know about (Larry) Smith at that time." (Larry Smith was the first fatality at Talledega Speedway, which happened earlier in the race). Isaac did not participate in any further 1973 NASCAR Winston Cup races after Talladega, and the presumption by sports commentators in late 1973 was that he was retiring from the sport.

Ultimately, Isaac did return to NASCAR racing as a driver from 1974 through 1976, on a reduced schedule.


Photographs

Bobby Isaac Slot Car Built by Joe Salzburg
Photo ©2011 Bill Crittenden
C.A.R.S. in Miniature February 2011 Meeting
View photo of Bobby Isaac Slot Car - 2,080KB
Bobby Isaac Slot Car Built by Joe Salzburg
Photo ©2011 Bill Crittenden
C.A.R.S. in Miniature February 2011 Meeting
View photo of Bobby Isaac Slot Car - 2,390KB
Bobby Isaac Slot Car Built by Joe Salzburg
Photo ©2011 Bill Crittenden
C.A.R.S. in Miniature February 2011 Meeting
View photo of Bobby Isaac Slot Car - 2,524KB
Bobby Isaac 3rd Generation Dodge Charger Daytona Model Car Bobby Isaac Paint Scheme
3rd Generation Dodge Charger Daytona

Photo ©2013 Bill Crittenden
2013 Attack of the Plastic
View photo of Bobby Isaac 3rd Generation Dodge Charger Daytona Model Car - 3.5MB


Merchandise

Type & Item #NameDetails
Die Cast - Johnny LightningBobby Isaac #71Stock Car Legends, small scale, orange w/white #71 K&K Insurance Dodge Charger Daytona


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