Bobby Isaac

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Robert Isaac
Born (1932-08-01)August 1, 1932
Catawba, North Carolina, U.S.
Died August 14, 1977(1977-08-14) (aged 45)
Hickory, North Carolina, U.S.
Cause of death Heart attack due to heat exhaustion
Achievements 1970 Grand National Series champion
Holds Sprint Cup Series record for most poles in a season (20 poles in 1969)
Awards Named one of NASCAR's 50 Greatest Drivers (1998)
National Motorsports Press Association Hall of Fame (1979)
International Motorsports Hall of Fame (1996)
NASCAR Hall of Fame (2016)
Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series career
308 races run over 14 years
Best finish 1st (1970)
First race 1961 World 600 qualifier No. 1 (Charlotte)
Last race 1976 World 600 (Charlotte)
First win 1964 Daytona 500 qualifier No. 2 (Daytona)
Last win 1972 Carolina 500 (Rockingham)
Wins Top tens Poles
37[1] 170[1] 49[1]
NASCAR Grand National East Series career
8 races run over 2 years
Best finish 30th (1973)
First race 1972 Hickory 276 (Hickory)
Last race 1973 Buddy Shuman 100 (Hickory)
First win 1972 Albany-Saratoga 250 (Malta)
Last win 1972 Coalminers 200 (Lonesome Pine)
Wins Top tens Poles
4 6 4
Statistics current as of April 17, 2013.

Bobby Isaac (August 1, 1932 – August 14, 1977) was an American stock car racer. Isaac was NASCAR's Grand National Series champion in 1970.

Early life[edit]

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.[2]

NASCAR career[edit]

Isaac's No. 71 at the NASCAR Hall of Fame

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).[3] 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.[4]

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

Land speed records[edit]

Isaac also made his mark outside of NASCAR.[5][6] In September 1971, he went to the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah and set 28 world speed records, some of which still stand.[5][6]

Awards[edit]

Bobby Isaac was inducted into the National Motorsports Press Association Hall of Fame in 1979, and the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in 1996. In 1998 NASCAR honored Isaac as one of its 50 greatest drivers. On May 20, 2015, Isaac was announced as a member of the 2016 induction class to the NASCAR Hall of Fame.

Death[edit]

On Saturday night, August 13, 1977, while running fourth, Isaac pulled out of the Winston 200 late model sportsman race at Hickory Motor Speedway with 40 laps left, and called for a relief driver, collapsing on pit road of heat exhaustion. Weather reports for the area that day showed temperatures which had reached 91 °F (33 °C) at mid-afternoon, and were still around 80 °F (27 °C) at the time of Isaac's collapse.[7] Though Isaac was revived briefly at the hospital and was conversing with friends, he later died from a heart attack caused by heat exhaustion, at 12:45 am, August 14.[8][9]

Details of Isaac's pit lane collapse on the night of his death were given to reporters by friend and former racing driver Ned Jarrett. Jarrett asserted at that time that the reason Isaac left the 1973 Talladega 500 was because he "had heard a voice that told him to quit".[10]

Motorsports career results[edit]

NASCAR[edit]

(key) (Bold – Pole position awarded by qualifying time. Italics – Pole position earned by points standings or practice time. * – Most laps led.)

Grand National Series[edit]

NASCAR Grand National Series results
Year Team No. Make 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 NGNC Pts Ref
1961 Rex Lovette 27 Pontiac CLT JSP DAY DAY DAY PIF AWS HMS ATL GPS HBO BGS MAR NWS CLB HCY RCH MAR DAR CLT
18
CLT RSD ASP CLT PIF BIR GPS BGS NOR HAS STR DAY ATL CLB MBS BRI NSV BGS AWS RCH SBO DAR HCY RCH CSF ATL MAR NWS CLT BRI GPS HBO 158th - [11]
1963 Bondy Long 90 Plymouth BIR GGS THS RSD DAY DAY
22
20th 12858 [12]
99 DAY
DNQ
PIF
11
AWS
6
HBO
20
AUG
7
RCH GPS
16
SBO BGS CLB
21
THS ASH
16
Ford ATL
20
HCY BRI
27
MAR
21
NWS
8
DAR
21
ODS RCH CLT
11
BIR ATL
11
DAY
16
MBS
18
SVH DTS BGS OBS
5
BRR
9
BRI
11
GPS
5
NSV
14
CLB
3
AWS
18
PIF
14
BGS ONA DAR
11
HCY RCH MAR DTS NWS THS
Smokey Yunick 13 Chevy CLT
31
SBO HBO RSD
1964 Nichels Engineering 26 Dodge CON AUG JSP SVH RSD DAY DAY
1
DAY
15
RCH BRI
27
GPS BGS ATL
2
AWS HBO PIF CLB NWS MAR SVH DAR
27
LGY HCY SBO CLT
25
GPS ASH ATL
7
CON NSV CHT BIR VAL PIF DAY
2
ODS OBS BRR
17
ISP GLN LIN BRI
23
NSV MBS AWS DTS ONA DAR
20
MAR
7
CLT
27
18th 13252 [13]
Louis Weathersbee 45 Plymouth CLB
11
BGS STR HCY
26
RCH
17
ODS HBO SVH
13
NWS
Owens Racing 5 Dodge HAR
4
AUG
2
JAC
17
1965 Nichels Engineering 35 Dodge RSD DAY DAY DAY PIF ASW RCH HBO ATL GPS NWS MAR CLB BRI DAR LGY BGS HCY CLT CCF ASH HAR NSV BIR ATL GPS MBS VAL DAY ODS OBS ISP GLN BRI NSV CCF AWS SMR PIF AUG CLB DTS BLV BGS DAR HCY LIN ODS RCH MAR
32
NWS
34
CLT HBO CAR
21
75th 980 [14]
Junior Johnson & Associates 26 Ford DTS
2*
1966 AUG
2
RSD
29
DAY DAY
7
DAY
21
CAR
37
BRI
23
ATL
29
HCY
3
CLB GPS BGS NWS MAR DAR LGY MGR MON RCH CLT DTS ASH PIF SMR AWS BLV GPS DAY ODS BRR OXF FON ISP BRI SMR NSV ATL CLB AWS BLV BGS DAR HCY RCH HBO MAR NWS CLT 53rd 3438 [15]
Owens Racing 5 Dodge CAR
30
1967 K&K Insurance Racing 71 Dodge AUG RSD DAY
11
DAY DAY
19
AWS BRI GPS BGS ATL
5
CLB HCY NWS MAR SVH RCH CLT
11
ASH MGR SMR BIR CAR
16
GPS MGY DAY
5
TRN OXF FDA ISP ATL
33
BGS CLB SVH DAR
6
HCY RCH BLV HBO MAR NWS CLT
2
CAR
36
AWS 14th 19698 [16]
37 DAR
8
BLV LGY
King Enterprises 53 Dodge BRI
32
SMR NSV
1968 K&K Insurance Racing 37 Dodge MGR
16
MGY
3
RSD
7
RCH
13
GPS
2
CLB
1*
2nd 3373 [17]
71 DAY
36
BRI
5
ATL
8
HCY
3*
NWS
3
MAR
16
AUG
1*
AWS
2
DAR
7
BLV
2
LGY
2
CLT
5
ASH
3
MGR
2
SMR
14
BIR
2
CAR
24
GPS
22
DAY
8
ISP
6
OXF
5
FDA
4
TRN
16
BRI
4
SMR
22
NSV
4
ATL
2
CLB
11
BGS
3
AWS
2
SBO
3
LGY
3
DAR
33
HCY
2*
RCH
6
BLV
1*
HBO
11
MAR
5
NWS
7
AUG
4
CLT
9
CAR
17
JFC
9*
1969 MGR
17
MGY
4
RSD
38
DAY DAY
1*
DAY
30
CAR
7
AUG
3*
BRI
14*
ATL
23
CLB
1*
HCY
1*
GPS
1*
RCH
27
NWS
23
MAR
23
AWS
1*
DAR
26
BLV
1*
LGY
4*
CLT
5
MGR
1*
SMR
1*
MCH
28
KPT
11*
GPS
1*
NCF
10
DAY
29
DOV TPN TRN
3*
BLV
17
BRI
2
NSV
2
SMR
19
ATL
33
MCH
6
SBO
1*
BGS
2*
AWS
1*
DAR HCY
1*
RCH
3
TAL
4
CLB
1
MAR
6
NWS
3
CLT
41
SVH
1*
AUG
1*
CAR
16
JFC
1*
MGR
3
TWS
1
6th 3301 [18]
1970 RSD
29
DAY
2
DAY DAY
5
RCH
4
CAR
14
SVH
2
ATL
28
BRI
17
TAL
2
NWS
2
CLB
3
DAR
3
BLV
1*
LGY
1*
CLT
7
SMR
1*
MAR
1*
MCH
5
RSD
16
HCY
1*
KPT
8
GPS
1*
DAY
9
AST
17
TPN
1*
TRN
19
BRI
3
SMR
2
NSV
1*
ATL
35
CLB
1*
ONA
10
MCH
4
TAL
2
BGS
3
SBO
2
DAR
2
HCY
1*
RCH
4
DOV
6
NCF
3
NWS
1
CLT
5
MAR
4
MGR
2*
CAR
7
LGY
23
1st 3911 [19]
1971 RSD
4
DAY DAY
11
DAY
10
ONT
4
RCH
2
CAR
2
HCY BRI ATL
5
CLB GPS
1*
SMR NWS
13*
MAR
3
DAR
25
SBO
13*
TAL ASH KPT
1*
CLT
32
DOV
4
MCH
2
RSD HOU GPS DAY
1*
BRI AST ISP TRN NSV ATL
33
BGS ONA MCH
39
TAL CLB HCY DAR
4
MAR
1*
CLT
2
DOV
3
CAR
5
MGR RCH NWS TWS
49
23rd 1819 [20]

Winston Cup Series[edit]

NASCAR Winston Cup Series results
Year Team No. Make 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 NWCC Pts Ref
1972 K&K Insurance Racing 71 Dodge RSD
3
DAY
33
RCH
3
ONT
45
CAR
1
ATL
3
BRI
2
DAR
28
NWS
3*
MAR
19*
TAL
2
CLT
23
DOV
14
MCH
26
RSD
21
TWS
5
DAY
27
BRI
18
TRN
2*
ATL
31
TAL
42
MCH
3
NSV
27
DAR
40
RCH DOV 19th 5050.85 [21]
Donlavey Racing 98 Ford MAR
35
NWS
Matthews Racing 27 Chevy CLT
28
CAR
36
TWS
1973 Bud Moore Engineering 15 Ford RSD
27
DAY
2
RCH
4
CAR
30
BRI
15
ATL
2
NWS
28
DAR
33
MAR
3
TAL
26
NSV
7
CLT
4
DOV
29
TWS
32
RSD
33
MCH DAY
39
BRI
22
ATL
35
TAL
13
NSV DAR RCH DOV NWS MAR CLT CAR 26th 3352.4 [22]
1974 Matthews Racing 27 Chevy RSD DAY
8
RCH CAR BRI
2
ATL 33rd 152.94 [23]
Donlavey Racing 90 Ford DAR
33
NWS
Ellington Racing 28 Chevy MAR
25
TAL NSV DOV DAY
6
BRI NSV ATL
34
POC TAL
8
MCH DAR
37
RCH DOV NWS
6
MAR
29 CLT
33
RSD MCH
K&K Insurance Racing 17 Dodge CLT
32
CAR ONT
1975 Ellington Racing 28 Chevy RSD DAY RCH CAR
29
BRI ATL NWS DAR MAR TAL NSV DOV 48th 405 [24]
Norris Reed 83 Chevy CLT
35
RSD MCH DAY NSV POC TAL MCH DAR DOV NWS MAR
Puro Racing 75 Mercury CLT
37
RCH
Ed Gibson 3 Chevy CAR
7
BRI
23
ATL
30
ONT
1976 Howard & Egerton Racing 6 Chevy RSD DAY CAR
6
RCH BRI ATL NWS DAR MAR TAL NSV DOV 114th 49 [25]
Neil Castles CLT
38
RSD MCH DAY NSV POC TAL MCH BRI DAR RCH DOV MAR NWS CLT CAR ATL ONT
Daytona 500[edit]
Year Team Manufacturer Start Finish
1963 Bondy Long Plymouth DNQ
1964 Nichels Engineering Dodge 4 15
1966 Junior Johnson & Associates Ford 14 21
1967 K&K Insurance Racing Dodge 23 19
1968 11 36
1969 2 30
1970 3 5
1971 2 10
1972 1 33
1973 Bud Moore Engineering Ford 10 2
1974 Matthews Racing Chevrolet 3 8

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Driver's statistics at racing-reference.info
  2. ^ Decades of Racing - Bobby Isaac
  3. ^ "Historical Motorsports Stories: NASCAR's Urban Legends: Larry Smith & Bobby Isaac - Racing-Reference.info". racing-reference.info. Retrieved 2016-03-22. 
  4. ^ McLeod, Mac (1973-08-20). "A Champion Quits". The Sumter Daily Item. 
  5. ^ a b First hand account of Bonneville Salt Flats land speed record attempts
  6. ^ a b International Motorsports Hall of Fame page Archived 2006-05-08 at the Wayback Machine.
  7. ^ "Weather History for Hickory, NC | Weather Underground". www.wunderground.com. Retrieved 2016-03-23. 
  8. ^ "Hickory victory to Ingram". Statesville Record & Landmark. August 15, 1977. Archived from the original on February 24, 2016. 
  9. ^ "Bobby Isaac dead at 43". The Spartanburg Herald. Associated Press. August 15, 1977. 
  10. ^ AP (1977-08-15). "Heart Attack Fatal - Bobby Isaac Dead At 43". Herald-Journal. 
  11. ^ "Bobby Isaac – 1961 NASCAR Grand National Results". Racing-Reference. Retrieved May 26, 2016. 
  12. ^ "Bobby Isaac – 1963 NASCAR Grand National Results". Racing-Reference. Retrieved May 26, 2016. 
  13. ^ "Bobby Isaac – 1964 NASCAR Grand National Results". Racing-Reference. Retrieved May 26, 2016. 
  14. ^ "Bobby Isaac – 1965 NASCAR Grand National Results". Racing-Reference. Retrieved May 26, 2016. 
  15. ^ "Bobby Isaac – 1966 NASCAR Grand National Results". Racing-Reference. Retrieved May 26, 2016. 
  16. ^ "Bobby Isaac – 1967 NASCAR Grand National Results". Racing-Reference. Retrieved May 26, 2016. 
  17. ^ "Bobby Isaac – 1968 NASCAR Grand National Results". Racing-Reference. Retrieved May 26, 2016. 
  18. ^ "Bobby Isaac – 1969 NASCAR Grand National Results". Racing-Reference. Retrieved May 26, 2016. 
  19. ^ "Bobby Isaac – 1970 NASCAR Grand National Results". Racing-Reference. Retrieved May 26, 2016. 
  20. ^ "Bobby Isaac – 1971 NASCAR Winston Cup Results". Racing-Reference. Retrieved May 26, 2016. 
  21. ^ "Bobby Isaac – 1972 NASCAR Winston Cup Results". Racing-Reference. Retrieved May 26, 2016. 
  22. ^ "Bobby Isaac – 1973 NASCAR Winston Cup Results". Racing-Reference. Retrieved May 26, 2016. 
  23. ^ "Bobby Isaac – 1974 NASCAR Winston Cup Results". Racing-Reference. Retrieved May 26, 2016. 
  24. ^ "Bobby Isaac – 1975 NASCAR Winston Cup Results". Racing-Reference. Retrieved May 26, 2016. 
  25. ^ "Bobby Isaac – 1976 NASCAR Winston Cup Results". Racing-Reference. Retrieved May 26, 2016. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
David Pearson
NASCAR Grand National Champion
1970
Succeeded by
Richard Petty