Wednesday, August 1, 2018

"NASCAR's 50 Greatest Drivers" Bobby Isaac Born - August 1, 1932

August 1, 1932 - August 14, 1977
Bobby Isaac
Born in Catawba, North Carolina,USA.
Issac 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 #71 Dodge Charger Daytona sponsored by K&K Insurance. His crew chief was legendary Harry Hyde. Isaac & 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 50 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 that stood until 1983. According to Isaac a strange "voice" in the car told him to retire from the Talladega race in 1973 because it threatened he would be killed. Earlier in the race, another driver named Larry Smith died in an accident.

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

On August 13th, 1977, he pulled out of a Late Model Sportsman race at Hickory Motor Speedway with 25 laps left, and called for a relief driver, collapsing on pit road. Though he was revived briefly at the hospital, he later died from a heart attack in the early morning hours.

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 NASCAR's 50 Greatest Drivers of all time. On May 20, 2015, Isaac was announced as a member of the 2016 Class of the NASCAR Hall of Fame.

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