Isaac grew up on a farm near Catawba, North Carolina, the second-youngest of nine children. He finished school after the sixth grade, which lead 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 #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. He took 20 poles in a single season in 1969. This NASCAR record that will be hard to beat since there are currently 36 races on the schedule.
Land Speed RecordsEdit
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.
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.
Unfortunately, Bobby did not live to enjoy any of the accolades. He pulled out of a 1977 Late Model Sportsman race at Hickory Motor Speedway with 25 laps left, and died of a heart attack.