Bobby Isaac: NASCARs First Modern Champion

Daytona in July: Forty Years Ago
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My favorite memory of him: Isaac and the Krauskopf-Hyde team entered the Medal of Honor Firecracker at Daytona International Speedway only a few hours before deadline for the race on July 4, Driving a Dodge with an experimental engine, he rallied from 21st to the front of the field.

Bobby Isaac: NASCAR's First Modern Champion

He sped into the lead a final time on the th of the laps. With five laps to go, two of the three hood pins on his car worked loose. Realizing he had a cushion of two laps to obey the flag before pitting under rules in effect at that time, Isaac steadfastly stayed on the track and finished four seconds ahead of runner-up Richard Petty for the biggest victory of his career.

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What people might not know about him: Isaac began his driving career at Hickory Speedway in weekly events at age 17 in He made one Cup Series start in and returned to the big-time tour to stay in Isaac eventually tempered his temper, but never his competitive zeal. Introduced to golf by Richard Howard, a neighbor in Denver, N.

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He taught himself to play right-handed and became a relatively good golfer. Isaac and Hall of Famer David Pearson were best friends. Larry Smith, the Cup Series rookie of the year and a fellow native of Catawba County, had been killed in a crash early in the race. In that same year, Isaac set a world closed-course record when he ran Many of his records exist to this day. Bobby Isaac drove Smokey Yunick 's Chevrolet in the National at Charlotte, giving it a whale of a ride before a tire blew. Afterwards, Yunick said of Isaac; "He's a race driver.

Yunick's endorsement impressed Ray Nichels , and he put Isaac in his Dodge for the season, and the young driver was on his way to greatness. Isaac's name would be associated with Dodges during his stellar career. He won 11 races, and his car accounted for nearly 54 percent of the total points which earned Dodge the manufacturers championship, breaking a 7 year stranglehold by Ford.

Isaac, Krauskopf and legendary crew chief Harry Hyde , decided to cap the season by going to Talladega Superspeedway, the worlds fastest track, to try for a closed-course record. On a raw, blustery day November 24, , Isaac circled the track at Isaac felt that this was the pinnacle of his career. Yet, in September , he went on to set 28 world class records on the Bonneville Salt Flats in his Dodge.

Many of his records still exist to this day. Bobby Isaac was born in , a kid in a large North Carolina family.

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At 12 he went to work in a sawmill where he saved his money until he had enough to buy a pair of new shoes. Isaac tired of working at the sawmill, and that's when he decided that he wanted to make a living driving race cars. Isaac could now buy all the shoes he ever wanted. The Winston Cup season gave Bobby Isaac 11 more career wins. The points race was heating up and in the second to the last race of the season, Bobby Isaac secured the championship for the first time.

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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Hot Rods and Muscle Cars in your inbox. Stacey D Pandolfi is currently reading it Feb 01, He was also unhappy to learn that the team had agreed to run a second car with Buddy Baker, feeling that it would unfairly divide their resources. Who was Bobby Isaac?

In Bobby was driving for Bud Moore. On August 12, during the middle of the Talladega , Bobby Isaac, was leading the race when he pulled his car off the track and into the pits and quit. He simply pulled in and got out of the car and quit. It was said that he had heard a voice telling him to get out of the car. Isaac won the championship in driving the No. His crew chief was Harry Hyde. Isaac and Hyde took the car to Talladega in November and set a closed-course speed record.

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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. In he turned a Isaac dropped out of the Talledega mid-race in an impulsive decision which surprised his pit crew and the team owner.

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I don't have anything to prove to myself or to anybody else. I know how it feels to win and lose.

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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.