Bobby Isaac was born in 1932 or 1934 depending on the source. He was the second youngest of nine kids. He had a rough childhood, losing his father at age six then his mother at 16. He had dropped out of school by 13, although the reports that he couldn’t read or write are false.
When he was 17 and living with his sister and her husband, he saw his first race at the new track in Hickory, NC. He was hooked. He bought a ’37 Ford and crashed it on the second lap of his first race.
Bobby Isaac became a full time driver in 1956 racing for Frank Hefner. Bobby spent the 1958 season with Ralph Earnhardt and won 28 races competing against, now legends, David Pearson and Ned Jarrett.
In 1963 Isaac raced for Bondy Long. But after equipment changes and tension between Bobby and crew chief Mack Howard, Bobby was let go. Later that season he was behind the wheel for Ray Nichels thanks to some fast talking by Bud Allman, a former mechanic for Ned Jarrett.
At the 1964 Daytona, Bobby Isaac took the win over Petty and Pardue in the second qualifying race. He ended the ’64 season with 19 starts and seven top-ten finishes.
In 1965, due to the banning of the Chrysler Hemi engines by Bill France, Bobby ran in the USAC series. He won two races before returning to NASCAR late in ’65. Bobby started the 1966 season driving Ford’s for Junior Johnson but once again a dispute between NASCAR and a car company (this time Ford) left him hanging. Upon Ford’s return, Bobby was let go as Junior’s driver.
Isaac hooked up with K&K Insurance in 1967 and his career took off. He got his second Cup win at the tenth race of the season, and three races later he beat Buddy Baker to line to win at Augusta, GA. During the season the points race was intense and Bobby finished the season in second place behind David Pearson. Bobby had 17 wins in the 1969 season but only came in sixth in points.
The 1970 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. He continued driving for K&K until 1972 earning 5 more wins and setting 28 track speed records.
In 1973 Bobby was driving for Bud Moore. On August 12, during the middle of the Talladega 500, 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 made some comeback attempts in 1974 through 1976. He drove his final Winston Cup race in 1976 for Banjo Matthews.
While racing in a Late Model Sportsman event at Hickory Bobby Isaac once again pulled his car off the track without warning. He suffered a heart attack and died later at a local hospital.