Countdown to Daytona: Bobby Issac scored only win in No. 37

BY Joe Menzer • January 20, 2017

With just 37 days left before the 2017 Daytona 500 on FOX, we remember the great Bobby Issac.

Issac, a 2016 NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee, won a total of 37 races and 48 poles in 308 career starts in NASCAR's Premier Series. He also won the 1970 championship in what was then the Grand National Series.

But on this day, we recall his one win -- the only win in history by anyone, in fact -- in the No. 37 car.

It came on a half-mile dirt track in the Columbia 200 on April 18, 1968 in Columbia, South Carolina. Issac led 186 of 200 laps in his K&K Insurance-sponsored car owned by Nord Krauskopf. The legendary Harry Hyde was his crew chief.

It was one of only seven career starts Issac made in the car number, as that season he split his starts between the 37 and the No. 71.

But Issac went on to win many more races in a storied career that was tragically cut short in 1977 when he pulled off the track during a late model race at Hickory Motor Speedway, complaining of heat exhaustion, and later succumbed to a heart attack that led to his death.

Issac won the Daytona 500 only once, in 1964 while driving the No. 26 Dodge for owner Ray Nichels. He also won a Daytona 500 qualifying race in 1969 in the No. 71 back when those races counted as victories in the points standings -- and the record books.

Issac is perhaps most remembered for the No. 71 winged Dodge Charger owned by Krauskopf that gained fame when he and his team took it to the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah and set 28 world speed records after NASCAR banned it and other winged cars.

Remarkably, Issac's win in the No. 37 in 1968 is the only one ever recorded in the history of NASCAR's top series across a total of 483 starts. John Andretti made the most starts of all time in the number with 54, but never won. Jeremy Mayfield owns the second-highest number of starts with 39.

As a footnote regarding the number, Sterling Marlin won the 39th running of the Daytona 500 in 1995 -- winning NASCAR's most prestigious race for the second year in a row.



 



share story