(NOTE: If you have visited this site page before, Press
F5 and it will properly Refresh the page)
MEMORIAL SERVICE INFO
Wednesday, January 11, 2012 at 2
Waynesville First United Methodist Church
566 South Haywood Street Waynesville, NC 28786 (MAP) (828) 456-9475 Reverend Kathleen Wilson (a personal friend of
Wanda's), will preside over service
In lieu of flowers....*
Homes & Cremation Services of Waynesville is in charge
An online memorial register is available at
Please check back here or give us
HERE and we will keep you updated on Memorial or
UPDATE: 1/9/12: Daytona Memorial To Be Held 2/23
OBITUARY WANDA RUSSELL EARLY LUND December
10, 1948 - January 05, 2012
Wanda Lund Early,
63, passed away at her home in
Waynesville, North Carolina on Thursday
evening, January 5, 2012.
A native of Haywood County, Wanda grew
up on her family's dairy farm in
Crabtree, NC, just west of Asheville.
She is perhaps best known as the widow
of Dewayne "Tiny" Lund, winner of the
1963 Daytona 500 who later lost his life
during a race at Talladega. She
continued to be very active
in NASCAR circles up until the time of
Despite her notoriety, she lived a
relatively simple life in Waynesville
where she relished her role as mother,
aunt, grandmother and friend to so many.
At the time of her death, she was
married to Buddy Early, Sr.. Wanda is
described by those closest to her as a
fierce protector of those she loved. Her
diminutive stature betrayed her
bigger-than-life personality and allowed
her to command the room, even in the
company of former presidents and
Wanda is survived by her husband, Buddy
Early, Sr., her sons, Bud Early of
Suwanee, GA, Chris Lund of Atlanta, GA,
J. J. Early of Sedona, AZ and Scott
Early of Bethel, NC. In addition to her
mother, Evelyn Russell, she is also
survived by her sister, Darlene Hannah,
her brothers Dale Russell and Ricky
Russell, as well as a her grandchildren,
Joshua, Madison, Cain, Sydney, and
Sierra, who brought her so much joy.
A celebration of her life is scheduled
for Wednesday, January 11, 2012 at 2:00
p.m. in Waynesville at the First United
*In lieu of flowers,
memorials may be made to the Racing
Legends Medical Fund, established in
1991 to assist with the needs of life
hardships for those who have committed
their life to professional stock car
racing and others who worked in racing.
UPDATE: Sunday 10:30 PM:
After communicating directly with Wanda's family, they requested
three things: 1. To post the
Obituary above 2. To communicate that each and every member of the
family as stated in the obituary spent Saturday over several
hours and openly communicated their grief and their support of
each other. Initially there were rampant conjecture over what
happened as most found it hard to believe she would have taken
her own life. The family as shown in the obituary is unified
that there is no family member being blamed for her tragic death
and the family asks that all the negative thoughts and rumors
over the details please be put to rest and unify with all the
family in honoring the Celebration of Life with them. Their
intention is for all the family to attend the Wednesday Memorial
Service and Celebrate her life and legacy and they hope you will
3. That they support any other Memorial services/gathering that
may be planned, such as one during Daytona Speedweeks.
UPDATE: Sun., 4:25 PM
-- Coroner's Report has a direct verifiable official report from
Department of a self-inflicted gun shot wound as the cause of
death. No further investigation will be conducted.
UPDATE: Sunday 1/8/12
3:02PM: According to a family member, the Coroner's report
confirms conclusively the Wanda did indeed take her own life.
Though details are known, it is not as important as to realize
that Wanda had specific problems that were overwhelming her and
she stated in her note that she did not want to be a burden to
anyone. We must now turn to our warm, fun thoughts of Wanda and
not try to feel guilty or shameful because it is not what Wanda
would have wanted.
Always the smile...... we will certainly
miss it...... Sad News:
Friday 1/6/12: It is with a heavy heart that we report
the passing of Wanda Lund the evening of Thursday, January
5th. . A close family source stated some recent news she
received health wise were obviously a burden she could not
Wanda just celebrated her 63rd birthday on
10th and was
looking forward to seeing her beloved Alabama Crimson Tide play for the
college football national championship on Monday, Jan. 9th. Wanda and
friends planned to be in Daytona for Speedweeks in a few weeks to accept an
award for Tiny at the Victory Lane Racing Association banquet on Feb. 23rd.
She SO looked forward to this trip.
We know Wanda is at the 'big track in the sky'
laughing it up with her beloved Tiny once again.
According to a source close to the family,
the family wants to honor Wanda's request of cremation.
Chris Lund has
written (6:37PM): "The Family of Wanda Lund
Early wishes to express their sincere thanks for the
outpouring of public support, warm wishes and prayers
surrounding the death of their mother, sister,
grandmother and aunt. One will never know what
ultimately led Wanda to make the decision to end her
life, but the family wishes to extend their gratitude to
all who were touched by her life and the generosity of
spirit she showed to so many. At this time of
immeasurable grief, the family asks for privacy."
To the Family of
Wanda Lund Early: To son Chris Lund, brothers Dale
Russell & Ricky Russell, sister Darlene Hannah, niece
Heather Hannah, close friend Carol H. and many, and I mean
MANY, friends and racing acquaintances, our most sincere
thoughts and prayers go out to you on this very unfortunate
turn of life event. Wanda was so loved by many and she will
surely be missed.
Rest in Peace.
Wanda Lund Early with Martha Earnhardt at the
International Hall of Fame in Talladega
Wanda Lund Early with Kerry Earnhardt at the
International Hall of Fame in Talladega
Wanda Lund Early with Alabama Gov. Bob Riley at
the International Hall of Fame in Talladega
Widow of Tiny Lund found dead at her N.C.
NASCAR legend Tiny Lund's widow found shot to death in N.C.
By AUDREY PARENTE, STAFF WRITER -- Daytona Beach News-Journal -- January
widow of former NASCAR legend Tiny Lund, was found shot to death
Thursday night at her home in Waynesville, N.C., Police Chief Bill
Hollingsed confirmed this afternoon.
The wound appears
to be self-inflicted but that determination will be made once an autopsy
is complete, he said. Officers have worked throughout the night on the
investigation into the shooting, he said. More information will be
webmaster for tinylund.com website, confirmed Early's death shortly
Via, of Holly
Hill, said Lund-Early was planning to be in Daytona Beach for the
February Speed Weeks to receive an award for Tiny from Victory Lane
Racing Association. Details are sketchy, and no further information
could be obtained from North Carolina law enforcement officials although
Via said he was notified today.
"She was a great
ambassador and made a lot of appearances at the legends' banquets and
activities," said Buzz McKim, historian for the NASCAR Hall of Fame in
Charlotte, N.C. "She was as little as he was huge and they were a great
couple." Lund died in a 1975 crash at Talladega Superspeedway.
president of Motor Racing Heritage, said Lund-Early has been a valuable
friend to racing groups in Daytona Beach.
"It's definitely a
loss," Piasecki said. "She was married to one of the great drivers of
NASCAR and will be missed."
Widow of Tiny Lund found dead at her N.C. home
By Bob Pockrass
Friday, January 06, 2012
Wanda Lund-Early, who was married to NASCAR star DeWayne “Tiny” Lund
when Lund was killed in the 1975 Talladega 500, died Thursday night
from what Waynesville, N.C., police are treating as a self-inflicted
Lund-Early, 65, was found dead at her home after police received a
call asking for it do a welfare check on her, said Waynesville
Police Department Lieutenant Chris Chandler.
A final determination on the cause of death will be made following
the report issued by the medical examiner, which could take months,
Chandler said. He said the investigation remains open but they are
not looking for any suspects at this time.
Notice of her death was posted on TinyLund.com. “We know Wanda is at
the 'big track in the sky' laughing it up with her beloved Tiny once
again,” the post said.
Tiny Lund won five career Cup races, including the 1963 Daytona 500
for Wood Brothers Racing. Lund won the race 10 days after he had
pulled Marvin Panch out of a fiery sports car and the injured Panch
convinced the Wood Brothers to put Lund in the car for the race.
Tiny Lund wasn’t tiny – he stood 6-foot-6 and weighed more than 250
pounds. He was 45 years old when he was killed on the eighth lap of
the race at Talladega, where his car was hit on the passenger side
in his 303rd start in what is now known as the Sprint Cup Series.
AutoRacing1.com - Hot News Page Roland Via,
webmaster for tinylund.com website, confirmed Early's death shortly
after noon. Via, of Holly Hill, said Lund-Early was planning to be in
Daytona Beach for the February Speed Weeks to receive an award for Tiny
from Victory Lane ...
UPDATE: Wanda Lund’s Death Being Treated As “Self-Inflicted”
Reports from Waynesville Police Department are confirming that they
are treating the shooting as self-inflicted, “The wound appears to be
self-inflicted but that determination will be made once an autopsy is
complete,” said Police Chief Bill Hollingsed.
Mrs. Lund-Early was discovered dead in her home when police arrived
after having received a phone call asking to do a welfare check on her.
A notice of Wanda Lund-Early’s passing was posted on www.tinylund.com,
“We know Wanda is at the ‘big track in the sky’ laughing it up with her
beloved Tiny once again.”
A determination on the cause of death will come from the medical
examiner after all the autopsy and lab work is completed. According to
the Waynesville Police Department, the final report from the medical
examiner could take months.
“The investigation remains open but they are not looking for any
suspects at this time,” said Waynesville Police Department Lieutenant
first NASCAR race was on October 9, 1955 in Lehi, Arkansas. He started in
23rd position in his 1955 Chevrolet, sponsored by Ruppert Safety Belt
Company. He suffered a broken arm and multiple bruises, when his car
flipped repeatedly on lap 65. He was credited with finishing in 25th
place...his seat belt had broken during his series of flips.
Lund would receive the Carnegie Medal of
Honor for heroism when he pulled fellow driver and friend Marvin Panch from
a burning sports car at Daytona in February, 1963. Since he was not able to
compete, Panch convinced the Woods brothers to let Tiny drive his Ford in
the Daytona 500. Lund won the race at an average speed of 151.566 mph
a single set of tires! Later that year, he would win another premier
race...the 500 mile Modified Sportsman race in Atlanta.
Lund would go on to win two other NASCAR
Grand National events: on April 28th, 1965, he won the rain-shortened 100
mile event at the old Columbia, S. Carolina Speedway. He has qualified Lyle Stelter's year-old Ford in fourth place, and ran among the leaders all
On June 15, 1966, he outlasted the Factory
drivers to win at Beltsville, MD. He started 7th,
and took the lead on lap 71 when Richard Petty blew his engine. Lund led
the balance of the race.
During his long and varied racing career,
Tiny would win races in USAC, ARCA and the Pacific Coast Racing Association,
as well as the Grand American Series. He won the Grand American
Championship three times (1968, 1970 and 1971). And, he won the Grand
National East Championship in 1973.
Tiny also won the Most Popular Driver
title in the Grand National American Series a total of four consecutive
years: (1969, 1970, 1971 and 1972).
The Shelby County Speedway was Dewayne
"Tiny" Lund's home track when he first started racing. One of the most
colorful drivers of his era, with a heart as big as his stature, Tiny was a
very generous man who loved fast cars, fishing, good times and children. It
was more than once when Tiny was seen giving his trophy to a child after
winning that day's main event. Tiny is also a member of Iowa's Motorsports
Sports Hall of Fame. Credit: Fletcher WilliamsJeannie Barnes Painting*
Larger than life By:
Published: September 22, 2011
DeWayne “Tiny” Lund, the last winner of a Cup race at
Hickory Motor Speedway, was most definitely not a
tiny man. At 6-6 and close to 300 pounds, Lund rarely did
anything in a tiny way.
And he came up huge in the 1963
Ten days before the 500, Marvin Panch crashed a
Maserati during sports-car testing in the Daytona International
Speedway infield. Lund pulled Panch from the upside down and
burning sports car and later received the Carnegie Medal of
Honor for heroism. Since Panch couldn’t race, Panch persuaded
the Woods Brothers to let
drive their Ford in the Daytona 500. He averaged 151.566 mph and
became the first and only driver to win the Daytona 500 on a
single set of tires, perhaps one of the greatest feats in
He also joined the list of drivers – Derrike Cope, Mario
Andretti and Sterling Marlin are among them– to get
their first Cup victories in stock-car racing’s biggest race.
Lundloved fast cars,
fishing, good times and children, as he often gave a racing
trophy to a child after winning that day’s featured race.
Only one month before his big Daytona 500 win, Lund caught a
world-champion 55-pound striped bass on Lake Moultrie near
Cross, S.C., and he chose No. 55 for his car.
Lund was a four-time NASCAR Grand American champion and won a
Grand National East title.
Along with his back-to-back Grand American championships in
'70 and '71,
won two Grand National races in 1971 – the Buddy Shuman 100, a
276-lap, 100-mile race at Hickory Motor Speedway, and the Wilkes
400 at North Wilkesboro Speedway. He was driving a Grand
American Camaro owned by Ronnie Hopkins.
He wound up winning five of 303 Grand National (now called
Sprint Cup) races.
His last race, one he entered while doing a favor for a
friend, was on Aug. 17, 1975. After a crash eight laps into the
Talladega 500 at Alabama International Motor Speedway
(now Talladega Superspeedway), he died of massive chest
injuries at 45 years of age.
Lund, who was born Nov. 14, 1929, in Harlan, Iowa,
considered both Cross, S.C., and Harlan home. And he has been
well remembered in both areas. Now-defunct Summerville
Speedway near Charleston, S.C., used to hold a Tiny Lund
Memorial race each year, and Shelby County Speedway in
Harlan ran the 20th annual Tiny Lund Memorial race on
Sept. 16-18, 2011 in honor of Lund, a member of the Iowa
Sports Hall of Fame.
There’s also a Tiny Lund Grandstand at Daytona
Lund was also one of the most
colorful drivers of his era. There’s the time he fought the
entire Petty family to a standstill, only to be pummeled by a
woman with her purse. There’s the time Buddy Baker,
another colorful character, was swimming, and Lund snuck up on
him, alligator-like, from below. That gave Baker, deathly afraid
of gators, quite a scare. And Tiny got quite a giggle.
And there’s the time Tiny was showering and Cale
Yarborough dumped cold water on him. Long story short, Lund
wound up flinging a mattress, with Cale clinging to it, into the
motel’s pool. Lund, of course, hadn’t taken time to get dressed.
The winner of the 1975 Talladega 500, by the way, was Baker,
another member of Hickory Motor Speedway’s Wall of Fame. When
Baker went to the press box for the winner’s interview, he
learned of Lund’s death and fell to his knees in a near swoon.
Years later, Baker always has a Tiny Lund story. He once
talked about a post-race incident as Lund raised dust as he
stalked toward Buddy. The men had just bumped fenders and
bumpers on track, and Lund apparently wanted to dent Baker's
“I looked up and said, ‘Oh, Lord,' ” Baker said with a
laugh. “Tiny was racing me, and I was racing to win. I tried to
get around him four or five times, so I just moved him. It kinda
made him mad.”
Naturally. Baker said he noticed part of an axle about the
length of a ball bat.
“My first thought,” he has said, “was to take the axle and
whop him across the head. Then it occurred to me, ‘What if I
So how did Baker handle the aroused and not-so-tiny DeWayne
“I was a good salesman, and I had a boost of adrenaline,”
Baker said, laughing. “I said, ‘You, of all people, are upset at
me? You hit me four or five times in one corner!’ He turned
around laughing and walked off. I thought, ‘Are you kidding me?’
Baker, who was also 6-6 but not as hefty as Lund, was asked
if he was happy that the outsized Tiny departed without
“You tell me, if you were in a river and a bear got in, would
you be happy when it went away?"
By Tom Higgins
- TOM HIGGINS’ SCUFFS
DeWayne 'Tiny' Lund, killed 35 years ago in a Talladega 500
crash. Lund, named one of NASCAR’s 50 greatest drivers, is among
five of this year’s nominees to the National Motorsports Press
Association Hall Of Fame in Darlington, S.C.
Aug. 17, 1975. It’s a date that forever will be draped in black
in NASCAR history.
That’s the day that one of stock car racing’s most colorful and
popular characters, Tiny Lund, lost his life in a crash at
Talladega Superspeedway. The accident happened just eight laps
into the Talladega 500 at the 2.66-mile track then known as
Alabama International Motor Speedway. There was contact between
cars in heavy traffic coming off the 33-degree banking of the
second turn. Suddenly, eight of the cars were spinning and
colliding in a cloud of dust and smoke.
"Tiny came by me backwards," said J.D. McDuffie, tragically
destined to lose his own life in a wreck on Aug. 11, 1991 at
Watkins Glen, N.Y. "Someone then hit Tiny. I don’t know who."
Lund’s Dodge skidded through the grass alongside the track, then
looped back onto the asphalt. The driver’s side of the car faced
Rookie Terry Link, unable to take evasive action, slammed into
Lund’s door, caving in the car’s protective cage. Lund was
unconscious, but alive, when an emergency crew removed him from
the car. But 10 minutes after arriving at the infield infirmary,
he passed away at age 46 from massive chest injuries. Link,
just-turned-23 and a rookie making only his third start on the
leading NASCAR tour, was hospitalized with facial cuts. He never
ran another race at that level. Lund’s fellow competitors and
thousands of fans were stunned by his death. The general
reaction was, "Oh, God, no! Not big ol’ lovable Tiny!"
Lund’s nickname was a misnomer. The native of Iowa stood 6-6 and
weighed about 275 pounds. He was a 20-year NASCAR veteran. He
listed only three victories on the sanctioning body’s major
circuit, but one of these was the Daytona 500 of 1963. That win
remains perhaps the greatest storybook racing triumph of all
Prior to the running of the 500 in ’63 NASCAR star Marvin Panch
flipped a Maserati sports car while testing on the infield
portion of the road course at Daytona International Speedway.
The car landed on its roof and burst into flames. Panch was
trapped inside. Lund was standing nearby, along with several
other spectators. The men rushed to the scene. Tiny, exerting
the great strength of a giant, almost single-handedly lifted the
car to an upright position. Panch was pulled out. He had
sustained serious burns. The injuries forced Panch from the
Daytona 500. He asked his team owners, the Wood Brothers, Glen
and Leonard, to put Tiny in their Ford. They complied, and Lund
won the race. It was his first victory at the leading level, and
was to remain his biggest triumph. In addition to the Daytona
500 trophy, Tiny wound up with another great award: A
prestigious Carnegie Medal for heroism.
In bitter irony, Lund wasn’t supposed to be in the field at
Talladega. He hadn’t qualified. However, the 500 was rained out
on its original date, Aug. 10. On. Aug. 9, Gene Lovell, crew
chief for driver Grant Adcox, had suffered a fatal heart attack
while working on the team’s car at Talladega. A grieving Adcox
Lund got in as an alternate, making his first start since 1973
in what was then called the Grand National Division. He had been
racing in a NASCAR sportsman series and stood second in that
circuit’s point standings when he was killed. Tiny had finished
fifth in a sportsman race at Hickory Speedway on the eve of the
Tiny enjoyed splendid success in NASCAR’s Grand American
Division for smaller cars, winning 41 times and capturing
national championships in 1968, ’70 and ’71. He triumphed 10
straight times in 1970, including a victory in the Dogwood 300
at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Lund claimed another championship
in 1973, this one in the NASCAR Grand National East Division.
The victor in the ill-fated Talladega 500 of ’75 was Buddy
Baker, a close friend and frequent fishing companion of Lund,
owner and operator of a sportsman’s facility on the vast Santee
Cooper Lakes near Cross, S.C. Lund once held the world record
for landlocked striped bass with a 55-pounder he caught on the
lower of those impoundments, Lake Moultrie. Baker, who edged
Richard Petty by about three feet at the finish line, came to
the press box for the winner’s interview unaware of the tragedy
at the start of the race. Told of Lund’s death, Baker paled,
dropped to his knees and appeared to lose his breath. Buddy had
to excuse himself for several minutes to regain his composure
before continuing the interview.
"This is as bad as it gets," said the shaken Baker. "It takes
all the joy out of winning this race."
Baker was among the dozens of drivers, crew chiefs and team
owners at Tiny’s funeral on Aug. 19 at the small, ivy-covered
St. Michael Lutheran Church in Moncks Corner, S.C., not far from
the lakes Lund loved and where he made his home. The church
couldn’t come close to seating all those attending. So
loudspeakers were positioned outside, where dozens of mourners
stood in 90-degree heat, listening from the shade of long-leaf
pines and oak trees draped with Spanish moss. Tough men wept
openly. Not only racers, but grizzled Santee Cooper fishing
guides like Capt. John Sellers.
As the service ended drivers and other competitors lined the
steps and sidewalk at the church, paying tribute as Tiny’s
casket passed by, followed by his widow, Wanda, and young son,
Christian. To say the scene was somber is understatement. The
mourners included Panch, the Wood Brothers, Richard Petty, Cale
Yarborough, Neil Castles, Jim Vandiver, Elmo Langley, Joe
Frasson, Darel Dieringer, Morgan Shepherd, Butch Lindley, L.D.
Ottinger, "Little Bud" Moore, "Big" Bud Moore, Ralph Moody, Buck
Baker, Stan Starr, Tom Pistone and Jack Smith.
Also there were Big Bill France and Bill Jr. of NASCAR, along
with officials Jim Foster, Lin Kuchler and Bill Gazaway.
Promoters Humpy Wheeler and Joe Littlejohn were present. Such
was the esteem in which the fun-loving Lund was held.
"People from coast-to-coast are touched and are here paying
homage," Rev. John E. Wertz proclaimed during the service. "Tiny
had a heart bigger than his imposing stature."
Touched most of all was Panch. "If it wasn’t for Tiny, I
wouldn’t be here," said Panch.
Said Yarborough: "I bet Tiny made a million dollars in his life,
considering all the short track races he won. And he gave it
away to somebody he thought needed it worse than he did." Added
Wheeler: "If Tiny had five cents, he’d spend four of it on
someone else. Down-and-out drivers often stayed months for free
with him at the fishing camp he ran on Santee Cooper."
As Lund was laid to rest a thunderstorm threatened to break the
drought that had parched the S.C. Low country for almost a
month. He was buried next to a lone, massive oak tree. The
racing folks present then departed with resigned urgency.
Another race loomed at Michigan International Speedway, and even
with the death of a friend, the show went on.
"Tiny would be
the first to go along with that," concluded Wheeler.
Video of the
final moments on the track at Talladega....
Watch for 26 car at the end. It was hit in the drivers door as
seen in the video.
Hey, My name is Carol Henry, I am a friend of
Wanda Lund Early.
The poem that is on this web page was written by my brother
John W. Cain and I was wondering if you could put his name
on the poem. He wrote this at Wanda's request for the
Tiny Lund Day in Iowa. I just happened to find this web
site, it is great! Thanks,
Carol Cain Henry
Lund (November 14,
1929-August 17, 1975), affectionately known as
"Tiny" due to his rather large and imposing size,
was born in Harlan, Iowa, and started racing at a
young age - first motorcycles, then trying his hand
at sprints and midgets. He eventually settled on
Modifieds, gaining a reputation as a good, hard
racer "who never lifted" as he worked on perfecting
his ability on a wide variety of Iowa short tracks -
dirt and clay, flat to high banks. To this day,
there isn't a definite number on just how many
features Lund won in his career - some have said as
many as five hundred.
After a stint in
Korea in the Army, Tiny was ready for the big time
and in 1955 decided to try his hand in stock car
Lund went south
and managed to scrounge together a '55 Chevrolet for
a big money Grand National event in Lehi, Arkansas -
$2,900.00 to the winner, an unbelievable sum at the
time, with Carl Rupert and his safety belt company
footing the bill. While the race was dominated by
Speedy Thompson and his Pete DePaolo (1925
Indianapolis 500 champion driver, by now was
operating a Ford factory team in NASCAR) owned Ford,
Lund qualified mid-pack but experienced a
frightening accident on lap sixty-five when his car
flipped end over end and his flimsy safety belt
broke. He was bruised and had a broken arm but was
No Where Fast
1956, Lund tacked on with Gus Holzmueller - they did
little, a fourth in Columbia (SC) their best result.
He also ran a few events for A.L. Bumgarner, without
the equipment to succeed but their relationship led
them to go racing in 1957, as Lund split primary
time between Bumgarner's Pontiacs and a Petty
Enterprises Oldsmobile; it was with Bumgarner that
he nearly won an event at the Cleveland County
Fairgrounds, winning the pole and leading until a
right rear axle gave out, and he also showed muscle
in the season's premiere event at Martinsville
Speedway before his engine expired. Two other poles
on the season showed he had raw speed but the
reliability wasn't there and so Lund left Bumgarner
and became a journeyman for 1958. He won a pair of
pole positions at Gastonia and Hillsboro but did
nothing much else and for 1959 he fielded self-owned
Chevrolets. Again major success eluded Lund and by
1963 he was rideless.
In February of
1963, Lund went down to Daytona shopping around for
any ride, but soon was thrust into the limelight
when his good friend Marvin Panch, then driver for
the now famous Wood Brothers racing team, had a
massive accident while testing an experimental
Ford-powered Maserati sports car for the second
Daytona Continental three-hour sportscar race (it is
now the Rolex 24, having adopted a 24-hour format in
1965) - it had suddenly swerved out of control,
flipped over, and burst into flames. Lund, with no
regard to his own safety, ran into the inferno and
managed to pull Panch out of the wreckage. For his
actions, Lund was awarded the
Carnegie Medal of Honor.
Panch, stricken in
hospital and originally told he would never race
again, asked Lund to take over his ride and Glen
Wood agreed, believing Lund the best replacement
available at such short notice. He timed in fourth
in individual qualifying trials, but could only
muster a sixth place finish in the second qualifying
heat to determine the race lineup. Lund would take
the green flag from twelfth on the grid.
The race almost
didn't get underway that Sunday, delayed over an
hour and a half due to heavy rains, and then the
first ten laps were run under caution. As the green
flag waved on the Great American Race, it was
Fireball Roberts on pole in a Banjo Matthews
Pontiac and "Flying" Fred Lorenzen in a
Ford outside of him - the race had no clearcut
favorite on the onset but as contenders like Junior
Johnson fell by the wayside, Lorenzen took control.
But Lund was methodically working his way through
the field and his Wood Brothers team had an ace up
their sleeve - they planned to make the race on a
stop less than the field. Lund managed to take the
lead very late in the going, but Lorenzen came out
of no where with ten to go and passed Lund before
his gas tank sputtered and he had to dive to pit
road. Then Ned Jarrett made the pass on Lund for the
top spot but with three to go he befell the same
fate as Lorenzen. It was all down to whether or not
Lund could make it on fuel; he sputtered on the
final lap, but he managed to coast home to win what
has been called the fairytale story of NASCAR.
victory (on a single set of tires!) jumpstarted what
had been a dead career but didn't spell instant
success; he would stay in the Wood Brothers Ford for
several races after Daytona, and came close to
another victory in the Southeastern 500 before his
motor gave out, but regular driver Marvin Panch
returned and Lund was kicked to the curb.
him a car for several big races at Atlanta, Daytona
and Charlotte but nothing came of it. For 1964 he
was back to journeyman status, hooking up with a
string of backmarkers before vaulting into the lead
in the Columbia 200 and then overheating. Late in
the year, he settled in with Lyle Stelter and
despite little success they continued their
partnership into the 1965 season and it was with
Stelter that Lund got his second career victory in
that year's Columbia 200, qualifying in fourth and
wrestling control from short track ace Ned Jarrett
before rains came after the race had been declared
official, and washed away the second half of the
event. In 1966, he continued his partnership with
Stelter and flexed his muscle, dominating at
Spartanburg before a differential failed and at
Manassas before his engine grenaded; nonetheless he
took victory at Beltsville Speedway, but mechanical
gremlins and accidents in the form of 21 DNF's kept
him from more widespread success.
For 1967, he
teamed once again with Stelter for the majority of
the year but it was with Petty Enterprises in a #42
liveried Plymouth with which he had most of his
success; he finished fourth in the Daytona 500
despite running out of fuel with a lap to go behind
the Ford factory contingent of USAC star Mario
Andretti and Fred Lorenzen, handing third to
perennial independent James Hylton, and then
finished fifth in the World 600 in that same ride.
He struggled in Stelter's Fords despite a promising
run in Fonda, NY where he qualified second and lead
some before an axle broke; plagued by horrific
reliability, they parted at season's end.
1968, he teamed with Big Bud Moore and his Mercury's
and also ran Moore's cars in the new NASCAR Grand
American division designed for light cars like
Mustangs and Camaros; a fifth in the Firecracker 400
and a fourth in Rockingham highlighted his short
Grand National season, but he won the Grand American
championship. In 1969, he continued to toil in the
Grand American division and ran one Grand National
race, guesting for Bill France, Sr. himself who had
placed himself on the entry list in the inaugural
Talladega 500 as an abortive attempt to get an "in"
with Richard Petty's new drivers' association on the
eve of their boycott over tire safety protests; Lund
drove into the lead but his clutch packed in and he
was classified ninth.
Along with his
back-to-back Grand American championships in '70 and
'71, Lund "won" two Grand National events in 1971 -
the Buddy Shuman 100 (a 276-lap race, 100 miles, as
NASCAR rules required 100 mile races at the time) at
Hickory Motor Speedway and the
Wilkes 400 at North
Wilkesboro Speedway driving a Camaro Grand American
car for Ronnie Hopkins. As the number of entrants
for the fields were low, NASCAR allowed Grand
American cars to fill out the remaining spots on the
grid; Grand American cars equally fast if not more
so than the regular Grand National cars at short
tracks, and Lund controlled the event at Hickory
before falling into a win when dominator Richard
Petty fell by the wayside at North Wilkesboro.
Neither of these victories were added to Lund's
official win tally, as the legitimacy of whether or
not Lund should've been considered a Grand National
competitor in these events has been questioned.
NASCAR had dictated that if a Grand American car won
it would not be credited with the victory; first
place points would not be awarded. Despite this, the
wins were counted as constructors victories for
Chevrolet and starts for Lund.
Greg Fielden and
Peter Golenbock's "Stock Car Racing Encyclopedia"
has credited Lund with the two victories, bringing
his career total to five. This also has disputed the
win total between Bobby Allison and Darrell Waltrip,
both of whom are tied at 84. Allison had one win in
such a race in a Grand American car, which he claims
should put him one greater than Waltrip.
After 1971, Lund
began to fade from the Grand National limelight and
moved to the new Grand National East and short track
Late Model Sportsman (now Busch Series) series'; he
twice won the Sportsman season opener down in
Daytona and continued to rack up the triumphs on the
short tracks that he had cut his teeth on.
In 1975, he
entered an A.J. King Dodge in the Talladega 500 as
first alternate; when Grant Adcox's car was
withdrawn from the event, Lund was in and after a
short track event that Saturday was flown down in
Bobby Allison's private airplane. The race was
delayed a week by heavy rains but on August 17th the
green flag was waved by Juan Manuel Fangio.
On the seventh
lap, the race took a horrific turn when Lund got
into fellow independent J.D. McDuffie on the
backstretch; Lund and McDuffie spun down the track
as it turned into chaos behind them. Rookie Terry
Link was spun straight into the drivers' door of
Lund's Dodge and Link's Pontiac exploded in flames.
Richard Simpson and David Garmany, two Vietnam War
veterans spectating in the infield, climbed over the
catchfencing and with help from Walter Ballard, who
was also involved in the crash, pulled Link from his
car and managed to revive him. Lund, however, was
beyond saving. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Drivers in race were not informed of the tragedy
however Richard Petty ominously remarked on his
radio that ... "I don't think he's going to get out
of that one,".
Buddy Baker was
victorious in that Talladega 500 in a Bud Moore Ford
but there was no celebration as he fell to his knees
upon hearing of Lund's passing. The entire NASCAR
community was saddened by the death of one of their
most colorful stars. At the time of his passing, he
was married to Wanda Lund and had one son,
Christopher DeWayne Lund.
Sons of Lund and Jarrett Together by Sponsorship
2001, Christopher Lund, who by this time was grown
and a 30-year old financial analyst at United Parcel
Service, was profiled on the firm's Web site in
preparation for their NASCAR sponsorship with Dale
Jarrett. Ironically, Jarrett's father Ned had raced
Lund's father in that 1963 Daytona 500, and it was
ironic that UPS chose Lund to be profiled to
celebrate their employee and his racing heritage.
When asked about
Tiny, Christoper mentioned, "I didn't really know my
father very well, but when I think about the shoes I
would have to fill, I realize what a truly
larger-than-life man he was. I am so proud of the
success my father was able to attain in his
Lund mentioned in
regards to the UPS sponsorship, "I love UPS and plan
to retire here. I feel like we all got a bonus when
UPS got involved in this awesome sport."
DeWayne Louis Lund was born in Harlan, Iowa in 1929. Tiny started racing
motorcycles at age 15, then tried Sprints and Midgets , but gave them up because
of his size. Lund stayed with Modified's, earning a good reputation in Iowa even
as a youngster. In 1955, after serving in the US Air Force, he returned to
racing. On February 14,1963, Marvin Panch was driving a Maserati experimental
car in practice at Daytona International Speedway when the car became airborne,
slid on it's top and caught fire. Tiny was the first man to reach Panch and
pulled him from the fire. Because of his burns, Panch was not able to compete in
the Daytona 500. Panch suggested to the Wood Brothers that they let Tiny drive
their Ford in the Daytona 500. Tiny won the biggest Winston Cup race of his
career, the Daytona 500, and was subsequently awarded the Carnegie Medal for
Heroism. During his career, Tiny won over 500 major features and 49 major racing
events. He was a four-time champion in the Grand American division, winning
titles in 1968, 70, 71 and 74, Lund died August 10, 1975 after a racing
Daytona International Speedway: Tiny Lund Grandstands (Named in 1994): Tiny Lund (1929-1975). Lund was a gentle,
fun-loving giant who drove a race car like a demon. He was a master of dirt
tracks, but he also mastered Daytona International Speedway by winning the 1963
Daytona 500. Tiny was a four-time NASCAR Grand American division champion and he
twice won Daytona's Permatex 300, a forerunner of today's Busch Series race.
TINY LUND: Dwayne “Tiny” Lund was the first
and still, to this day, the only driver to ever win the Daytona 500 (1963) on
one set of tires. After pulling Marvin Panch from a burning sports car after
crashing at Daytona in 1963, he was awarded the Carnegie Medal for Heroism.
Unable to compete in the 500, Panch asked the Wood Brothers to let Tiny drive
the car in the race and the rest was history. A three time Grand American
Champion (1968, 70 and 71), he was also the Grand National East Champion in
1973, was the winner of 41 of 109 Grand American races from 1968-72 and was
voted the most popular Georgia driver four times from 1969-1972. Tiny was also
voted most popular Grand American driver four years in a row (1968-1962) and
earned $164,204.00 in his NASCAR career. On August 17, 1975, while doing a
friend a favor and subbing for him in a race, a horrible wreck at Talladega,
Alabama claimed Tiny’s life at 45 years old.
Buddy Baker says that a lot of would-be rivalries take care of themselves. "At
Martinsville one Sunday afternoon I was so mad at Tiny Lund I didn't know what
to do. I wanted to run right over the top of his car," Baker said. "Finally,
the race ended. I was standing down in my pits and I saw him coming, walking
toward me. Tiny was 6-7 or more and weighed about 300 pounds. When he walked,
dust would puff from under his shoes.
"I looked over there about three feet from me, and there was part of an axle
about the length of a ball bat. My first thought was to take the axle
whop him across the head. Then it occurred to me, what if I miss? He might
really get mad then. Tiny
kept coming straight toward me. He got within
about 10 feet, and he burst out laughing. It was one of the sweetest smiles
I ever saw. "That's the thing," Baker said. "Before you get into one of
these scraps with another driver, make sure you know who you are fooling
A 'notchback 63 1/2' Ford was made especially for racing by Ford. At
the Atlanta 500 in 1962, the
Moody... crew (Fast Freddie Lorenzen) and the folks at Ford came up with the "Starlift" removable roof
option that was supposedly an over-the-counter option for 1962 Galaxie
convertibles. The new replacement roof was as 'swoopy' as a roller coaster ride
and it did wonders for the 1962's top speed. The fact that the windows on a
stock street model wouldn't go up with the new hard top roof did make the
option a little more suspect. NASCAR approved it...they won...NASCAR outlawed
it. Ford stylists permanently cured the problem in 1963 with a "convertible"
Galaxie raced with its stock glass windows and the chrome strips carried off the
The 427 was capable of 650 horsepower with the right gears. Whole
catalogs full of special "off-highway" or "police package" parts were being
produced by the 'Big Three' solely for NASCAR cars. Pontiac offered an
over-the-counter 421 "Super Duty" engine package that never came installed in
any regular production car, and unless your name was Yunick or Fox, you had very
little chance of actually buying one from your local dealer. Built in only
limited numbers specifically for racing, Chevy had come up with a stagger-valved
big-block 427. They were the forerunners of the modern "Rat" motor and kept a
closely guarded secret, the new power plants quickly came to be called 'Mystery
Add the rollcage, a pair of slacks (jeans), a T-shirt, helmet &
goggles, a stiff shock on the right front and a little less in the right rear
and you were ready to race a Stock car.
Tiny Lund's Galaxie #0 and Fireball Roberts in his Passino Purple Galaxie #22
with Junior Johnson's # 3 Chevrolet at the
Daytona Firecracker 400 in 1963.
Ten days before the 1963 Daytona 500, Marvin Panch
wrecked while testing a "Bird Cage" Maserati. Pinned inside an overturned
and blazing car, Dewayne 'Tiny' Lund, a journeyman on the modified and GN
circuits, sprinted to the car and before track safety crews could arrive,
Lund lifted the blazing sports car off Panch. When Panch asked the Wood
Brothers to give Lund his 500 ride, they quickly agreed. Tiny qualified the
Galaxie 12th and crossed the finish line out of gas but ahead of
second-place Fred Lorenzen. Lund was awarded the Carnegie Medal for
heroism shortly after his Daytona 500 win.
A big man with an ironic nickname, Lund won five NASCAR Winston Cup races
through a 21-year career.
Lund's career was distinguished by one act of heroism in February, 1963, when
he rescued fellow driver Marvin Panch from a burning car during a practice
session at Daytona. The injured Panch asked Lund to take his place in the Wood
Brothers' Ford. In the crowning achievement of his career, Lund won the Daytona
He was a four-time NASCAR Grand American champion. Lund was fatally injured
in an accident during the Talladega 500 in 1975. In 1994, Lund was inducted in
the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in Talladega, Ala.
Tiny as own tire man at the old Richmond Fairgrounds
Tiny LundAnother Story
DeWayne Louis Lund was born in Harlan, Iowa in 1929. Tiny
started racing motorcycles at age 15, then tried Sprints and Midgets , but gave
them up because of his size. Lund stayed with Modified's, earning a good
reputation in Iowa even as a youngster. In 1955, after serving in the US Air
Force, he returned to racing. On February 14,1963, Marvin Panch was driving a
Maserati experimental car in practice at Daytona International Speedway when the
car became airborne, slid on it's top and caught fire. Tiny was the first man to
rach Panch and pulled him from the fire. Because of his burns, Panch was not
able to compete in the Daytona 500. Panch suggested to the Wood Brothers that
they let Tiny drive their Ford in the Daytona 500. Tiny won the biggest Winston
Cup race of his career, the Daytona 500, and was subsequently awarded the
Carnegie Medal for Heroism. During his career, Tiny won over 500 major features
and 49 major racing events. He was a four-time champion in the Grand American
division, winning titles in 1968, 70, 71 and 74, Lund died August 10, 1975 after
a racing accident.
July, 2003:One-race paint
schemes should really be of interest to NASCAR fans across the nation
because they remind us, in a subtle way, where NASCAR has been. The Wood
Brothers special paint schemes track the timeline of 50 years worth of
hard work, victories won and lost, and storybook finishes. Perhaps the
best example is the paint scheme that will be run at Daytona on July
1st. The Wood Brothers will return to Daytona in July with a Ford Taurus
that duplicates the paint scheme carried in 1963 when Tiny Lund won the
Daytona 500 in storybook fashion. You see Marvin Panch, not Tiny Lund,
was the driver for the Wood Brothers when they rolled into Daytona for Speedweeks in 1963.
Marvin Panch had some twenty years of racing experience when he joined
the Wood Brothers team in 1962. During the ’62 season, Panch ran 14
races for Glen and Leonard Wood and, though he didn’t post a victory
that year, his obvious skills behind the wheel impressed the Wood
Brothers because they kept him on for the 1963 season.
At the 1963 running of the Daytona 500, Panch qualified the Wood
Brothers Galaxie with little fanfare. With several days of Speedweeks
still remaining, what else was there to do but drive fast cars? The
Briggs Cunningham Maserati team was at Daytona experimenting with Grand
National engines and, when they asked Panch if he would take some hot
laps in their car, he eagerly accepted. The car did not feel right from
the start, and following a stop for fuel and a few adjustments to the
car, Panch went back out onto the track. Panch opened the Maserati up,
eager to collect a $10,000 prize offered by Bill France to the first
driver to break the 180 mile per hour mark, and according to Panch, he
almost made the mark when the Maserati went airborne, came down on its
side and rolled upside down before coming to a stop near the tunnel
Because of the Maserati’s design, Panch was trapped in the burning
wreckage and the first fire crews on the scene apparently didn’t
understand his shouted instructions to aim their extinguishers at the
burning engine compartment. Their confusion nearly cost Panch his life
and would have were it not for a giant of a man called “Tiny” Lund.
DeWayne Lund, all 6 feet, 6 inches of him, hailed from Iowa. In a bow to
his huge stature, he had been nicknamed “Tiny.” In 1963, Lund was at
Daytona International Speedway without a steady ride and as the flaming
wreckage of Panch’s Maserati came to a skidding halt, he was entering
the track through the tunnel along with a group of men, including a
Firestone Tire engineer. The group of five leapt a fence, ran to the
mangled, burning sports car and attempted to lift the car enough to let
Panch escape. At the same time, Panch kicked the door out and was
halfway free when the fuel tank erupted. Panch’s would-be-rescuers
dropped the car and stepped back, then one shouted that Panch was still
trapped and kicking. The men stepped back into the fight and lifted the
car again, burning themselves in the process. With the car again lifted,
Tiny Lund grabbed Panch by the ankles and dragged him free of the fiery
Marvin Panch was taken to a nearby hospital where his burns were found
to be not life threatening. In a hospital bed conference with Glen and
Leonard Wood, it was decided to offer the Wood Brothers ride to Tiny
Lund, the man who contributed so much to saving Panch’s life. Naturally,
being without a ride, Lund accepted.
In true storybook fashion, Tiny Lund went on to win the 1963 Daytona 500
in the car he “borrowed” from the Wood Brothers – though arguably,
through his heroic action, he earned the ride fair and square. The fact
that the Daytona 500 marked Lund’s first career victory was just more
icing on the cake. Add to all this the fact that Lund reportedly ran out
of gas as he crossed the finish line and the story has all the makings
of a Hollywood thriller. Finally, as if this weren’t all just too much,
DeWayne Lund would eventually be awarded the Carnegie Medal for Heroism
for helping to save Panch’s life.
Marvin Panch would recover and continued to drive racecars – and win
races - for the Wood Brothers Racing Team through the 1966 season.
Driving for other teams, Tiny Lund would go on to score four more
official NASCAR wins before he lost his life tragically in 1975 while
running in the Talladega 500. For those who knew him, and for those who
care to keep track of such things, Tiny Lund was truly a giant of a man,
both in stature and in heart and soul.
When the green flag drops at Daytona this July 1st, there will be a car
on the track that honors not only the 50th anniversary of the Wood
Brothers Racing Team, but the bravery of men like Marvin Panch and Tiny
Lund and also the fact that, in NASCAR anything is possible. copyright 2000, Michael Smith
Wanda Lund Early, Tiny's widow -
Wood's Brother Car, Daytona 1963
Every fall the Shelby Couty Speedway in Harlan, Iowa
celebrates Tiny's memory by hosting the Tiny Lund Memorial Nationals,
drawing over 200 participating drivers in 1999 and paying out over $50,000+
in cash and contingencies. John Burnette-Larkins, former editor of Hawkeye
Racing News, named it one of the "Top 3 must see" races in Iowa. Wanda Lund
Early, Tiny's widow, attends each year to preside over the festivities
visit with family and friends.
One of the most underrated drivers in
stock car racing history is Marvin Panch. Known as 'Pancho' by his fellow
chauffeurs, Marvin piloted the Wood Brothers Ford, and assorted other vehicles
to seventeen Grand National/Winston Cup victories. Unfortunately the race for
which Marvin is most often remembered did not involve a stock car.
The year was 1963, and like many drivers of his era, Marvin competed not only
in stock cars, but in sports cars as well. As preparation began for the 1963
Daytona 500, Panch and the Wood Brothers were riding high. The newly released
427 cubic inch Ford V-8, which delivered a street rated 425 horsepower, was
designed specifically to outclass the 421 Pontiac which dominated the Grand
National circuit the previous season. This high displacement package provided
the Ford factory teams with a dominant power plant to build their NASCAR
modified racing engines. Additionally, the fastback design of the Ford Galaxie
was aerodynamically superior to anything in the GM or Chrysler camp, and the
folks at FoMoCo were salivating at the chance to win the first superspeedway
race of the year.
For Marvin Panch things couldn't be better. He had landed a ride in a
Masarati for the preliminary sports car race prior to the 500. Though now
referred to as the 24 Hours of Daytona, the race was originally a three-hour
event. Panch had hoped to take home first place in his Masarati in the
comparatively short sports car race, and then win the 500 in his Fastback Ford.
Unfortunately for Marvin, one of stock car racing's all time tragedies was
about to unfold. While roaring down the backstretch in the high-powered sports
coupe, Marvin tangled with another car. His Masarati flipped and burst into
flames. Unlike modern day machines with puncture proof fuel cells and automatic
fire extinguishers, the cars of Marvins day offered little protection against
gas spills and their resulting infernos. Sadly this day at Daytona resulted in
Marvin suffering severe burns over 67% of his body. His saving grace was a
bystander named Dewayne "Tiny" Lund. Tiny was a huge man weighing well over 300
pounds, and a regular on the Grand National tour. Usually driving an independent
car, with little chance to win, Tiny simply happened to be a spectator that day.
His presence saved Marvin Panches life. As the Masarati rolled to a halt, Tiny
reached inside the vehicle and pulled Panch to safety. He quickly helped other
bystanders extinguish the flames, and Marvin was rushed to the hospital where he
fought for his life for several weeks.
Through sheer mental toughness, and the ability to withstand enormous pain,
Marvin recovered. Though it was expected he would never drive again, 'Pancho'
fooled everyone by not only returning, but driving the Wood Brothers Ford to a
photo finish at the very same track where he was critically burned just five
months earlier. Although he finished third that day behind Fireball Roberts and
Fred Lorenzen, Marvin had proven his point. He had gone from a bed ridden burn
victim, to within a mili second of winning at the same speedway which nearly
took his life. His lead foot remained, and his willingness to win at the cost of
great personal pain and sacrifice was rewarded. Marvin Panch would see victory
lane another nine times before finally retiring in 1966.
Despite losing their driver for the 500 in February, the Wood Brothers had a
happy ending to a horrifying month. Their replacement for Panch in the famed
number 21 Ford, was "Tiny" Lund, the very man who saved Marvin's life, and his
career. Tiny dominated the field that February day, and won the Daytona 500.
When interviewed in victory circle, he was asked what he planned to do with all
the money. "Pay my damn debts," Tiny responded. And no one was happier than
Marvin Panch that Tiny could do just that.
For the next nine years Tiny Lund competed in 161 Grand National events. He
saw victory circle another four times. By 1972 he had tired of racing and
retired to his fish camp in Cross, South Carolina. But racing was in the big
mans blood, and in 1972 he tried a brief comeback. Tiny raced only four events
that year, and after making five starts in 1973 he decided to hang it up for
After staying out of the game for almost two years, Tiny once again
contemplated racing and his love for speed. He shopped around and found a ride
for the Talladega 500, an event held on a racetrack very similar to the one
where he had seen his greatest career day. Sadly, the big racetrack would take
the life of Tiny Lund. It was his first and only start of the 1975 season.
America lost a folk hero that day, but if you're ever at Daytona
International Speedway on a February day, be sure to look up. You might just see
a big man smiling. February of 1963 provided Tiny Lund's finest moment... and it
wasn't winning the Daytona 500.
Daytona drama fueled Lund's career
By JANE BURNS
Register Staff Writer -
07/15/1990 (Old article reprint...)
It didn't seem as if DeWayne "Tiny" Lund would win a race coasting. He was an
aggressive driver, a vivacious personality, the kind of guy you'd figure would
roar across the finish line the way he roared through life. But there he was in the winner's circle of the 1963 Daytona 500, howling with
joy and saying his Ford ran out of gas on the final turn and he had to float
across the finish line with an empty tank. Because of that victory and a successful career as a NASCAR driver, Lund of
Harlan, Ia., enters the Des Moines Sunday Register's Iowa Sports Hall of Fame.
To hear Lund tell it back then was to hear a dramatic story. One driver, then
another fell off to make pit stops, leaving Lund alone at the finish, cruising
on fumes to the biggest victory of his career.
It was a great story, said Glen Wood, the owner of Lund's 1963 Ford. It's
just too bad it wasn't true.
"He just imagined it, I guess," Wood said. "He had taken the checkered flag
and went around the track. Then we loaded the car onto the truck and it still
had fuel in it. It could have sputtered on the final turn and maybe he thought
he was out of gas. But it hadn't sputtered all day."
The car may have had fuel, but it didn't have much. After a caution flag
after the 36th lap, the other racers made five pit stops that day, including
Fred Lorenzen and Ned Jarrett. Those two led most of the way.
Lund made just four pit stops.
"He made a gamble," Lorenzen said of Lund. "He made it, I didn't. I just got
outsmarted on the gas. It wasn't calculated right. It wasn't often that I was
outsmarted, but I was that day." It was a gamble, Wood said. Just simple arithmetic.
The equation began with that first caution flag. Lund got his refill of 20
gallons of fuel at the 36th lap, rather than on the 40th lap as planned. That
gave the crew four laps to play with, and that's just what they did, Wood said.
Not only did Wood own the car, but he called the signals from the pit. Wood
and his brothers made up the premier pit crew of the 1960s. Wood's strategy and
his crew were the keys to the 1963 Daytona. When Lund made his second stop after
another 40 laps without any problem, Wood told him to try 42 laps the next time.
If that would work twice, Lund would have the victory in the 200-lap race. "At the end, we only had 40 laps to go," Wood said. "Nobody else did that.
They all came in near the end." All except Tiny Lund, the stocky stock car racer who came to Daytona Beach,
Fla., expecting to work on a pit crew, not take the checkered flag. Even without Lund's embellishments, his victory was still a good story.
A week before the Daytona 500,
Marvin Panch was the driver for the Woods. But Panch flipped a Maserati-Ford in a Daytonatest run. Lund, at 6 feet
4 inches and 250 pounds, led rescuers through waist-high flames to free Panch
from his overturned car. The accident left Panch in the hospital recovering from
burns and the Woods without a driver. Lund earned the Carnegie Medal for
Most of the other drivers the Woods had in their entourage had raced
primarily on dirt tracks. What Glen Wood needed for this race was an experienced
NASCAR driver who could race the paved track of Daytona. Lund, an eight-year NASCAR veteran, came to the rescue again. "It came down to that Tiny would be the most likely to win the race," Wood
said. "He was an aggressive-type driver and a good driver."
Started 12th Wood wasn't dismayed by Lund's size. "In recent years, weight is more
important," Wood said, but not in 1963. "He weighed down the left side of the
car and that's where you needed the extra weight."
Lund started the race 12th and stayed close in the field, which included
Foyt, Richard Petty and rookie
Johnny Rutherford. A drenching rain and 50-mph winds delayed the start by
an hour and a half. When the race did begin, it was slow, with the first 10 laps
run at 97 mph under a caution flag to dry the
When the track dried and the 40 racers were off, Lund patiently stayed among
the leaders. Car after car broke down, leaving Lorenzen and Jarrett at the
front, with Lund just behind. Lorenzen and Jarrett stuck together, saving fuel by drafting with each other.
In a draft, the trailing car is carried by a vacuum created by the lead car.
Lund got in on the drafting trio by taking the lead at the 395th mile. Lorenzen
and Jarrett made pit stops with 44 laps left. Lund came in with 40 laps left.
"I thought I could make it," Jarrett said. He tried to save as much gas as
possible, and the drafting helped. But when Lorenzen went in to fill up with
seven laps left, Jarrett knew he was in trouble. "That slowed me down because I didn't have anyone to draft with," Jarrett
Getting a Lift Lund had his own way of saving gas. He bummed a ride off Jarrett by slowing
down in front of him enough to get a push around the track. "I was just
returning the favor," Jarrett said of the push he gave Lund. "He taught me to do
that. Tiny would always do that. It took a lot of guts and made other drivers
real nervous." It turned out Jarrett was the one who needed the push, and he came in for
more gas with two laps left.
"Then it was all coming down to us," Wood said. "When were we going to stop?
Everyone in the stands was standing and the announcer was shouting 'Can he make
it?' Every lap he would count how many he had left. It became real suspenseful."
Lund made it, and made $24,600 for doing so. His time was 3 hours 17 minutes
50 seconds -- an average of 151.566 mph. Lorenzen was second, 24 seconds behind, followed by Jarrett.
"A Good Guy"
Losing to Lund wasn't too painful, Lorenzen said. "It went to a good person,"
he said. "Tiny was a good guy, one of the best down there." Lorenzen said Lund took him under his wing when Lorenzen first hit the
circuit from Illinois in the late 1950s. "He took me under because I was a
Yankee from the North," Lorenzen said. Lund also had relocated to the South,
living in Lake Moultrie, S.C.
When Lorenzen was 19 and racing on dirt tracks, he rolled his car before a
race in North Carolina. "Tiny said 'Come on, we'll fix it,'" Lorenzen said. "I
said I didn't have any money, but he said his guys would take care of it." After days of working and nights of only a few hours' sleep, the car was
finished -- with one difference. "We walked in and there were roller skates on top of the car," Lorenzen said.
"Tiny said, 'If you roll over again, you can just keep going." Those were the old, fun days of racing. It's changed, Lorenzen said. "There's more money in it and the cars are shinier," he said. "But overall,
it's four tires and a brain. And young squirts blowing the old guys off the
track. Tiny never hit that stuff."
Fatal Accident At the Talladega 500 in 1975, Lund was killed when his car was hit on the
driver's side by Terry Link. The night before, he had been racing at Ned Jarrett's
dirt track in Hickory, N.C.. Lorenzen went on to sell real estate in Oak Brook,
Ill., a suburb of Chicago. Jarrett retired to become a racing broadcaster.
At the time of this article, Wood was is in his 41st year of racing. Wood has seen a lot of racers, but he still remembers Tiny Lund
fondly. "Tiny's picture hangs with all the great ones that raced for us," he said.
Cale Yarborough is well known to all NASCAR fans. He's always
been described as one of the best there ever was. And if Cale wasn't a great
driver, he was a fabulous purveyor of practical jokes.
Among his close friends, in addition to Curtis Turner, was
Dewayne ‘Tiny' Lund. Lund, a 6-6, 280- pound behemoth, was one of the nicest
people to ever climb into a stock car. But get him angry, and he could be a tornado on two legs.
Lund and Yarborough were roommates on several occasions ----- an
arrangement that was necessary in those early days when drivers made little
money. One day, Lund was in the shower when Cale dumped a bucket of ice water
over the curtain. Lund was livid. He burst from the shower stall and chased Cale
out into the parking lot. The chase ended when Lund, naked as a jay bird, found
himself standing in front of an elderly lady. "Pardon me, Ma'am." was all he
He then pretended to tip an imaginary cap, and the biggest man
in NASCAR trotted away.
This kind of horseplay continued to the race track. Lund knew
that Cale was an accomplished handler of Rattlesnakes. So, at one race, Lund had
a rubber snake, and threw it in Cale's car after he had climbed in. Cale's
reaction was pretty much what you would expect, until he realized that the snake
Cale got revenge the next week, and went one step further. He
caught a live rattlesnake and pulled it's fangs out with a pair of pliers. At
the track, Cale waited until Tiny had strapped himself in, and then threw the
angry snake onto Lund's lap. Lund's reaction was even more intense, as he
instantly realized that this snake was alive --- it was real. Of course, he
didn't know the snake had no fangs.
Lund was screaming bloody murder, and unable to free himself
from the straps. The snake was rattling it's tail. And Cale, who had tipped a
few of his friends off to the stunt, stood back and laughed. It was no small
feat for ‘Tiny' to get strapped into his car. He barely fit through the drivers
window, and it took minutes to get all the belts and straps tightened. But when
that snake landed on his lap, Lund got out of that car considerably faster than
he went in. Lund tore from the cockpit, grabbed a ball peen hammer, and chased
Yarborough into the garage. It took a couple of men to restrain Lund. By the end
of the race, fortunately, both men laughed about the incident.
Tiny Lund was a great practical joker. At Daytona one year, he
and his wife had a motel room next to Bobby Unser. They were friends, and Bobby
was the recipient of a rather embarrassing joke when Lund slipped a pair of his
wife's panties in Unser's suitcase. Lund used to roll on the ground when he told
the story of Mrs. Unser's reaction when she found those panties in her husband's
suitcase after he got back home.
Lund was also good friends with
Larry Frank. Frank was a small
but tough ex-Marine who one time chased Joe Weatherly out of the pits, on foot, after a race.
Weatherly, who had a good 40 pounds weight advantage on Frank, feared for his
safety and jumped up and onto the roof's of a line of parked cars. Frank was
below, chasing and grabbing at Weatherly's legs as he bounced from one roof to
another; denting them all.
Both Lund and Frank enjoyed a good bar-room brawl. It was not
uncommon for both men to walk into the closest saloon, and just start irritating
people enough to where they would reach the boiling point and take a swing.
Race Renderings by Racing Artist Bill Rankin
would do it intentionally, and
think nothing of it. In fact, if the two men were bored, they'd look for the
first Bar that they came to, just to pick a fight. It was recreation for those
two. At any time, either man could climb atop the bar and just start cursing at
anyone who walked by. If you hit one, you hit both. And you could count on being
served a knuckle sandwich if you messed with either of them. Sometimes, a few of
the other drivers accompanied them to these joints just to sit back, knock down
a few drinks, and watch the action. A few of these brawls, one grizzled veteran
said, looked like something out of the old West, with people being thrown over
the bar and into the rows of liquor behind it. Needless to say, Tiny Lund and Larry Frank were banned from more
than just a few saloons. Back to Cale.
In his younger days, Cale Yarborough was a daredevil. Cale used
to perform "stunt shows" for his neighbors. He would hold on to a rope tied to
the back of a friend's pickup truck, and try to stay on that bumper while his
friend sped through an open field or meadow at breakneck speed, sawing the wheel
left and right, trying to throw him off. Sometimes, Cale would lose his grip and
go tumbling from the truck like a weed --- bouncing and grazing along the grass
---- limbs flailing in the air as he tumbled helplessly for dozens of feet ----
end over end. Those who watched this silly spectacle howled with laughter when
they saw Cale tumbling through the field. But Cale, who was tough as nails,
would climb back on, and do it again to the delight of those assembled.
Like his mentor, Curtis Turner, Cale was also fond of airplanes.
And he liked jumping out of them with a parachute. During one dive, Cale's chute
got tangled up, and he plunged to the earth. Fortunately, Cale "landed" in a
freshly-plowed field that had been further softened by a recent rain shower. It
took a minute or two to catch his breath, but Cale was able to limp away.
Cale also skirted death at the Charlotte (now Lowes) Motor
Speedway. But it wasn't on the track. It was in the infield. On this particular
day, Cale had been driving around town in a rental car with
Matthews was fond of racing at full speed through the tunnel, and into the
Matthews had been talking to Cale about something as he sped out
of the tunnel, and did not see the light pole that was rapidly closing in.
Cale saw it, though. "Banjo!" He exclaimed. Matthews kept talking and looked at Cale as his foot remained
firmly planted on the floor. "Banjo !!!" Cale again yelled. It feel on deaf ears. "Banjo! Watch out for that......."
BLAM !!! It was a dead-center, head-on collision. The front-end of the
car looked like an inverted ‘V'. Neither men were hurt, but Banjo had one
helluva story for the rental car company that day. He told them that "something
had happened to the radiator", and suggested they come get it with a tow truck.
Wanda Lund did not understand why, but she needed to turn the radio off. "I had this feeling something was going to happen to someone I cared an awful
lot about," she said, "and I didn't want to hear it on the radio."
What Lund feared hearing on a race broadcast while she and a friend drove to
a movie on Aug. 17, 1975, came instead over the phone when her mother-in-law
called later that evening.
"She just came out and said, "Tiny's dead,' " she said. "I just remember
going to my knees screaming."
More than 25 years after NASCAR driver Tiny Lund died in the Talladega 500 at
Talladega Superspeedway, his widow, who remarried in 1979 and now goes by Wanda
Lund-Early, was sitting in a cramped building at Daytona International Speedway
when Dale Earnhardt crashed on the last lap of the Daytona 500.
She had no idea the last-lap crash was fatal. Then the phone rang.
"The last thing I can remember is being back home," Lund-Early said. "I guess
the phone call brought back flashes of Tiny's death and I relived my own
horrible nightmare all over again through Dale's tragedy. It brought stuff
crashing back on me like a ton of bricks."
When a loved one is killed on the race track, the impact is lasting and the
That is what Teresa Earnhardt and her husband's four children -- Kerry,
Kelly, Dale Jr. and Taylor -- now face.
"There's only been one way I could cope with it," said David Bonnett, son of
Neil Bonnett, who was killed in 1994 at Daytona. "I still to this day, every
day, think about my daddy. You're always going to remember."
Chris Lund cannot rely on memories. Now a 30-year-old financial adviser for
UPS in Atlanta, he was only 5 when his father died.
"I don't remember my dad from my own perspective at all," Lund said. "I began
to know my dad as I grew up through other people's perspective, almost like a
He learned about what a practical joker his father was and how quick he was
to lend a helping hand as he did for Marvin Panch in 1963 at Daytona.
Lund pulled Panch out of a burning car after a practice crash and his actions
earned the Carnegie Award for Heroism. He also won the Daytona 500 as Panch's
Those were the stories Chris told sixth-grade classmates at Central
Elementary School in Waynesville, N.C. But nobody believed him and he got a
mouth full of soap.
"I went down to school the next day with Tiny's Daytona 500 trophy and the
Carnegie Award and said, "My son didn't tell you a lie. If anything, he doesn't
know the half of what his daddy accomplished,' " Lund-Early said. "I don't think
they wash children's mouths out with soap anymore."
NASCAR has provided emotional and monetary support when asked.
Lund-Early had moved the family from Moncks Corner, S.C. to her hometown of
Waynesville and got a job at Dayco Corporation three years after her husband's
death, but was laid off.
"Before my unemployment got started, I was out of money," Lund-Early said. "I
called Bill (Sr.) and I told him I needed to borrow $1,000 until my income tax
check got back. I got a $500 check from Daytona International Speedway and I got
a $500 check from NASCAR."
For 17 years, she could not go to Talladega. (She now goes to a handful of
races a year.) Her son had done it on a whim a couple of years earlier.
"I was by myself one time and I saw a sign that said "Talladega Superspeedway,'
" he said. "I thought, "Wait a minute. This is where my dad died. I think I'd
like to see this track.' "
"The next thing I know, the track president (Grant Lynch) is out there with
me, throwing me in the back of a pickup truck and driving me around."
David Bonnett continued racing after his father died. He hopes to secure a
ride for next week's Busch Grand National race at Talladega. "I've told many people before, if somebody told me I was going to die in a
racecar, I would still get in it," he said.
His mother, Susan, still finds it difficult to watch a race flag-to-flag.
David said she is thinking of selling her late husband's racing trophies. "She doesn't want to look at them anymore," he said. Memories burden some. Others seem comforted by them. "A race fan came up to me (in 1993) and he had some memorabilia of Tiny and
he asked me to sign it," Lund-Early said. "He said, "I think it's the most
wonderful thing that Tiny could live his life doing exactly what he wanted to
"I thought about it and I started just laughing like crazy. I said, "You know
what, that big son of a b---- did, didn't he? He lived life exactly like he
wanted to. ... I just hope that Teresa can see and realize how really fortunate
Dale really was to live life and do it his way."
'Ole Days - Skinny Dipping With
Tiny Lund was as well known for his practical jokes as he was for his
fierce racing talent . He was a large man with an even larger sense of
After a race at the
Wisconsin track, Red Farmer, Tiny Lund & a few other guys were hanging
out at the Howard Johnson’s pool. Red decided to go to his room around
midnight when the skinny dipping started.
Well, Red is in his room
asleep when he hears a knock on the door. Red sleeps in his birthday
suit. He opens it to see Tiny standing there. Tiny grabs Red, drags
him to the pool and throws him in. If Tiny Lund wanted you to go skinny
dipping, then skinny dipping you would go!
The Ole Days - Tiny Gets Donnie at Bristol!
seemed that as long as Tiny had fun all was right in his world. The
practical jokes weren't excluded from the track either. This is a story
about one of those times on the track at Bristol.
Lund and Donnie Allison were battling at Bristol. There were
only 11 laps to go and Donnie was leading. Into turn 1 they went. As
they came through turn 2 Tiny slammed into the side of Donnie’s car.
Donnie looked over to see Tiny laughing.
final lap drew closer. As they went thru turns 1 & 2, Tiny bumped into
Allison again. Donnie looked over at Tiny to see what the heck he was
doing. As Donnie looked at him, Tiny spit water into Donnie’s car and
on Donnie’s goggles!
Donnie was on the back stretch trying to wipe off his goggles so he
could see. He finally got them cleaned off and took the win.
the race Tiny came up to Donnie laughing and said “gotcha wet didn’t
I.” To this day, Donnie can’t understand how Tiny hit his mark (the
goggles) while tooling around Bristol battling for the win.
The Ole Days - Snakes!
set Cale Yarborough up before a race. Tiny casually sauntered onto pit
road and tossed a rubber snake into Cale’s car, then continued on to his
own car, to sit laughing hysterically at Cale’s startled reaction to the
was not without a sense of humor of his own, and he was not without some
diverse talents, one of which was the ability to handle snakes. Before
the next race, he managed to snare a big ol’ rattler and defang it. At
the next race, Cale waited patiently until all of Tiny’s sizeable height
and girth were tightly strapped into the car. Only then, did he walk up
and toss that very live rattlesnake into Tiny’s lap, and it was rattling
all the while.
man broke all sorts of land-speed records getting out of that car, and
there was Cale, beside himself with laughter. There ensued a frantic
chase through the garage area, with Tiny wielding a hammer. Eventually,
they were both restrained by friends and taken to their respective cars
Cale Yarborough were staying at the same motel in Atlanta one year.
Tiny was a big man, much bigger than the small Cale. Tiny was notorious
for practical jokes & playing around.
went in the pool for a swim. Tiny kept bobbing Cale under the water.
Cale begged Tiny to let him up for air. Tiny let him up but only for
Cale to catch his breath and back under he would go. Well, Tiny gets
out of the pool and tells Cale he’s going to take a shower.
decides it’s his time to get even with Tiny. He gets a trash can &
fills it up with ice and water. He drags it to their room. He gets on
top on the toilet seat and dumps the icy cold water on Tiny in the
shower. Tiny screams and Cale starts to run and looks back to see Tiny
Lund chasing him buck naked. Through the pool area, through the halls
and into the parking lot they ran. Cale jumps into his car to save
himself. He looks up to see Tiny getting ready to run smack dab into a
woman around 80 years old.
stops short of running her over and says politely “Pardon me Madam” then
calmly turns around & heads back to his room like it was an everyday
occurrence to run through a parking lot naked!
Cale...why he was safe in the locked car laughing!
New Sponsor has Old Connection to Racing
March 20, 2001
When UPS began exploring opportunities in the world of
racing, it never realized the ties it already had to the
sport. It wasn't until
after UPS announced their four-year sponsorship deal
with driver Dale Jarrett that the previous racing
connection was known - an employee named Chris Lund.
UPS financial analyst Chris Lund is the son of
the legendary driver Tiny Lund. The youngest Lund
was only five when his father was fatally injured in a
T-bone crash * at Talladega in 1975, but he
shares memories and stories about his renowned father
like only a proud son could.
"I didn't really know my father very well, but when I
think about the shoes I would have to fill, I realize
what a truly larger-than-life man he was," stated Lund,
a 30-year-old Atlanta resident. "I am so proud of the
success my father was able to attain in his lifetime."
It was in 1963 that Tiny Lund got his real break into
racing. The NASCAR Winston Cup Series then was known as
the NASCAR Grand American Series, and Lund was in
Daytona for the annual Daytona 500. He wasn't there to
race but maintained the hope that he would someday be
behind the wheel. Little did he know that fate was on
Marvin Panch, driver for the Woods Brothers' Ford, was
practicing before the Daytona 500 when he wrecked. Panch
was trapped upside down in the burning car. When rescue
crews were reluctant to pull Panch from the fire, Lund
single-handedly lifted the car off Panch and pulled him
from the flames. Panch's injuries were so severe he
couldn't race, and the Woods Brothers asked Lund to
pilot the car. No novice to racing - he had been racing
in local dirt track races many years prior - Lund jumped
at the chance to race in the Daytona 500.
Not only was this Lund's first NASCAR race, but he also
went on to win the Daytona 500 that February 1963. He
won the race at an average speed of 151.566 mph on a
single set of tires, an accomplishment that has never
been repeated. This unbelievable story became known as
the "Cinderfeller Story", coined by past NASCAR
president Bill France Sr. Only one month prior to the
race, Lund caught a world champion 55-pound striped
bass. In true fisherman style, he chose the number 55 to
adorn the side of his car.
Tiny Lund won over 450 short track races and was voted
Most Popular Driver in the NASCAR Grand American Series
four times. His racing career spanned 12 years and
within that time, Lund was able to amass the legacy that
only a true sportsman and hero could. In 1998, Lund was
named one of the 50 greatest drivers in NASCAR history
and one of the 50 most popular drivers of all time. In
1994, he was inducted into the International Motorsports
Hall of Fame at Talladega. In his memory, Lund
Grandstand at Daytona International Speedway is named
for the legend. In Lund's hometown of Harlan, Iowa,
there is still the IMCA Modified Tiny Lund Memorial Race
with 214 entries each year.
Admittedly, Chris Lund has not attended as many NASCAR
events as he would like, but maintains that NASCAR has
embraced his family like their own. It was fate that has
brought Lund back to the sport of NASCAR as an employee
of one of the most active sponsors in the sport.
Lund summed it up best when he said, "I love UPS and
plan to retire here. I feel like we all got a bonus when
UPS got involved in this awesome sport."
*A T-bone crash refers to a specific kind
of crash when one car smashes perpendicular into the
side of another car, making the shape of the bone in a
cut of steak.
Rare Tiny Lund Autograph from 1974 Sportsman Account
What About the # 55
Is it true the late race driver Tiny Lund
once held the world record for striped bass in
Tiny sure enough did. He
boated a 55-pounder in 1963 while fishing near a
marina/guide service he owned at Cross, S.C., on
Lake Moultrie. That's the lower of the two lakes
comprising the Lowcountry's sprawling
Tiny's state record has been
surpassed three times. The record of 591/2
pounds was caught at Lake Hartwell in 2002 by
Terry McConnell of Eastonalle, Ga.
The International Game Fish
Association lists the world record at 671/2
pounds. It was caught at O'Neill Forebay in
California in 1992 by Hank Ferguson.
Incidentally, Lund adopted
the No. 55 for his cars through most of his
remaining years in NASCAR. He lost his life in a
crash during a 500-mile race at Talladega, Ala.,
on Aug. 17, 1975.
owned and operated a sportsman's camp on Lake Moultrie near Cross,
S.C. (Photo Courtesy of The S.C. Department of Natural Resources)
are reminded of the DeWayne "Tiny'' Lund Memorial at Shelby County Speedway in Harlan.
If you seek
nostalgia and emotion, the annual shows are the destination. Some
of the young hot-shoes have probably never heard of the only
Iowan, Lund, to win the granddaddy of them all, the Daytona
500. Lund, who was born in Harlan, won at Daytona in 1963 in what
is still termed the No. 1 fairytale story in NASCAR history.
It was his first NASCAR win. When Lund won at Daytona, the
more prominent Ned Jarrett and Fred Lorenzen led most of the
way until each ran out of gas in the final five laps.
FOR MORE INFO CLICK HERE