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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 her death.

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 four-star generals.

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 Methodist Church.

*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.

Racing Legends Medical Hardship Fund  at

An online memorial register is available at

NOTICE! The Victory Lane Racing Association is hosting a “Breakfast with the Racing Legends” on Thursday February 23rd, 2012 at 10AM at Steve’s Famous Restaurant on the corner of Nova and Beville Roads.

A brief Memorial for Wanda will be included at 10:30 AM.

Due to the many requests, we recommend that you RSVP. FREE breakfast to the Legends.Details at 386-334-1318 or 386-258-8602 or email

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