Tiny Lund

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DeWayne Louis "Tiny" Lund
Tiny Lund with son.jpg
Tiny Lund holding up his son Christopher prior to racing (circa 1971)
Born (1929-11-14)November 14, 1929
Harlan, Iowa, United States
Died August 17, 1975(1975-08-17) (aged 45)
Cause of death Racing accident at Talladega
Achievements 1973 NASCAR Grand National East Series Champion
1968 Grand American Champion
1970 Grand American Champion
1971 Grand American Champion
1963 Daytona 500 Winner
1970 Daytona Permatex 300 Winner
Awards International Motorsports Hall of Fame (1994)
Named one of NASCAR's 50 Greatest Drivers (1998)
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career
303 race(s) run over 20 year(s)
Best finish 10th (1963)
First race 1955 LeHi 300 (LeHi)
Last race 1975 Talladega 500 (Talladega)
First win 1963 Daytona 500 (Daytona)
Last win 1966 Beltsville 200 (Beltsville)
Wins Top tens Poles
5 119 6
NASCAR Grand National East Series career
25 race(s) run over 2 year(s)
Best finish 1st (1973)
First race 1972 Bold City 200 (Jacksonville)
Last race 1973 Buddy Shuman 100 (Hickory)
First win 1973 Selinsgrove 100 (Selinsgrove)
Last win 1973 Buddy Shuman 100 (Hickory)
Wins Top tens Poles
5 15 3
Statistics current as of October 27, 2013.

DeWayne Louis "Tiny" Lund (November 14, 1929 – August 17, 1975) was a NASCAR driver. He was ironically nicknamed "Tiny" due to his rather large and imposing size.[1]

Background[edit]

Lund started racing at a young age on a motorcycle, then moved up to midget cars and sprint cars.[1] He served in the Korean War in the United States Air Force, and in 1955 decided to try stock car racing.[1]

It is also noted that as an adult, Lund stood 6 feet 5 inches tall and weighed about 270 lbs.

Debut[edit]

Lund went south with a 1955 Chevrolet and competed in the Lehi, Arkansas, event, with sponsorship from Carl Rupert and his safety belt company. The race was dominated by Speedy Thompson and his Pete DePaolo-owned Ford. Lund qualified mid-pack but his event ended in an accident on lap 65. Lund's flipped end over end and his safety belt broke. He was bruised and had a broken arm.

For 1956, Lund teamed up with Gus Holzmueller, and their best result was a fourth-place finish at Columbia, South Carolina. Lund also ran a few events for A.L. Bumgarner. In 1957 Lund split between Bumgarner's Pontiacs and a Petty Enterprises Oldsmobile. With Bumgarner Lund nearly won an event at the Cleveland County Fairgrounds. He won the pole position, and was leading until a right rear axle gave out. Lund had two other poles on the season. Lund left Bumgarner and became a journeyman for 1958. He won a pair of pole positions at Gastonia and Hillsboro. In 1959 he fielded self-owned Chevrolets. Lund did not have major success, and he was rideless by 1963.

1963 Daytona 500[edit]

1963 Tiny Lund/Wood Brothers NASCAR car or replica

In February 1963, Lund went down to Daytona shopping around for any ride. Lund's friend Marvin Panch, the driver for the Wood Brothers racing team, had an accident while testing an experimental Ford-powered Maserati sports car for the second Daytona Continental three-hour sportscar race (a precursor to the Rolex 24). Panch's car swerved out of control, flipped over and burst into flames. Lund ran into the inferno and managed to pull Panch out of the wreckage. For his actions, Lund was awarded the Carnegie Hero's Medal.[2]

Panch, in hospital, asked Lund to race his car and Glen Wood agreed. He timed in fourth in individual qualifying trials, and finished sixth in the second qualifying race. Lund took the green flag from 12th on the grid.

The start of the race was delayed due to heavy rains, and then the first 10 laps were run under caution. As the green flag waved on the Great American Race, it was Fireball Roberts on pole and "Flying" Fred Lorenzen outside of him. Lorenzen led the race. Lund worked his way through the field. The Wood Brothers team had an ace up their sleeve – they planned to complete the race on one stop less than the field.[2] Lund managed to take the lead very late in the race. Lorenzen passed Lund with 10 laps left to go, but Lorenzen ran out of gas and had to dive down pit road out of contention. Then Ned Jarrett made the pass on Lund for the top spot but with three to go he also ran out of gas. Lund's car ran out of fuel on the final lap, but he managed to coast home to win the 1963 Daytona 500.

Return to journeyman[edit]

Lund's victory jumpstarted what had been a dead career. Lund stayed 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. Marvin Panch returned and Lund was without a ride. Holman-Moody gave him a car for several big races at Atlanta, Daytona and Charlotte without success. For 1964 he was back to journeyman status. He hooked up with a series of lesser known owners before vaulting into the lead in the Columbia 200 before overheating. Late in the year, he settled in with Lyle Stelter and despite little success they continued their partnership into the 1965 season. With Stelter Lund got his second career victory in that year's Columbia 200, qualifying in fourth and taking the lead from Ned Jarrett before rains came and washed out the second half of the event. In 1966, he continued his partnership with Stelter. Lund was leading at Spartanburg before a differential failed and at Manassas before his engine blew up. Lund did win at Beltsville Speedway. Lund had 21 Did Not Finish (DNFs) that season.

For 1967, he teamed once again with Stelter for the majority of the year but it was with Petty Enterprises in the No. 42 Plymouth with which he had most of his success. Lund 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. Lund finished fifth in the World 600 in that same ride. He struggled in Stelter's Fords despite a promising run in Fonda, New York, where he qualified second and lead some before an axle broke. Lund and Stelter parted at season's end.

For 1968, he teamed with Big Bud Moore and his Mercury's. Lund also ran Moore's cars in the new NASCAR Grand American division designed for pony cars like Mustangs and Camaros. Lund finished 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 race in the Grand American division and ran one Grand National race, guesting for Bill France, Sr. in the inaugural Talladega 500. The race was known for a driver's boycott over tire safety protests. Lund drove into the lead but his clutch packed in and he was classified ninth.

In 1968, Lund appeared as one of the race drivers in the racing scene of the MGM movie 'Speedway' which starred Elvis Presley and Nancy Sinatra.

Wins in Grand American races[edit]

Along with his back-to-back Grand American championships in 1970 and 1971, Lund "won" two Grand National events in 1971 – the Buddy Shuman 100 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. Lund controlled the event at Hickory before falling into a win when Richard Petty had problems at North Wilkesboro. Neither of these victories were added to Lund's official win tally, as the legitimacy of whether or not Lund should have 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. This also would technically dispute Charlie Glotzbach, Richard Petty and Elmo Langley's win totals. If, as NASCAR did with other combined division races, wins were awarded based on classes similar to sportscar racing and regional series (K&N Pro Series currently), Petty would have a 201st win (in the same Grand American win for Allison), Langley a third win (1971 at Hickory; Lund in a Grand American), and Glotzbach a second win (1971 at North Wilkesboro; Lund in a Grand American) based on winning the Grand National class.

Death at Talladega[edit]

After 1971, Lund began to fade from the Grand National limelight and moved to the new Grand National East Division (the replacement for the Grand American Series) and short track Late Model Sportsman (now Nationwide Series). Lund won the Sportsman season opener at Daytona twice and continued to rack up victories on short tracks that he had raced on as a youth. 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 17 the green flag was waved by former Formula One driver Juan Manuel Fangio.

On the seventh lap, Lund and J. D. McDuffie collided 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. Two spectators in the infield climbed over the catch fence, and with help from driver Walter Ballard, pulled Link from his car and managed to revive him. Lund, however, was pronounced dead at the scene. Drivers in the race were not informed of the tragedy.

Aftermath[edit]

Buddy Baker was victorious in that Talladega 500 in a Bud Moore Ford but there was no celebration as he walked away to be by himself for a few minutes upon hearing of Lund's passing.[3] Lund was survived by his family, Christopher DeWayne Lund.

Lund was inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in 1994, and in 1998 named one of NASCAR's 50 Greatest Drivers.

There is a Tiny Lund Grandstand at Daytona International Speedway, and in his hometown of Harlan, Iowa, there is a local dirt-track International Motor Contest Association (IMCA) Modified race, the Tiny Lund Memorial, with over 200 entries annually for this popular event.

Daytona 500 Results[edit]

Year Manufacturer Start Finish Team
1959 Chevrolet 13 40 Buck Baker
1960 Oldsmobile 64 51 Gazaway
1963 Ford 12 1 Wood
1964 Ford 13 11 Graham Shaw
1965 Ford 24 29 Lyle Stelter
1967 Plymouth 11 4 Petty
1968 Mercury 5 9 Moore
1970 Dodge 8 13 John McConnell
1971 Dodge 23 39 John McConnell
1973 Chevrolet 19 36 Carl Price

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Tiny Lund". International Motorsports Hall of Fame. Retrieved January 15, 2011. 
  2. ^ a b Rick Minter (February 16, 2007). 'Tiny' delivered huge win for Woods at Daytona. Fond du Lac Reporter. 
  3. ^ Tiny Lund killed; Baker takes first in Talladega 500

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Fireball Roberts
Daytona 500 Winner
1963
Succeeded by
Richard Petty