DeWayne Louis Lund (November 14, 1929-August 17, 1975), affectionally 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 racing.
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 hooked.
No Where FastEdit
For 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 Holman-Moody factory 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.
Lund's 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. Holman-Moody gave 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 twenty-one 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, New York where he qualified second and lead some before an axle broke; plagued by horrific reliability, they parted at season's end.
For 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 Nationwide 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.
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.
Sons of Lund and Jarrett Together by SponsorshipEdit
In 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 lifetime."
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."