Sometimes I have a tough time picking who to spotlight for this column each week, so I decided to look at NASCAR’s list of the 50 Greatest Drivers and chose "Tiny" Lund. Join me as I look back, In the Rearview Mirror, at the career of "Tiny" Lund.
|Tiny and his son Christopher|
Lund made his NASCAR debut in 1955, competing in only one race at the Memphis-Arkansas Speedway. He was racing for Carl Rupert, owner of the Rupert Safety Belt Company, who also sponsored his ‘55 Chevrolet. After qualifying mid-pack (23rd) Lund’s debut ended early after being caught in a crash.
Lund returned in 1956 driving for a new team, Gus Holzmueller, and would proceed to drive 21 races that season. His best finish was a fourth place finish at the historic Columbia Speedway in Cayce, SC.
The 1957 season saw more changes for Lund; he split his races between multiple teams including Holzmueller, A.L. Bumgarner (Pontiac) and even Petty Enterprises (Oldsmobile). Despite all the different teams, his finishes had improved to claiming six top-5 and 15 top-10 finishes in just 32 starts.
|Lund in victory lane for the Daytona 500|
Credit: Racing One Multimedia
Tiny’s racing career spanned over 20 years and more than 300 races. He had only five wins but more impressive, 54 top-5 and 119 top-10 finishes.
Lund was racing in the Grand National East division at Talladega when his life was taken in a horrific accident. Lund collided with another car, both erupted into flames and he died minutes after emergency workers freed him from the wreckage.
Lund's legacy outlasted his career, he was inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame (1994) and named one of NASCAR's 50 Greatest Drivers (1998). Daytona International Speedway also has a "Tiny" Lund grandstand section named in his honor.