Wood Brothers First Daytona 500 Victory – 1963
One of the most incredible Wood Brothers Daytona 500 moments was the year replacement driver Tiny Lund filled-in for an injured Marvin Panch and won the race on one set of tires.
The Wood Brothers arrived in Daytona in 1963 with veteran Marvin Panch scheduled to drive the Ford factory sponsored #21 car. Unfortunately, Panch had an accident while testing a Ford-powered Maserati sports car for the second Daytona Continental three-hour sportscar race (this race later became the Rolex 24). During a test run, Panch’s car lost traction, rolled over and became engulfed in flames.
Dewayne “Tiny” Lund, a journeyman driver, was in Daytona looking for ride and was friends with Panch. Having witnessed Panch’s accident, Tiny ran to his friend-in–trouble and helped pull him from the fiery crash.
Panch was taken to the hospital and was too injured to race. While recovering, a grateful Panch asked Tiny if he would take-over his ride. Glen Wood agreed. During qualifying, Tiny completed his lap fourth fastest. During his qualifying race, Tiny finished sixth. When race day finally arrived, the teams and fans entered the track under heavy rain. Because of the wet conditions, the race was delayed and began under caution. After ten caution laps, the green flag was waived.
Fireball Roberts was on the pole and “Flying” Fred Lorenzen was on the outside pole. Tiny ran hard all day and eventually took the lead. Significantly, and little known, is the gamble taken by Glen and Leonard Wood to use only one set of tires for the entire race and complete the race with one less pit stop than everyone else.
With ten laps to go, Lorenzen passed Tiny. Fortunately for Tiny, Lorenzen ran out of gas and out of contention. Ned Jarrett then passed Tiny for the top spot but with three laps to go, he also ran out of gas. Tiny made it to the final lap then he too ran out of gas but had enough momentum to cross the finish line first. Glen and Leonard Wood’s gamble had paid off. The Wood Brothers had won the 1963 Daytona 500 with a replacement driver on one set of tires.