Tiny Lund started racing at a young age on a motorcycle, then moved up to midget cars and sprint cars. He served in the Korean War in the United States Air Force, and in 1955 decided to try stock car racing in NASCAR.
Lund went south with a 1955 Chevrolet and competed in the LeHi, Arkansas, event, with sponsorship from Carl Rupert and his safety belt company. Lund qualified mid-pack but his event ended in an accident on lap 65. Lund's car 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 in Columbia, South Carolina. Lund also ran a few events for A.L. Bumgarner.
In 1957, Lund split his time between Bumgarner's Pontiacs and a Petty Enterprises Oldsmobile. With Bumgarner, Lund controlled the majority of an event at the Cleveland County Fairgrounds short dirt track in Shelby, North Carolina. He won the pole position, and led 136 (of 200) laps when his right rear axle gave out with 14 laps left.
In February 1963, Lund went to Daytona International Speedway shopping around for any ride in that year's Daytona 500. Lund's friend Marvin Panch, the driver for the Wood Brothers racing team, had an accident while testing an experimental Ford-powered Maserati for the Daytona Continental three-hour sportscar race (a precursor to the 24 Hours of Daytona). When Panch's car burst into flames, Lund ran into the inferno and pulled Panch out of the wreckage. For his actions, Lund was awarded the Carnegie Hero's Medal.
In the hospital, Panch asked Lund to take his ride in the Wood Brothers Racing entry. Lund was fourth fastest in individual qualifying trials, and finished sixth in the second qualifying race, starting the race 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, Lund worked his way through the field. The Wood Brothers team had a winning strategy for the race – they planned to complete the race on one fuel stop less than the field. Lund managed to take the lead very late in the race. Lorenzen passed Lund with 10 laps left to go, but ran out of gas and had to make a pit stop. Then Ned Jarrett made the pass on Lund for the top spot but with three laps 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.
From 1968 through 1971, Lund earned his greatest racing successes in the new NASCAR Grand American Series, winning 41 of the 109 Grand American races from 1968 through 1971. The series was designed for pony cars like Ford Mustangs, Chevrolet Camaros and Mercury Cougars.
Lund drove a Cougar for the Bud Moore team in 1968, winning the inaugural season championship.
Lund would win back-to-back Grand American championships in 1970 and 1971, driving a Camaro for the Ronnie Hopkins team.
Lund "won" two Grand National events in 1971 – both times driving his Grand American pony car. As the number of entrants for some of the smaller Grand National races were low (only 14 cars entered the 1971 Space City 300), NASCAR decided to allow Grand American cars to fill out the remaining spots at six Grand National races later in the year. Three of these Grand National races were won by drivers in Grand American cars; Lund drove the Camaro to victory in the Buddy Shuman 276 and the Wilkes 400, while Bobby Allison drove a Mustang to victory in the Myers Brothers 250. The flat tracks at the Shuman and Myers events favored the smaller pony cars, while Lund won the Wilkes event when Richard Petty’s Grand National car had problems late in the race. Neither of these victories were added to Lund's official win tally—NASCAR had dictated, pre-races, that if a Grand American car won it would not be credited with a Grand National victory; first place points would not be awarded. Despite this, the wins were counted as constructor's victories for Chevrolet and starts for Lund.
In 1975, he entered an A.J. King Dodge in the Talladega 500 of the top level (renamed) Winston Cup Series. Lund qualified 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, finally running on August 17. On the seventh lap, Lund and J. D. McDuffie collided on the backstretch; Lund and McDuffie spun down the track as other cars started crashing behind them. As rookie Terry Link was spun hard into the drivers' door of Lund's Dodge, Link's Pontiac subsequently exploded in flames. Two spectators in the infield climbed over the catch fence, and with help from driver Walter Ballard, pulled an unconscious Link from his car and managed to revive him.
As this was happening, Lund was extricated from his own car by track rescue teams. He was alive when he reached the track infield hospital, but died less than 10 minutes later of massive chest and internal crush injuries. Drivers were not informed of Lund's death until the race was over.
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.