Les Figueroa from FigSpeed dishes on drag racing on Episode 202


FigSpeed honcho, Les Figueroa dishes about drag racing, off-road, and being at “that” level with the big boys. It’s a great listen, plenty of stories to keep you entertained. Be sure to listen on your favorite podcast app.



5:17 – I still have the car that my dad raced and bought in 1970

16:59 – knowing I always loved drag racing, I took the position at Mallory Ignition making minimum wage; about $4.25 an hour

20:32 – all the events I was able to work at, I was also able to race at. The people on the West Coast thought I was an East Coast racer…I never told anyone I was new.

23:48 – so leaving the starting line as close to perfect as possible was the name of the game

28:17 – being there for Speed Week was awesome, we stayed at the Speedway Motel by the Brickyard, Mario Andretti’s room was down the hall, and Jeff was next to him, once you were in at that level, it was one big, huge family.

34:28 – Our company Fig Speed had a great relationship with Lucas Oil

42:51 – I got kicked out for one of the Pedagon Brothers, the thing is, nobody told me I was kicked out, I had to read it in National Dragster

Special thanks to 4low Magazine and Maxxis Tires for support and sponsorship of this podcast.


[00:01:39.800] – Big Rich Klein

On today’s episode of Conversations, I have the pleasure of speaking with a guy that knew what he wanted to do from a young age, from going to drag races as a kid with his dad, then as an employee at Super Shops, to racing in NHRA events all across the country, offroading in the Sierras for Fun, to racing KOH. My guest is none other than Les Figueroa. Well, it’s great to have you on the air today, Les. I’m really looking forward to this interview. How have you been?

[00:02:10.760] – Les Figeroa

Rich. Thanks for having me. Been doing great. I recently had a shoulder surgery, which kept me from being at King of the Hammers this year, which was a huge disappointment. We actually had an entry and couldn’t make it. So other than that, we’re doing great.

[00:02:27.270] – Big Rich Klein

Well, that’s too bad. I always hate to see an entry burned. So how’s the shoulder doing at this point?

[00:02:34.690] – Les Figeroa

Shoulder’s doing great. About three and a half weeks into it, probably have another three weeks in a sling and in physical therapy, first time having rotator cuff surgery, but it seems to be a pretty common thing these days.

[00:02:50.030] – Big Rich Klein

Right. That’s true. I should have mine done, but I don’t know if I’m going to. I don’t need to throw a football or a baseball any longer and pull pull-ups and pressing heavy weights is out of my wheelhouse anymore.

[00:03:05.160] – Les Figeroa

Got you.

[00:03:06.490] – Big Rich Klein

I’ll get my knees done first.

[00:03:09.180] – Les Figeroa

There you go.

[00:03:10.440] – Big Rich Klein

So let’s jump into this interview. And Let’s find out where were you born and raised?

[00:03:18.210] – Les Figeroa

I was actually born and raised in Northern California, Alameda, California, to be exact. And I grew up there and ended up leaving there at about 14 years old and up to the Sierras. And yeah, that’s where I spent my time, going to the drag races as a young kid and just enjoying and doing the normal things you do growing up.

[00:03:43.410] – Big Rich Klein

And Alameda was Did that mean one of your parents was in the Navy or anything?

[00:03:49.400] – Les Figeroa

No. Both parents were raised in Alameda, Oakland, area. None of them were in the military, but my dad worked for the company that would work on all the ships. Okay. And it’s called Crale Maritime. They own the red and white fleet there in San Francisco. So as a kid, I got to go on lots of ships and submarines and aircraft carriers as a non-military person. It was very unique.

[00:04:17.160] – Big Rich Klein

Right. I’m always fascinated getting a chance to be on ships. One of my favorite is down in Corpus Christi area, and it’s the Lexington. And just I love the aircraft carriers. And I realized that you need to be… You can’t be a huge stature, and especially in a submarine. And then you got to be pretty nimble to get up and down those damn ladders and stairs.

[00:04:48.860] – Les Figeroa

Well, you wouldn’t be able to do it with that rotator cuff issue, Rich. I could tell you that.

[00:04:53.190] – Big Rich Klein

There you go. There you go. Or overweight like I am with bad knees.

[00:04:57.850] – Les Figeroa

You can change that.

[00:04:59.620] – Big Rich Klein

Yeah. Yeah. So you said you were going to drag races and stuff. Was that down in… What drag races did you go to?

[00:05:11.650] – Les Figeroa

Yeah. In the early years… So I’m 59 years old. So…

[00:05:16.820] – Big Rich Klein


[00:05:17.320] – Les Figeroa

First grade, second grade. We lived in the Bay Area down in there, Fremont Alameda. And Fremont Drag Strip was the drag race of choice. It was close. And just really enjoyed it. And I just have lots of memories as a little kid going to the events and just watching. My dad would race as a hobby once in a while. And ironically, I still have that car that he bought in 1970. Wow. And it’s almost finished. Again, it’s a beautiful car, and I will drive it to work every once in a while here, but I’ll trailer it to our drag strip in Las Vegas just to bracket race and have fun.  READ MORE

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