Les Figueroa spent 21 years drag racing before he decided he wanted to take on Ultra4. One season and two races in, he's finished 9th at the grueling King of the Hammers race and pre-qualified for the 2012 race.

Finishing 9th overall at King of the Hammers is nothing to sneeze at, but Figueroa's performance is more impressive than that. He and co-driver Joe Thompson started 31st and cracked the top ten before the race was half over. Their Figspeed Lucas Oil Ultra4 car ran the entire race without incident, not even a punctured tire. It was a far cry from Figueroa's first attempt last year when a bad alternator took him out of the race. Figueroa, though, credits most of his success to Thompson.

"We were able to work a lot of bugs out of the car in the last year and finishing 14th in the Stampede race helped me understand the capabilities of the car," said Figueroa. "[Thompson] knew the limitations of the car better than I did and could push me along in the rocks. He told me when I could hit things harder, push faster and kept telling me 'Go! Go! Go!'"

The Figspeed car will be on display at the Lucas Oil Booth at the NHRA Winternationals in Pomona, California, from this Thursday, February 24, through Sunday, February 27 before Figueroa begins prepping it for the Best in the Desert Silver State 300 later this year.

Source: Figspeed; Photos: Bower Motorsports Media