Discussing Speed, Success and Representation with the Salinas Family of Scrappers Racing

Gabe Zaldivar

For Mike Salinas and his daughters, the family business is about speed, power and unrelenting hard work.

Starting as a scrap-metal collector with his father in the 1960s, Salinas quickly built a waste service empire in San Jose and, at the age of 40, jumped into the high-octane world of Top Fuel drag racing.

“It's just an old, hard-working, no-mess-around family,” Salinas tells the En Fuego. “We do everything together. We hang out together. We go on vacations together.”

As we discover in the latest episode of The En Fuego Podcast, they also race together.

This family has a remarkable story to tell, one of perseverance and an unrelenting drive fueled on undeniable confidence.

Daughter Jasmine Salinas is a Top Alcohol Dragster with aims at one day competing at the Top Fuel level. Younger sibling Jianna discovered at a young age that she adored motorcycles and she now races them in the Pro Stock circuit.

Read More: Mike Salinas, Scrappers Racing and The Unrelenting Power of Family

Mike Salinas has seen the depths of economic hardship. A downturn in 1996 saw his prospects dry up and he found himself buying food on credit, something he never wanted to do.

But his story doesn’t end there, he pushed forward, pivoting his waster services business another time and was back on track within a couple of years.

“When you're at the bottom, you have nowhere to go but up,” he said. “But you have to have a positive mental attitude every morning.”

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Photo Credit: Scrappers Racing

The Salinas family discusses a wealth of issues and reminds us all the power of never giving up on your dreams.

We also delve into the importance of representation, especially in a sport that is very much dominated by male racers.

“We're not there just for us,” Jianna Salinas tells En Fuego. “There are young girls, young girls of color that are looking up to this and now seeing women that look like them that they've never seen out there before and knowing that they can do this.”

The En Fuego Podcast is dedicated to telling captivating stories that are so often overlooked. The time is now for people of color to have more of the spotlight, and we are there to amplify their voice.

You can catch up on all episodes now wherever you stream your podcasts. 

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