Lealand McSpadden was born in Gallup, New Mexico When Lealand was eight, his family moved to the Phoenix area, settling in Tempe. When he left school he went to work for Zircon Precision Products, a machine shop, where he worked for over thirty-five years.
Lifelong friends with Billy and Ron Shaman, Billy bought a super-modified in 1967 and Lealand helped him with the car. Billy sold him the car a year later and Lealand started racing.
In the mid 1970s he was racing it at the Manzanita Speedway in Phoenix, Arizona whenhe was offered a drive with Cecil Coddle’s sprint car and became a semi professional racing driver.
Nicknamed the Tempe Tornado, McSpadden won nearly 200 races during his long career,
He won his first sprint feature at Manzanita in 1972 and won his first CRA feature there one year later.
In 1975 he won the Arizona Sprint Car title and in 1977 he won a record 25 races in five different divisons at Manzanita Speedway.
In 1978 he won the “Western World” Sprint Car championship race at Manzanita.
His 78 career feature wins rank him at third on the all-time winners list and 30 of those came at Manzanita Speedway.
One night at the Silver Dollar Speedway in a CRA Gold Cup support race, Lealand set a quick time, but crashed out in his heat. Badly shaken and with some sever damage to the car, promoter J.W. Hunt offered to add $1000 to the winner's purse if McSpadden could come back through the B final and win the main event! He proceeded to run away with the B final and few minutes later he won the main event to win the increased purse.
He won the 1995 SCRA non-winged sprint car championship and then announced that he would not be defending his crown.
He was inducted into the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame in 1999 in honor of his outstanding contributions as a driver. including having won the 1992 California Racing Association (CRA) and 1995 Sprint Car Racing Association (SCRA) Championships. He is also a member of the Arizona Motorsports Hall of Fame in Phoenix.
In February 2003, McSpadden was diagnosed with cancer. After surgery and treatment he has now been in remission for four years.