When Albert acquired his '88 Honda CRX in a trade, the first thing he did was hit the street races. Equipped with a Japanese Integra Type-R engine and Alaniz Street Comp cylinder head, the CRX was a force to reckon with. In 2001, a 12-second street car ruled the roads. In Albert's hometown of Indio, California there wasn't anyone else that had a faster all-motor car. After tapping out the street racing scene, Albert started to run the CRX at local drag racing events. The downside to being legit was there wasn't a designated class for his car back then. Albert ended up racing his car in bracket classes with 15-second beaters or he was stuck against professional racers where he would barely qualify.
After losing a high-stake race, Albert decided that the stock bottom-end wasn't cutting it anymore and his new goal was to run 11's. After meeting with George Hernandez of SouthGate Auto, a bigger bore bottom-end was underway. After sleeving the Type-R block and bumping up the compression to 14.5-to-1, the CRX was putting down 272 wheel-horsepower. In November of 2003, Albert blasted down the track in just 11.88-seconds at 114 MPH. This was the happiest day of Albert's life; he finally broke the 11-second barrier.
With the new-found performance under his belt, Albert could be found in the finals of every race he entered. Albert kept working at the quarter-mile times and got them down to 11.61-seconds. Most people would be content at this point but not Albert, he still needed to go faster.
Now on his third engine, the 86mm setup was producing an astonishing 299 wheel-horsepower and 191 lb/ft or torque. Going down the track in Bakersfield, the engine let go, leaving parts scattered on the pavement. With the destruction of his last engine, Albert was short on cash. By buying some used parts, he put together another engine. While on the dyno a rod broke loose and Albert saw his racing hobby / career go down the drain. He was too tired and broke to invest in yet another engine for the CRX. He always felt that he had unfinished business and needed to get back into racing though. Albert was always known as "the guy with the fast CRX" and he didn't want to let go of the one thing he loved to do, race. Clinching his hobby, Albert still didn't have funding for his racecar.
Erick Saves the Day
Talking with friends from his team, Allen Cooke and Juan Quintana, the group tried to figure out what was best for Albert and his dream of racing. As Allen and Albert discussed the matter on the way to Erick's Racing, Allen found a way to get Albert out of his rut. Allen unlocked the potential that Albert had. Just when he thought things couldn't get better, the unthinkable happened. Erick Aguilar of Erick's Racing Engines offered to help Albert get his car back up and start a sponsorship program. The idea was to represent Erick's Racing to the street market.
Erick went to work on an engine for Albert's CRX. Erick opted to use an LS bottom-end and build an LS-vtec engine. RS Machines headed the sleeving responsibilities to make way for 85mm Arias Pistons. The new forged pistons came in a 14.5-to-1 compression ratio. To make the connection between the Crower crankshaft and Arias pistons, Crower Econo connecting rods were chosen. On the top side of the engine, an Alaniz Full Competition Race cylinder head was used. To orchestrate the valve duties a set of Toda Spec-D camshafts were installed along with the complimenting valvetrain. An Erick's Racing 70mm throttle body allows air into the Edlebrock intake manifold. Fuel components were kept simple yet effective with a quartet of RC Engineering 440 cc/min fuel injectors. This 2156cc powerplant produced 280 wheel-horsepower.