Hometown: The Colony, Texas
Weapon of Choice: 2000 Honda Civic all-motor; 1.8-liter LS/VTEC; tube chassis
Best e.t.: N/A
Names like Norris Prayoonto, Ken Scheepers and Jeremy Lookofsky ring familiar with most all-motor drag racing fans. But Adam Franzetti of Team Sindicate actually outperformed all of them in the NHRA Sport Compact Series last year. He finished fifth overall in points, second only to Leslie Durst for Honda points. Not bad for his first complete season in pro racing. For 2005, Franzetti hopes that the experience will help him into the top three. A new tube chassis and possible K24 engine program can't hurt.
Honda Tuning: So why the new car?
Adam Franzetti: We were sitting close to 1,800 lbs. last year, and we were about 125 pounds over the minimum. There was nothing we could really do to take any more weight out. The only thing we could do was build a bigger motor and it really wouldn't have helped a lot, seeing as how we were so far over the minimum weight. This car will allow us to do it completely from the start.
HT: Tell us about the chassis.
AF: The chassis is fantastic. It's going to be one of those chassis that's one of a kind. The guys that have been working on it, Bob Norwood and Tony Palo, Tony is actually the guy who's been building all of it. He's come up with so many things that are off-the-wall. It's crazy.
HT: Do you think it takes something like that, something crazy and unique, to be competitive?
AF: We started off with the unibody car and there's a lot of people who do that. You get so far, you can make the jump from 12 seconds to high-10s pretty quick. But to get down to the low-10s, it almost seems like no matter what you do without spending a whole lot of money, it's hard to get there.
HT: What's your engine right now?
AF: We're kind of in the midst of a change. We were doing a K24. The car was being set up for that. We just kind of ran out of time and money. The NHRA set up its schedule a little weird. If you don't make the first race you can't make the second race. The second race is a Powerade race. And if you don't make the first three, you can't make the fourth one, which is the other Powerade race. So, if we didn't make the first one then we'd pretty much be out half the season. I didn't want to get into this K motor not knowing everything there is to know about it. We have the B motor from last year built before the last race just in my garage so we'll go back to that for now, so we can get this K motor under our belt a little more.
HT: What's the engine?
AF: It's an LS/VTEC. Larry over at Endyn put this together for us, before Pomona last year. We've only made four or five passes on it.
HT: What's your mentality going into this season?
AF: It's frustrating, I'll tell you that. We ended up fifth in points last year. It was a tough year. We went through a lot of motors and never made it past the second round. We made it to every race, so that kind of helps. This year is going to be a lot tougher. We knew that last year and wanted to step it up to another level.
HT: How is last year going to help this year?
AF: You have to do things right the first time. The whole reason we put the K motor on pause is so that instead of throwing it together, driving out there and blowing something up, then spending all of our money trying to make all these races [when we're] not ready. We want to come out and take our time putting this other motor together. It's been a lot tougher than we expected. I think it's a smart decision.
HT: Still, it must have been encouraging, right?
AF: You look back on it-at the time-and you don't make the second round, over and over and over. But when you look back on it and see that you actually made a full season on our own budget. And we did everything right. We were right with these people. You gotta keep going. You can't stop now.