Racing is more than a hobby for Craig Dales, he feels that it is a vital part of his life. “I love to drag race and it is half of my life today,” said Dales. His 1989 Chevrolet Beretta was built by Jim Cowen of American Racecraft in Glendale, Arizona. Craig resides in Riverside, California, and he takes part in the all of the Summit Series events as well as many others. With the Spring Fling wrapping up in Vegas less than one month ago, Craig is anxiously awaiting the opportunity to race the Beretta against more fierce competition. If things go well this season and the sponsors come through, his next plan to is compete in Top Sportsman.
Craig purchased the car almost five years ago, and according to him, the car was in great shape but needed a color change. In 2016, the Beretta underwent a powerplant upgrade when a Steve Schmidt, 565 cubic-inch monster was installed. This engine made it through an entire season, and it is again ready for competition in the 2017 season.
A single Holley 1150 carburetor feeds the potent engine while a Willie Martin-built Powerglide filled with a Continental torque converter transfers power to the rear tires. Those rear tires are Hoosier’s 32 X 14.5 15W mounted to a set of 14-1/2-inch wide Centerline wheels. In the front is another pair of Centerline wheels also wrapped in Hoosier rubber.
Since racecars require a lot of maintenance, Craig entrusted Dave Beckley of Mountain View Performance to handle the chassis monitoring and tune up, which coincidentally, uses parts from Chris Alston’s Chassisworks and Lamb Components. According to Craig, it took Jim Cowen at American Racecraft approximately 8-months to complete the initial build of the Beretta. Regardless of the time frame, Jim built a quality racecar using some of the best parts available.
Although Craig did not complete the initial build of the Beretta, he made certain that he selected knowledgable professionals to keep on top of the maintenance. ” I prefer to have professionals do the work,” added Craig. Willie Martin, owner of The Ed Martin Garage, Inc. does the majority of the work required on this race machine. Without Martin’s expertise and help from Don Higgins handling the Crew Chief Pro Software, Craig states that he would not be able to compete at this level. “I learn something new every time I go racing, I can’t get enough”, he added.
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