Sportsman Spotlight: The Janitor’s 1968 Z28 Camaro

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that No-Prep, street race-style drag racing is hotter than that stupid Pokemon Go app. For the uninitiated, No-Prep races take place at a drag strip, but the track doesn’t apply any VHT, or other traction-enhancing compounds to the track. No-Prep races are all about power management, and every race comes down to tuner and driver expertise.

Mark Weddle 5

For Mark ‘The Janitor’ Weddle, the allure of No-Prep racing is that “it’s the closest thing to actual street racing,” he tells us. Mark goes on to say, “No-Prep racing takes most of the guys with wallets out of it. That makes it a driver and tuner’s race.” In Mark’s case, his Camaro uses a Holley Dominator EFI system, with Andre Davis in charge of tuning  power management.

Mark added the chromoly cage himself after he had welded in a mild steel cage. The previous cage was added in Mark's infancy as a fabricator. IOnce he learned how to tig weld, he cut out the mild steel cage and welded in the chromoly cage.

Mark added the chromoly cage himself.

Mark’s Camaro has power to spare, thanks to a Torrez Performance-built 406 cubic-inch small-block with a single Precision 106mm turbocharger. The short-block is stuffed with a Callies crankshaft, Oliver connecting rods, and Diamond pistons. Up top is a pair of AFR 245cc heads, and Mark’s own intake design feeds the small-block. Mark built the headers and all the exhaust and turbo piping himself. “It’s estimated to make 2,000 hp at the flywheel,” Mark says.

"That was my car in 1999," Mark says. Mark has owned the Z28 since 1996, and after its first iteration, actually flipped the car during a street race. As you can see in the current photos, the Camaro is back from that incident.

Mark has owned the Z28 since 1996, and after he initially built the car, actually flipped it during a street race.

Mark tells us the car is a real 1968 Z28, and was a basket case when he bought it in 1996, when he was 19 years old. “It was just a shell with all the parts piled inside,” he adds. Like happens so often, the build took longer than planned, because soon after he started the project, he had to put the car on hold for a couple years after his son was born.

Once he got back to working on the car, Mark mini-tubbed the rear, and added ladder bars and coilovers in the process. He also constructed a mild-steel cage, and converted the car to rack-and-pinion steering. Soon after the cage was completed, Mark learned how to TIG weld, so he removed the mild-steel cage and replaced it with one made of chromoly. “I was building the car specifically to street race and run in the Xtreme Street class back then,” Mark says. The Camaro first hit the streets in 2006, with the 400ci small-block, supplemented with a nitrous fogger system.

Torrez Performance built the Camaro's 406-inch small block, but Mark's fabrication skills are also found under the hood. He fabricated the intake elbow, turbo piping, and headers for the car, along with the cage, fuel cell, and water tank.

Torrez Performance built the Camaro’s 406 cubic-inch small-block. Mark’s fabrication skills are also found under the hood, as he fabricated the intake elbow, turbo piping, headers, and the water tank.

The Camaro ran 5.40-second e.t.’s like clockwork, and was a successful racecar. Unfortunately, in 2009 Mark rolled the Camaro on the street, and it was put on the back burner for a couple years. Once he was able to get working on the Camaro, he had some new plans to keep his car competitive. That meant removing the nitrous oxide, and replacing it with the 106mm turbo.

If you see a blue '68 Camaro Z28, just for 'The Janitor' on the window, and you've found Mark Weddle.

If you see a blue ’68 Camaro Z28 at a small tire, or No-Prep race, it could be Mark Weddle. Just look for “The Janitor” on the window, and you’ve found him.

With his Camaro rebuilt for a second time, Mark plans to attend as many races as he can, and show everyone how “The Janitor’ cleans up the competition.

About the author

Michael Johnson

Michael Johnson brings his years of experience in the Mustang aftermarket and performance industry to StangTV. He has been passionate about cars since childhood, with a special affinity for the Mustang.
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