Mark Dykeman was flying high with his ProCharged ’72 Camaro Z28 known as the “Blue Goose” when the bird blew a head gasket and suddenly took a nose dive into the wall while X275 racing in August of 2018 at New England Dragway. The wreck was a nasty one but fortunately Dykeman himself was okay, although the Goose was cooked. Quick to rebound, though, Dykeman put together a plan and soon found himself with not one but two Geese to call his own.
Although the Blue Goose’s chassis was utterly destroyed and the devastation to the car severe, Dykeman had a viable option parked in the back of his mind. “I had another ’72 for over twenty years that was just sitting out in the trailer that would be a great candidate,” explained the Tewksbury, Massachusetts, resident of how the blue Camaro would become a donor to breathe new life into its twin. “The blue one had been wheelied and crashed and twisted and it was time for a new chassis, anyway.”
Thanks to help from Tommy Kirk at Mac-Fab Beadlocks (who he originally purchased the Blue Goose from) and Ron Rhodes, Dykeman is swapping the soul of his old car into the new donor chassis. He will be sticking to his roots and staying with a leaf spring suspension setup, while Peter Harrell (and Lyle Barnett, who previously drove the Camaro before Dykeman purchased it) of Harrell Engine & Dyno will continue the work on the engine. To replace the damaged body components, Dykeman got a great new carbon nose from Kevin Wallauer at Unlimited Fiberglass, a passenger door from Ultra-Carbon, and new windows from Optic Armor.
While the Blue Goose 2.0 will be an identical replica of its predecessor, it won’t be ready for longer than Dykeman had hoped. In the interim, he’s got another project on the priority list that should be just as much of a monster – the Grey Goose.
“I had a ’13 COPO Camaro with a 427 and a Powerglide for sale that I basically bought as an investment car, and Dennis MacPherson at DMC Racing had just finished the chassis of the grey 5th Gen for Milton Westgate,” noted Dykeman. As fate would have it, Westgate wanted a COPO, and Dykeman wanted the 25.3 ’14 Camaro, so the two men made an easy trade that also included a sponsorship of Dykeman by Westgate’s shop, Westgate Performance.
The newly-minted “Grey Goose” was much further along in its build-out than the Blue Goose was, and so Dykeman decided to focus his efforts there in hopes of attending the Lights Out and Sweet 16 races at South Georgia Motorsports Park in early 2019 to run X275.
The 5th Gen Camaro will be ProCharged, like its brethren, with an F1-X blower at the recommendation of Sergio Shifman. A Pro Line Racing-built 470 ci LS-based engine was acquired from NMCA Street Outlaw racer Jacky McCarty and will be fed a healthy supply of alcohol; Harrell will take point on a refresh and rebuild although the bullet may not be ready in time for next season so a small block would be used in the interim. Regardless of what’s under the hood, the car will be wired by Jeff Dykes of Dykes and Strippers so that the Haltech 2500 engine management system can keep it running smoothly. Dykeman’s son, Jack, and Tommy Kirk will take point on the tuning side of things.
M&M Transmission supplied the two-speed Turbo 400 gearbox and matching converter, while Mark Markow at Markow Race Cars handled the floater 9” rear end. Santhuff front struts were already on the grey car when Dykeman purchased it, but he added a set of Menscer Motorsports shocks to the rear.
To clothe the ’14 Camaro, Bruche Maichle of High Horse Performance got Dykeman in touch with Glasstek to supply the one-piece nose. And, as no outfit is complete without a good set of shoes, a set of 275 Mickey Thompson drag radials will be wrapped around a set of rear RC Components wheels complete with Mac-Fab beadlocks.
Dykeman is handling the majority of the fitting, fabbing, and plumbing himself, as his business, Dykeman Welding and Fabrication, can handle most things in-house, with Doug Cook at Motion Raceworks supplying lots of additional parts and components. His local friends, Tim Dutton and Derek Mota, have also been a huge help while he’s received additional assistance from Lance Stanford from Carolina N/T and Brian Bell. “Also a huge thank you to my wife, Alyson, son, Jack, and my three daughters, Brooke, Ashlie, and Maci, for being so supportive of my racing,” he added gratefully.
With the entire 2019 race season ahead of him and endless possibilities, Dykeman’s now got two impressive cars at his disposal and there’s no doubt that either goose is capable of laying plenty of golden eggs.