Keil Considers Win in Norwalk Highlight of Season

By Mary Lendzion

While many of his childhood friends were at the playground, Carl Keil was at the dragstrip, watching his dad, Larry Keil, race an ’83 AMC Spirit.

It was riveting, he said, and it was the reason he began racing in ’06 with a ’71 Plymouth Valiant, followed by a ’73 Camaro and a dragster.

Keil went on to earn the Summit Motorsports Park Rookie of the Year title in ’10, and has been a terror at Summit Motorsports Park in Norwalk, Ohio and other tracks across the country since then, and has routinely racked up wins and has qualified for the NHRA Division 3 Bracket Finals.

Keil — who in ’15 swapped his previous dragster with a new Diamond Race Cars dragster powered by a Graham Performance Engines-built Chevy engine and a Fleenor Racing Transmissions-built Powerglide — has been as quick as 7.94 and is consistently in the low eights in Quick Time Super Pro at Summit Motorsports Park.

While he says that his ’15 season started out “rocky,” it began to turn around the moment he rocketed to a win in May and finished ninth in ’16 points at Summit Motorsports Park. He also won the ‘16 Super Pro championship at Milan Dragway in Michigan.

“The highlight of the season is the win at Summit Motorsports Park,” said Keil, whose crew includes his parents, Larry and Linda Keil, brother Aaron Keil and companion, Kourtney Peters. “You have to have a very tight race package in order to win there, and that's just part of the Norwalk experience. So is spending time with friends like A.J. Buchanan, Wes Buckley, Matt Ball and Heather Saalman, to name a few.”

At the same time he sits back and savors those accomplishments, Keil — who works as a truck driver for Schrader Tire and Oil in Toledo, Ohio — shares that change is coming, but stops short of saying exactly what it entails.

“I’d rather leave that part out,” he said.

Given his passion for racing and propensity for going rounds, Keil’s plans — however private they may be — make him one to watch in the months to come, but meanwhile, catch him at the Halloween Classic XLIII presented by Harland Sharp, Oct. 16-23, ’16 at Summit Motorsports Park.

“I’ll be there all week, and I’m not leaving once I get there,” said Keil of the week-long Halloween  party.


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