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Zavrel “Still Rolling” After 25 Years

Super Late Model driver Keith Zavrel will roll into the 2020 season tonight with a special paint scheme on his No. 47 race car dedicated to the reason he races, his family PHOTOS BY KEITH ZAVREL/SPECIAL TO THE CHRONICLE

Two years ago Keith Zavrel’s mom lost her battle to cancer. This season, he will honor his mom with special wording on his race car

Keith Zavrel dedicated space to recognize and honor his sister who is currently battling cancer. Photos By Keith Zavrel

Zavrel “Still Rolling” After 25 Years

Super Late Models highlight tonight’s race card at Citrus County Speedway

By: Kimberly Kelly
For the Chronicle

Keith Zavrel’s first experience in a stock car was in a Bomber car at Citrus County Speedway. The year was 1993, and race action was some of the best the race track had seen at the time.

“ I used to love racing with Bruce Gaskins, and (Butch) Yoakam too,” Keith Zavrel said. “They were always good hard racers that gave you respect.”
it was a short six-month stint before he jumped to the top division, the Super Late Model.

“I wrecked my car and Vicki’s dad George (Receveur) gave me a late model to drive,” he said. “I ran a Sportsman for Johnny Zuidema a little bit, but I’ve been in the Late Models pretty much ever since.”

Not much has changed for the driver out of Brooksville. He is still racing the same car he has had for the last 25 years.

“It’s the third (car) from George,” he said. “It was Butch Yoakam’s (car). That’s the one I am still racing today. The No. 47x, It’s still rolling.”
And he is still racing for the same reason.

“It’s still a family thing,” he said. “We all go out as a family and have fun. We race to have time with each other, hang out at the track, see old friends, and make new ones.”

A lot has changed since those early years of racing when the Receveur family would bring a handful of cars to the racetrack, make a few laps, collect their part of the night’s payout and go home.

“Some of us would go a few laps, and the rest will run the whole race,” he said. “George’s dream was to have two or three cars and the track was going to pay for them.”

As time went on, Zavrel found himself competing in the Florida Pro and Sunbelt Series that raced at venues across the state of Florida. He is the sole driver still to be racing today.

“It’s a lot different,” he said of today’s racing atmosphere. “When we stared you had to work for what you had, and earn what you could get. There wasn’t that many people who were real competitive. It was really just friends getting together and racing.”

Today’s racing atmosphere is full of young drivers trying to make a name for themselves.

“We are racing from what we know,” Zavrel said of his tenure at the Inverness venue.

“The crew that the (drivers) are bringing, the crew and the people, they surround themselves with have so much technology to get around the track,” he said compared to his small crew that includes Obie Johnson, Austin Johnson, nephew Will Patrick and his wife of 20 years Vicki. He is self-sponsored by Power Logging Tree Service.

“They are able to race more than we do,” he said of his competition. “They have more seat time in their cars. And, they are able to adapt. They follow us, pick it up, and run with it. It’s the new age of racing.”

Zavrel finished in the top 10 twice and was 15th overall of 60 competitors during the 2019 season.

This season, Zavrel hopes to be in the top three each race, in the top three in points, and finish in the top five for the special Full Throttle 100 lap event which he has raced every year.

“We are going to do a lot more testing this year than we normally do,” He said. “We are going to get back to racing more.”

In addition to the Super Late Models, Zavrel plans to run in the Pure Stocks, the Truck series, and help his son and nephew in the new Ford class.

Tonight, he will debut a new paint scheme tonight.

“We’re going to debut a brand new paint scheme this Saturday night. It will still be the same Go Man Go copper bronze, but with new graphics. It’s something special for the family.”

“ You know, I enjoy being still around doing the same thing I did before,” Zavrel said. “My kids, Corey and Cassidy, have grown up at the track and I am hoping they will want to do the same thing and race there for many years to come.”

Citrus County Speedway is located just south of Inverness on US 14 at the Citrus County Fairgrounds.

Tonight’s race card includes the Super Late Models (75 laps), Pure Stocks (25), Anything Automotive Mini Stocks (25), Outlaw Street Stocks (25), and the Ford Outlaws (25). General Admission is $15.00 for adults, $5 students 17 and under. Children 6 and under are free.

  • Pit Passes are $30.00 adults, $15 for children 7 and under.

Kimberly Kelly covers race action at Citrus County Speedway for the Citrus County Chronicle. This article appeared Saturday, February 1, 2020.