By Anthony Rhoads
Racing in the Thursday Thunder Pro Division is tough.
Just ask Brian Meredith.
Meredith, the 2000 Chargers Division points champion, has competed in Thursday Thunder's elite division for two seasons and has struggled to keep up.
It hasn't been a case of not having the talent or ability but as a middle school coach and teacher with a family, his track time has been limited.
The Pro Division is made up of drivers who race as many as three or four times a week and who are working their way up the ladder of success. The division has produced such drivers as Reed Sorenson (the No. 1 contender for this year's ASA rookie of the year award), Joey Clanton (who is now on the Busch Series) and Doug Stevens (a part-time driver on the ASA, ARCA and Hooters ProCup Series).
Because of his family and job obligations, Meredith only races once a week at Atlanta Motor Speedway. He enjoys the experience and loves racing but competing in the Pro Division is hard.
"It's tough," he said. "It's real tough. I can be running good in a race and still finish in fifth place. It's a tough division and all the cars are fast. I think I could be more competitive if I got more practice. I think that puts me behind."
If he wanted to, Meredith could race more often and travel but he puts his wife and two children first.
"It would just take too much time away from my family," he said.
Meredith was a standout baseball and football player at Morrow High School and went on to play baseball at Georgia State.
Meredith then became a teacher and coached track and football at Morrow Middle School.
Last year, he moved to Eagle's Landing Middle School, where he coaches girls' softball and track. Last season, the ELMS fast-pitch softball team won its league championship.
Four races, four wins: Hunter Robbins is currently undefeated this year in the Bandits Division. Thursday, Robbins won his fourth straight Bandits race.
In the Young Guns Division, Trey Maughan won his second straight race.
In Outlaws, Darrell Banks won his second straight race and his third this season. Banks' worst finish so far this year was fourth in the second week of the season.