By Derrick Mahone
After starting this season's Thursday Thunder racing series with two straight wins, Alex Coffey will face his biggest challengers today at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
The track is expected to be a little more crowded tonight as several out-of-state racers have flocked to AMS for the national qualifier meet. Garrett Biggers, the national points leader, will be among the drivers in the Bandits division.
Coffey, 12, of Stockbridge, will get a chance to see where he stands among some of the top racers in the country.
"There is more competition," Coffey said. "I have something to go after. I'm out on the track trying to win."
Biggers, a Charlotte, N.C. native, said that Coffey has an advantage since this is his home track. In six races last year at AMS, Biggers had four third place finishes.
"It will be really hard to beat him," Biggers said. "This is really a good track. I think I will do OK. There are a lot of good racers out here."
"I think I have a pretty good advantage," he said. "Several of these guys have only raced one or two times out here."
But Coffey said he is not taking anything for granted. Doug Coffey said this race will give his son a good measuring stick.
"A lot depends on how the car is running," said the elder Coffey, an IT engineer for Delta. "You can't base everything on the last two weeks. It will be good to see where we stand. There is nothing like a race with a lot of competitors. We are definitely looking forward to it."
Including the winter racing series, Coffey has won his last five races at AMS.
Clayton Weatherman, who was second in the finals points standing last year, will also race tonight.
Last season, the St. Louis native, had four first place finishes at AMS. His first, ironically, came in Week 3.
In a national race at AMS last year, Coffey finished third. Intimidation will not be a factor since most of the young racers know each other.
Even off the track they are involved in some friendly competition.
Most do online racing against each other.
"We are all pretty good friends," the younger Coffey said. "We want to win. I'm looking forward to the race."