Following a strong 2023 season in Bandoleros, 10-year-old racer Wyatt Coffey is adding Micro Sprint racing to his busy schedule.
Coffey is joining one of the best dirt midget organizations in CB Industries for his venture into Micro Sprints. He will contest a full schedule at Millbridge Speedway with Boat while also competing in other marquee events such as the Tulsa Shootout at the end of the season.
Although he is still relatively new to racing, Coffey is familiar with the prestige surrounding Boat’s program, which is why he is eager to make his first start with the team and build upon its storied legacy.
“I’m very excited to team up with Chad Boat and CB Industries,” Coffey said. “They are one of the best in the business when it comes to dirt racing, so I can’t wait to learn from Chad and my teammates.”
Coffey brings plenty of momentum and success to CB Industries. The ‘Wild Child’ made a name for himself in Bandoleros last year by accumulating 32 victories along with a championship in the INEX Winter Nationals at Citrus County Speedway.
Adapting to Micro Sprints will be one of the most significant tests of Coffey’s young career. Instead of relying on consistency in full-bodied Bandoleros, precision is going to be paramount for Coffey while going full throttle around dirt tracks, all while dealing with a minimal margin of error.
The full Micro Sprint slate comes while Coffey maintains a full commitment to Bandoleros. Oscillating between the two disciplines is an obstacle that Coffey believes will take diligence and patience to overcome.
“It will be a challenge because I’m trying to run so many races in a Bandolero but also want to compete in micros at a lot of different places,” Coffey said. “Balancing out dirt and asphalt racing is going to take time, but I know I will be able to pull it off.”
Boat does not envision a steep learning curve for Coffey in the Micro Sprints. He was impressed with how efficient Coffey was in Bandoleros last year and anticipates similar results on dirt, with Coffey having previously raced in the Box Stock Outlaw Kart and Junior Wing Kart divisions at Millbridge.
Having cultivated a resume that includes NASCAR starts to go along with wins in the Chili Bowl Nationals Race of Champions and the Belleville Midget Nationals, Boat stressed the importance of composure while flying around a dirt track; a quality he intends to pass down to Coffey.
“The big thing that dirt teaches you is car control,” Boat said. “When drivers get back on asphalt, that experience allows them to hang the car out a little more. The confines are so tight that the repercussions of touching wheels can be flipping. Dirt provides drivers a whole list of attributes they can hang onto for the rest of their careers.”
With Coffey doing most of his Micro Sprint racing at Millbridge, Boat said the facility’s unique layout will teach the young driver how to get comfortable running the wall. Finding speed on Millbridge’s bottom groove is also possible, but Boat wants Coffey to thoroughly understand throttle control before venturing down there.
Boat considers Millbridge to be a perfect track for development regardless if a driver is 10 years old like Coffey or an experienced NASCAR Cup Series veteran. He has every reason to believe the environment at Millbridge will allow Coffey to take in so much information and find immediate success.
“After working with Wyatt through a few tests and races last year, I definitely think we can compete for wins right away,” Boat said. “Wyatt is running the Restricted class, so he’ll be racing against kids his age. With his experience, he’ll go out there and excel, but we just want to keep stretching him and try to improve his race craft.”
If everything goes according to plan for Coffey in Millbridge’s Restricted division, Boat did not rule out moving him up to the A class in the middle of the summer. The only major difference between the two divisions is the A class does not have a restricted engine.
Coffey plans to take a methodical approach to his first season in Micro Sprints. While he would love to rack up a copious amount of dirt wins like he did in Bandoleros last year, his goal is to lean on Boat and improve with each event.
“My expectations are very high,” Coffey said. “I want to learn as much as I can about Micro Sprints and get as much seat time as possible. If I do everything I’m supposed to do, I know I can win races.”
Wyatt Coffey would like to thank CB Industries, his mom, dad, grandfather, Mike and Corey Gordon, Tonya McCallister and MPM Marketing, along with his sponsors Atlanta Paving & Concrete Construction Inc., ArborLife Professional Tree Care, United Tire & Auto, Bradley’s Trucking, Team Gordon, R&M Automotive, Bennett’s Hometown Garage, Payne’s Enterprises, Todd Rental, Mt. View Auto Sales, Checkered Flag Graffix and Triple R Cattle.
-MPM Marketing Release
-Photo credit: Adam Fenwick