COLUMBUS, Ohio – There was a little more pride that went into winning this year’s National Truck Driving Championship for the driver who hoisted the big prize. Call it "hometown" pride.
FedEx Freight driver Scott Woodrome was recognized as this year’s NTDC Grand Champion Saturday night, and winning the title came in his home state.
A longtime competitor in truck driving championships with more than 1.8 million lifetime safe driving miles, Woodrome also took home the Tank Truck class national title. The Middletown, Ohio, driver has been in the trucking industry for 25 years, spending 12 of those years with FedEx Freight.
He has won his state championship 12 out of 12 times.
“This process began with thousands of drivers competing at the state level, but only one driver can emerge as overall grand champion,” American Trucking Associations president and CEO Chris Spear said. “It’s a testament to Scott’s commitment to safety and his craft that he was able to take home top honors this year.”
"We all work together for safety," Woodrome said from the podium. "This truly breeds safety and makes each one of us better each day and every day when we're on the highways."
Woodrome is the second Grand Champion to win in his home state in the last three NTDCs and the second Ohioan to win it on home asphalt in the last 10. Indiana Wal-Mart driver Charles Mike White won in Indianapolis in 2016. Ohio Con-way Freight driver Carl Kristes won in Columbus in 2010.
Oregon FedEx driver Ronald Zieser was named 2018 Rookie of the Year after a strong showing in the 3-Axle division. There were 28 rookies in this year’s nationals.
Nevada claimed the Team Championship, with Pennsylvania second and Colorado third.
FedEx produced seven of the nine class national champions, five from FedEx Freight. The company had a record 185 drivers among the nearly 450 who competed in the event. It has produced five National Grand Champions, 57 national champions and eight national rookie-of-the-years over the last 16 years.
Neil Nogues of YRC Freight was recognized with the Neill Darmstadter Professional Excellence award. Michael Flippin and Eric Courville of FedEx Freight and Tony Spero of ABF Freight achieved perfect scores on the written exam phase of the championships and received the Highest Written Exam Award. Michael Whitehead of FedEx Freight took home the Vehicle Condition Award for his performance during the pre-trip inspections.
This year’s Sam Gillette Volunteer of the Year Award was presented to Jerry Waddell of Cargo Transporters.
Next year’s NTDC will be held in Pittsburgh, Aug. 14-17.
Here are the vehicle class champions:
3-Axle: Eric Courville, FedEx Freight, Louisiana
4-Axle: Nick Arnold, FedEx Freight, Oklahoma
5-Axle: Duane Staveness, FedEx Freight, Wisconsin
Flatbed: Steven Newsome, UPS Freight, South Carolina
Sleeper Berth: Artur Lesniowski, FedEx Ground, New Jersey
Straight Truck: Dale Brenaman, UPS, Kentucky
Tank Truck: Scott Woodrome, FedEx Freight, Ohio
Twins: Miguel Corral, FedEx Freight, Illinois
Step Van: Eric Damon, FedEx Express, Colorado
Rookie of the Year: Ronald Zieser, FedEx Freight, Oregon
Team Champions: Nevada
Vehicle Condition: Michael Whitehead, FedEx Freight (3-Axle).
Highest Written Exam Award: Three perfect scores: Michael Flippin, FedEx Freight (Twins); Tony Spero, ABF Freight (Tank Truck); and Eric Courville, FedEx Freight (3-Axle national champion).
Neill Darmstadter Professional Excellence: Neil P. Nogues, YRC Freight, New Hampshire (Straight Truck).
Sam Gillette Volunteer of the Year Award: Jerry Waddell, Cargo Transporters
Here are the top three placers in each class
Eric Courville, FedEx Freight, Louisiana
David Mogler, FedEx Freight, Colorado
Brian Singelais, Frito-Lay, Inc., Massachusetts
Nick Arnold, FedEx Freight, Oklahoma
Andrew Rynearson, XPO Logistics, Wisconsin
Heladio Fernandez FedEx Freight Oregon
Duane Staveness, FedEx Freight, Wisconsin
Jack Hargett, AAA Cooper, Texas
Bryan Krol, The Martin-Brower Company, Pennsylvania
Steven Newsome, UPS Freight, South Carolina
Thomas Garner, FedEx Freight, Alabama
Gary Mars, Wal-Mart Transportation, Arkansas
Artur Lesniowski, FedEx Ground, New Jersey
Brian Hall, Old Dominion Freight Line, Tennessee
Edward Pennington, FedEx Freight, Florida
Dale Brenaman, UPS, Kentucky
Michael Bills, FedEx Express, North Carolina
James Sheehan, FedEx Ground, Tennessee
Scott Woodrome, FedEx Freight, Ohio
Don Logan, FedEx Freight, Kansas
Dave Miller, UPS Freight, Illinois
Miguel Corral, FedEx Freight, Illinois
Wilbert Vano, XPO Logistics, New Jersey
Darrell Shelton, FedEx Freight, Washington
Eric Damon, FedEx Express, Colorado
Robert Ledoux, FedEx Express, Massachusetts
Gregory Long, FedEx Express, Virginia
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