Nine professional Virginia truck drivers were crowned 2014 “Champions of the Highway” at the 63rd annual Virginia Truck Driving Championships held April 11 and 12 at the Lee Hi Travel Plaza in Lexington, Va.
First place champions, their hometown, their company, and home terminal location are:
|Step Van:||Greg Long||Frederick MD||FedEx Express||Herndon|
|Straight Truck:||Mark Brundage||Leesburg||FedEx Express||Dulles|
|3-Axle:||Anthony Cottrell||Bedford||Con-way Freight||Roanoke|
|4-Axle:||Stacy Warren||Woodlawn||Con-way Freight||Wytheville|
|5-Axle Van:||Jock Wolfe||Alexandria||Robinson Terminal Warehouse||Springfield|
|5-Axle Flatbed:||Doug Padgett||Alexandria||Robinson Terminal Warehouse||Springfield|
|5-Axle Tank:||Tony Wright||Wytheville||Con-way Freight||Wytheville|
|Sleeper Berth:||Mike McSpirit||Chambersburg PA||Walmart Transportation||Mt. Crawford|
|Twin-Trailers:||Marty Hogan||Madison Heights||UPS Freight||Roanoke|
A total of 96 professional truck drivers from across the state representing 17 different companies entered the competition. A total of 21 drivers competed for their first time ever. The event is sponsored by the Virginia Trucking Association and its Safety Management Council and is patterned after the American Trucking Associations’ National Truck Driving Championships. The first-place champions listed above will represent Virginia in the National Championships to be held August 12-16 in Pittsburgh, PA.
The winner of the Neill Darmstadter Memorial Grand Champion Award was Stacy Warren of Woodlawn, driver for Con-way Freight, out of their Wytheville, VA terminal. The Grand Champion Award is presented each year to the driver with the highest score of all the competitors. Warren has been a professional truckdriver for 13 years and 5 of those years with Con-way Freight.
The first-ever Willie Taylor Memorial Course Champion Award was presented to John Davis of Wytheville, a driver for ABF Freight Systems, for achieving the highest score on the field course portion of the competition. This award was created this year to honor the memory of Robert W. “Willie” Taylor, former President of Robinson Terminal Warehouse Corp., who passed away on February 1, 2014. Mr. Taylor competed in various state and national truck driving championships as a driver and won two national championships in his class. Following his driving career, Mr. Taylor served as Chairman of the Virginia Truck Driving Championships for several years and also was a member of the ATA National Truck Driving Championships Committee.
The Captain Roy Terry Memorial Pre-Trip Inspection Award, given to the driver with the highest score in the equipment defects portion of the competition, was won by Pete Johnson of Portsmouth, driver for FedEx Ground, Chesapeake.
The Rookie of the Year Award was presented to James Jones of Chesapeake, driver for FedEx Ground in Chesapeake. This award is presented each year to the highest scoring, first-time competitor and can only be won once by a driver.
The Team Trophy was won by Con-way Freight of Ann Arbor, MI. This award is presented to the company with the highest average score of all its drivers competing in the Championships.
Other winners in the competition by class, with their hometown, company and home terminal are:
|Step Van:||2nd: Daniel Woods, Shawsville – FedEx Express, Christiansburg3rd: Karim Amiri, Springfield – FedEx Express, Alexandria|
|Straight Truck:||2nd: Nevin Breill, Winchester – Con-way Freight, Winchester
3rd: Bruce Ours, Petersburg, WV – Walmart Transportation, Mt. Crawford
|3-Axle||2nd: Mike Stickley, Middletown- Con-way Freight, Winchester
3rd: John Davis II, Wytheville – ABF Freight System, Wytheville
|4-Axle||2nd: Bill Lindsey, Virginia Beach – FedEx Freight, Virginia Beach
3rd: Harold Lafon, Chesterfield – UPS Freight, Richmond
|5-Axle Van||2nd: G. Douglas Johnson, Sr., Aylett – UPS Freight, Richmond
3rd: Randy Ebinger, Haymarket – YRC Freight, Manassas
|5-Axle Tank||2nd: Joe Clements, Chesterfield – UPS Freight, Richmond
3rd: Ralph Stacey, Montvale – YRC, Roanoke
|5-Axle Flatbed||2nd: Mike West, Forest – YRC, Roanoke
3rd: Jason Smith, Valley Bend, WV – Walmart Transportation, Mt. Crawford
|5-Axle Sleeper:||2nd: Clayton Baker, Philomont – YRC, Manassas
3rd: Jerry Melton, Galax – Con-way Freight, Wytheville
|Twin Trailers||2nd: Robbie Cottrell, Bedford – Con-way Freight, Roanoke
3rd: Pete Johnson, Portsmouth – FedEx Ground, Chesapeake
The Virginia Trucking Association (VTA) is the Virginia affiliate of the American Trucking Associations and is the only statewide trade association dedicated to serving the trucking industry in Virginia. The VTA membership includes trucking companies, private fleet operators, industry suppliers, and other firms and individuals interested in the well-being and safety of motor freight transportation at the local, state and national level. Visit www.vatrucking.org and follow the VTA on Twitter @VaTruckingAssn.