Virginia truck driving champions crowned

Nine professional Virginia truck drivers were crowned 2018 “Champions of the Highway” at the 67th annual Virginia Truck Driving Championships held May 4 and 5 at FedEx Freight in Chester, Virginia.

First place champions, their hometown, their company, and home terminal location are:

Step Van:Greg LongFrederick MDFedEx ExpressHerndon
Straight Truck:David PriceFishersvilleFedEx FreightFishersville
3-Axle:Anthony CottrellBedfordXPO LogisticsRoanoke
4-Axle:Mark BrundageLeesburgFedEx ExpressSterling
5-Axle Van:Kerry RyanPowhatanFedEx FreightChester
5-Axle Flatbed:Robert LillyChesterfieldFedEx FreightChester
5-Axle Tank:Joe ClementsChesterfieldUPS FreightRichmond
Sleeper Berth:Jim HinesSpotsylvaniaWalmart TransportationSutherland
Twin-Trailers:Earnest AllenFarmvilleWalmart TransportationGordonsville

A total of 86 professional truck drivers from across the state representing 14 different companies entered the competition.  There were 17 “rookie” drivers who competed in the Championships for their first time.

The event is sponsored by the Virginia Trucking Association and its Safety and Human Resources 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 15-18 in Columbus, OH.

The winner of the Neill Darmstadter Memorial Grand Champion Award was Mark Brundage of Leesburg, driver for FedEx Express, out of their Sterling, Va. terminal. The Grand Champion Award is presented each year to the driver with the highest score of all the competitors. Brundage has been a professional truck driver for 25 years with 17 of those years with FedEx Express and has driven over 1.5 million safe driving miles.

The Willie Taylor Memorial Course Champion Award was presented to Joe Clements of Chesterfield, a driver for UPS Freight, for achieving the highest score on the field course portion of the competition.  This award was created 4 years ago to honor the memory of Robert W. “Willie” Taylor, who 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, this year the award was presented to Doug Padgett of Robinson Terminal Warehouse out of their Springfield, VA location.

The Rookie of the Year Award was presented to Marcus Gardner of Chester, driver for FedEx Freight out of their Chester, Va. terminal.  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 Walmart Transportation, headquartered in Bentonville, AR.  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:  Chris Brown, Leesburg –  FedEx Express, Herndon

3rd:   Scott Luebbert, Quinton – FedEx Express, Mechanicsville

Straight Truck:2nd:  Greg Webber, Prince George – ABF Freight System, Richmond

3rd:  Ron Regan, Richmond – YRC Freight, Richmond

3-Axle2nd:  Anthony Myrtle, Staunton – FedEx Freight, Fishersville

3rd:  Ty Keegan, Staunton – UPS, Fishersville

4-Axle2nd:  Randy Ebinger, Haymarket – YRC Freight, Manassas

3rd: John Clements, Vinton – UPS Freight, Roanoke

5-Axle Van2nd:  James Perkins, Glen Allen – UPS Freight, Richmond

3rd:   Doug Padgett, Alexandria – Robinson Terminal Warehouse, Springfield

5-Axle Tank2nd:  Marcus Gardner, Chester – FedEx Freight, Chester

3rd:  Chris Walker, Chesterfield – Walmart Transportation, Sutherland

5-Axle Flatbed2nd:  Thomas Cross, Elizabeth City, NC – FedEx Ground, Chesapeake

3rd:   Jock Wolfe, Alexandria – Robinson Term Warehouse, Springfield

5-Axle Sleeper:2nd:  Joe Wilson, Gladys – Frito-Lay, Lynchburg

3rd:   Efigenio Ortiz, Chesapeake – ABF Freight System, Chesapeake

Twin Trailers2nd:     David Boyer, Fries – ABF Freight System, Wytheville

3rd:  Homer Blackwell, Jr., Waynesboro, UPS, Fishersville


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