Nine Drivers Continue on to National Competition
Gregory Nauertz, of Peoria, was named the best professional truck driver in Arizona after winning the five axle competition and receiving the highest overall score in the nine competing categories at the 2009 Arizona Truck Driving Championships. The annual event is sponsored by the Arizona Trucking Association.
Nauertz, who drives for YRC Worldwide, now qualifies to compete in the American Trucking Associations' National Truck Driving Championships August 18-22, 2009 in Pittsburgh, Penn. -- also known as the "Super Bowl of Safety." The winners from each of the eight other categories are also eligible to compete in the national championship.
Nearly 400 drivers from all 50 states will compete in Pittsburgh for four days, challenging their driving skills, and knowledge of safety, equipment and the industry. From 18-wheeler five axle sleepers to tank trucks to double trailers -- they will drive a course that recreates situations truck drivers face daily. These maneuvers may include: an alley dock, a rear line stop, a side park, a scale stop, a right turn, a front line stop, and straight line driving through a diminishing clearance.
On Saturday night, August 22, one contestant will drive away as the 2009 National Grand Champion Truck Driver.
"The Truck Driving Championships represent the culmination of the industry's dedication to safety," said Arizona Trucking Association President & CEO Karen Rasmussen. "I congratulate all the contestants and I hope Arizona roots for our drivers as they move on to Nationals in Pittsburgh."
Arizona participants at National for each category include:
Joseph Gross, FedEx Ground, Chandler, Ariz. (Straight Truck)
Jerry Baker, Con-way Freight, Flagstaff, Ariz. (Three-Axle)
Jose "Manny" Franco, UPS Freight, Avondale, Ariz. (Four-Axle)
Gregory Nauertz, YRC Worldwide, Peoria, Ariz. (Five-Axle)
Rafael Palomino, Swift Transportation, Goodyear, Ariz. (Five-Axle Sleeper)
Tim Grogan, Shamrock Foods Company, Goodyear, Ariz. (Tankers)
David Messmer, YRC, Phoenix, Ariz. (Flatbed)
Brad Clyne, FedEx Freight, Sahuarita, Ariz. (Doubles)
Sean Saxon, FedEx Ground, Mesa, Ariz. (Step Van)