Thursday, August 02, 2012

National Truck Driving Championship Competition To Include 24 ABF Drivers

Championship drivers from 18 states will represent ABF at the 75th National Truck Driving Championships in Minneapolis, Minn., August 7-11, 2012. Professional drivers earn the right to compete in the National Championships by winning state driving championships and by maintaining accident-free driving records for the preceding year.

Among the competitors representing ABF is two-time National Champion Tony Spero (2006, 2009). Competing as 2012 Grand Champions from their respective states will be ABF drivers Spero (Connecticut), Chuck Smetzer (Maryland), and Kent Jones (Oklahoma).

"ABF is extremely proud of our drivers who have earned the privilege to compete in this year's National Truck Driving Championships," said Sam Cates, ABF safety and security director. "These drivers are just a sampling of the many ABF professional drivers who safely deliver and protect the goods entrusted to us on a daily basis--providing unmatched value-added logistics solutions for our customers. The reputation ABF enjoys as a trusted supply-chain partner and a safety leader will be well represented with this group."

Known informally as the Super Bowl of Safety, the annual event is sponsored by the Safety and Loss Prevention Management Council of the American Trucking Associations. The goal is to promote driving safety among the nation's three million professional truck drivers. Competitive divisions include straight truck, three-axle, four-axle, five-axle, tank truck, flatbed, five-axle sleeper, twins and step van. The comprehensive competitions include written examinations, pre-trip inspection and a demonstration of braking, parking, backing and maneuvering skills.

The ABF slate of state champions for the 2012 national competition includes: Jesse Ballard, Ore., sleeper; Ed Beins, Neb., 3-axle; Gerald Benavidez, N.M., sleeper; Rick Camarda, Calif., 5-axle; Michael Contreras, N.M., 5-axle; John Davis, Va., straight truck; Kent Durant, Kan., tank truck; Charlie Estrada, N.M., flatbed; Ralph Garcia, N.M., 4-axle; John Gibson, W.Va., tank truck; Garry Holliman. Ark., 3-axle, grand champion runner-up; Kent Jones, Okla., twins, grand champion; Jeff Keller, Penn., tank truck; A.J. Kelly, Wyo., twins, team trophy; Tom Martin, Wyo., 3-axle, highest score, personal interview; Nate McCarty, Colo., straight truck; Tim McElwaney, Ga., 4-axle, highest overall score; Peter Root, Vt., twins; Steve Smalley, Ariz., twins; Chuck Smetzer, Md., twins, grand champion; Tony Spero, Conn., flatbed, grand champion; Robert Sutton, Idaho, 3-axle; Andrew Walston, Wyo., straight truck; and Roger Phillips, Wyo., flatbed. The ABF driving teams in New Mexico and Wyoming also won the Team Trophies.

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