Several area truck drivers will head to a national driving competition in Utah this summer after winning their respective categories of the 62nd Annual Virginia Truck Driving Championships.
The championship, held April 19 and 20 at the Lee-Hi Travel Plaza in Lexington, gave drivers a chance to show off their safe and fancy driving skills. Official rules on the Virginia Trucking Association’s website say drivers were judged on “professional appearance, knowledge of regulations, and vehicle and driving skills.” Part of the competition included a written test.
Participants had to live in Virginia and not have had any accidents in the year before the competition.
The Virginia Trucking Association, which hosts the trucking competition, patterns the event after the American Trucking Associations’ National Truck Driving Championships, state association spokeswoman Robyn Bolton said in a news release.
The nine first-place winners will get to compete at the national level in Salt Lake City, Utah, in late August.
Roanoke-area first-place winners, their hometown, their company and home terminal location are:
Step Van Class: Daniel Woods of Shawsville, FedEx Express, Christiansburg
5-Axle Flatbed Class: Bobby Dinwiddie Jr. of Bedford, FedEx Ground, Salem
Twin-Trailer Class: Robbie Cottrell of Bedford, Con-way Freight, Roanoke
Wright also won the Pre-Trip Inspection Award for having the least amount of defects with his vehicle before the competition. Michael Wagoner of Ridgeway won the Rookie of the Year award for being the highest-scoring first-time competitor, Bolton said.
Con-Way Freight of Ann Arbor, Mich., won the team trophy for having the highest average score of all drivers who competed from that company.
Other local winners by class: 3-Axle, second place: Mike Wagoner, Old Dominion Freight Line, Ridgeway; 4-Axle, third place: John Clements, UPS Freight, Roanoke; Tank, second place, Ralph Stacey, YRC Freight, Roanoke; Twin Trailers, second place: Marty Hogan, UPS Freight, Roanoke.