Con-way Freight Driver Dale Duncan Named Grand Champion at 2009 National Truck Driving Championships
Two Other Con-way Freight Drivers Place First in Their Divisions at Annual ‘Super Bowl of Safety’
ANN ARBOR, Mich.-Con-way Freight, a less-than-truckload (LTL) freight carrier and the largest subsidiary of Con-way Inc. (NYSE: CNW), announced today that company driver Dale Duncan was named Grand Champion at the 72nd annual American Trucking Associations National Truck Driving Championships, held in Pittsburgh Aug. 18-22.
Duncan, who also captured first place in the 5-Axle competition, won the Grand Champion title as the nation’s top truck driver in competition with more than 400 of America’s best professional truck drivers. As a resident of Spring Valley, Calif., Duncan is based at Con-way Freight’s San Diego service center. He previously won the Grand Champion title in 2006. Duncan joined Con-way Freight in 1990 and has driven professionally for 26 years — achieving approximately 1.25 million career miles. The company will award Duncan a cash prize for being named Grand Champion.
Two other Con-way Freight drivers won their respective divisions — Bob Dolan, based out of the company’s Allentown, Pa., service center, placed first in the Straight Truck division, and Mike Stickley, based at the Winchester, Va., service center, came in first in the 4-Axle division. Con-way Freight driver Brandon Souder, based out of the company’s Florence, Ky., service center, competed in the Flatbed division and was named Rookie of the Year, and will also receive a cash prize from Con-way Freight. Four other Con-way Freight drivers completed the final competition in the top three in their divisions.
Con-way Freight will honor Duncan, Dolan and Stickley with new Ford F-150 pickup trucks, along with the use of customized commercial tractors displaying each driver’s name and championship title.
“This was by far the most impressive winning performance ever turned in by Con-way Freight’s driver sales representatives at these national championships,” said John G. Labrie, president, Con-way Freight. “We had a record contingent of 88 competitors this year, the Grand Champion, a record number of national champions and top-three finishers in the finals, and a Con-way Freight driver as Rookie of the Year — a first. I’m incredibly proud of our team. Their accomplishments speak volumes about the professionalism and dedication to safety these true champions demonstrate not only on this national stage, but every day on the highways for our customers.”
Con-way Freight fielded champions from 37 states for the Nationals this year. Each contestant first qualified by capturing a division title in state competition. One driver from sister company Con-way Truckload also took part in the national championships. Additionally, three Con-way Freight drivers from Canada topped their divisions in provincial competition earlier this year.
“I want to extend special congratulations to Dale Duncan on his second Grand Champion title,” said Labrie, who noted that the victory of Duncan and his fellow national champions continues a winning streak for Con-way Freight this year across several venues. The company also found the winner’s circle earlier this year in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Michigan 200, with Colin Braun securing his first NASCAR win for the Con-way Freight True LTLSM No. 6 Ford F-150. Customer accolades have also been coming in following Con-way Freight’s introduction of True LTLSM Pricing — the industry-first capped pricing model for large and heavyweight LTL shipments that provides customers with a truly innovative and simplified approach to managing these shipments.
To qualify for the state and national competitions, each driver must have an accident-free safety record for the previous year. At the national competition, also known as the “Super Bowl of Safety,” each driver faced testing in three areas: a timed written exam, a pre-trip inspection test and a driving skills test. Drivers competed in a total of nine equipment classes: 3-Axle, 4-Axle, 5-Axle, 5-Axle Flatbed, 5-Axle Sleeper, Step Van, Straight Truck, Tankers and Twins.
The national competition annually brings together more than 400 of the nation’s most skilled and accomplished commercial truck drivers. Since the championships began in 1937, 13 Con-way Freight drivers have been named National Champion in their equipment classes.
The four additional Con-way Freight drivers who placed in the top three in their divisions are:
* Leroy Williams Sr. from the Baton Rouge, La., service center placed second in the Straight Truck division
* Chris Poynor from the Pasco, Wash., service center finished second in the Twins division
* Rich Sweeney from the Springfield, Mass., service center came in second in the 5-Axle Flatbed division
* Rick Kinsey, from the Winchester, Va., service center placed third in the 5-Axle Flatbed division
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