UPS Sending 26 Top Drivers to 'Super Bowl of Safety'
ATLANTA --- UPS will send its largest team ever to the National Truck Driving Championships later this month when 26 drivers, all state champions and including 23 from the company's freight division, compete for top honors in what has been dubbed the "Super Bowl of Safety." The tournament-tested UPS contingent boasts a former national champion, drivers with 70 state championships and more than 450 years of accident-free driving. The event, sponsored by the American Trucking Associations, will bring some 400 professional truck drivers to the competition Aug. 21-25 in Minneapolis. "This UPS team truly represents the highly trained, safety-oriented professional driver that is the backbone of our company," said Grady Brown, UPS Freight safety director for the East Division. UPS Freight's Clarence Jenkins Jr. is the senior member of the team with 31 years of safe driving. Jenkins, who earned his 12th trip to the nationals when he won the West Virginia Twins Division earlier this summer, won a national title in 1988 in the five-axle division. The veteran team also includes UPS Freight drivers Dennis Kendrick of Richmond, Va., making his seventh trip to the nationals; Brian Walker of Greensboro, N.C., returning for the sixth time and fourth in the last five years; Danny Drewery of Memphis, Tenn., in the nationals for a sixth time, and Ty Bentley of Greensboro, who earned his third consecutive trip to the nationals and fifth overall. To qualify, all contestants must be a 2007 state champion. States send winners from each of eight different classes of competition ranging from 18-wheeled five-axle sleepers to tank trucks to twin trailers to straight trucks. Drivers will compete for four days, challenging their driving skills and knowledge of safety, equipment and the industry. When completed, a new National Grand Champion Truck Driver will be crowned as well as individual champions in each class and a state champion team. UPS Freight, the palletized, heavy freight division of UPS, serves customers in the less-than-truckload and truckload segments with operations in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico and Guam.