MEMPHIS, TN --- Seventy-two drivers from 36 states representing the FedEx Corp. operating companies will compete in the National Truck Driving Championships (NTDC) in Houston Aug. 20-23.

Each FedEx driver earned the right to compete in the NTDC by qualifying at state-level truck driving championships. The American Trucking Associations (ATA) sponsors the NTDC, which is designed to recognize industry leadership in safety and to promote professionalism among truck drivers.

"The backbone of our company is made up of thousands of professional drivers and contractors who not only strive to deliver every shipment on time but also ensure that safety remains a fundamental priority in everything they do," said Frederick W. Smith, chairman, president and chief executive officer of FedEx Corp. "The overall performance of the more than 1,750 FedEx drivers, couriers and contractors who competed in their respective state championships and the accomplishments of our 72 NTDC competitors in particular exemplify the commitment of our entire driving force to safely share the road with other motorists each day."

Here are some facts about the 2008 FedEx NTDC competitors:

-- Collectively, the drivers have nearly 1,450 years of professional driving experience among them.

-- In total, the team has safely driven more than 75 million miles during their careers -- enough to circle the globe almost 3,024 times.

-- 40 of the FedEx competitors have driven professionally for 20 years or more.

-- 30 of them have each accumulated at least 1 million miles of safe driving.

At the NTDC, the FedEx drivers will be among nearly 400 competitors who will vie for national titles in eight different classes of vehicles and for the National Grand Champion title. The drivers accumulate points by demonstrating their driving skills and knowledge of the industry through a written exam, personal interview, pre-trip inspection and field test.

Former National Grand Champion Wayne Crowder, a FedEx Freight driver based in Louisville, Ky., is looking forward to once again testing his skills at the national level. "As a professional driver, safety is my first responsibility," he said. "I am honored to be part of a program that challenges all drivers to continuously improve their performance. I am also proud to be employed by FedEx, a company that actively promotes both safety and professional development for all team members."