MEMPHIS, TN - Six drivers representing FedEx Corp. operating companies were crowned National Champions at the 2010 National Truck Driving Championships (NTDC) in Columbus, Ohio, Aug. 3-7.
- John Smith Jr., the owner of John Smith Jr. Trucking Inc. based out of the FedEx Ground station in Tupelo, Miss., earned his third National Champion title in four years - this one in the Flatbed class. A six-time Mississippi state truck driving champion, Smith has safely driven more than 1.8 million miles during his 18-year career without ever having had an accident, according to FedEx.
- Don Logan, the 2009 National Champion in the 3-Axle class and a four-time Kansas state champion, captured the top spot in the Twins class this year. A driver for FedEx Freight domiciled in Topeka, Kan., Logan has racked up nearly 1.4 million safe-driving miles during his 23 years on the road.
- Scott Watts won his second National Champion title in the Straight Truck class. He also earned the honor in 2007. A 13-year driver for FedEx Express based in Anchorage, Watts is a five-time Alaska state champion who has driven 400,000 accident-free miles.
- Lalo Fernandez, a driver for FedEx Freight in Portland, Ore., attained the National Champion title in the 3-Axle class in just his first year of competing at the NTDC. During his 18-year career, Fernandez has accumulated more than 900,000 safe-driving miles.
- Jason Matte, the 2007 National Rookie of the Year, won the National 4-Axle Champion honor. A three-time Mississippi state champion, he has amassed nearly 750,000 accident-free miles in 12 years. Matte is a driver for FedEx Freight in Jackson, Miss.
- Sean Saxon, the owner of Berly Q International LLC based at the FedEx Ground station in Tempe, Ariz., captured the top spot in the Step Van class. The winner of back-to-back Arizona state titles, Saxon has been a professional driver for four years and has racked up 150,000 safe-driving miles.
Six other FedEx drivers placed among the top finishers in their respective truck classes:
- Jay Miller (Kansas City, Kan.), a 29-year professional FedEx Freight driver with more than 2 million safe-driving miles, finished second in the Straight Truck class.
- Chris Outen, who has exceeded 1 million safe-driving miles during his 24-year career, took second place in the Twins class. He is a driver for FedEx Freight in Portland, Ore.
- Aryn Pittaway (Fort Worth, Texas), a FedEx Express driver, was second in the Step Van class. He has been a professional driver for 16 years.
- Jody Arnall, a 25-year driver with an accident-free safety record, placed third in the Step Van class. Arnall works for FedEx Freight in Willow Springs, Mo.
- Dave Mogler, a nine-time Colorado state champion with more than 2.7 million safe-driving miles, finished third in the Twins class. He drives for FedEx Freight in Denver.
- Scott Woodrome (Dayton, Ohio), FedEx National LTL driver, took third place in the Flatbed class. A five-time Ohio state champion, he has never had an accident during his 17-year career, according to FedEx.
"The achievements of the FedEx competitors at the NTDC exemplify the collective efforts of our entire driving force to safely share the roads with other motorists every single day," said Frederick Smith, chairman, president and chief executive officer, FedEx Corp. "This fundamental commitment to safety and professionalism is an integral part of everything our drivers do."
The American Trucking Associations (ATA) sponsors the annual National Truck Driving Championships, known as the "Super Bowl of Safety," to recognize industry leadership in safety and to promote professionalism among truck drivers. One hundred and fifteen professional drivers from 46 states representing FedEx Custom Critical, FedEx Express, FedEx Freight, FedEx Ground, FedEx National LTL and FedEx SupplyChain qualified to compete at the national event by winning their respective state's competition and driving accident-free for at least one year. Each driver was required to demonstrate his or her driving skills and knowledge of the industry through a series of tests, including a written exam, vehicle pre-trip inspection, and a driving-skills challenge.