The hum of engines filled the air at the Greater Columbus Convention Center in Columbus, Ohio, from August 16th to 19th, as the National Truck Driving Championships (NTDC) 2023 unfolded. This annual event, known as the “Super Bowl of Safety,” brought together truckers from every corner of the nation, showcasing their skills, commitment to safety, and dedication to excellence. This year’s event was a beautiful display of the spirit of trucking.


History & Purpose of the NTDC

With roots dating back to 1937, the NTDC was first known as the “National Truck Rodeo”. The National Truck Driving Championships have evolved into an annual tradition within the trucking industry. The competition signifies the industry’s dedication to safety, excellence, and continuous growth. It was those first events that laid the groundwork for the 2023 National Truck Driving Championships Winners. 



A hallmark of the NTDC is the emphasis on safety. To participate, drivers must have excellent records. This requirement reflects the industry’s focus on reducing accidents and promoting safe practices among trucking professionals. Many of the 2023 National Truck Driving Championships Winners have worked for decades to become excellent at their craft. 


2023 NTDC Crowns A Champion, James “Gragg” Wilson, UPS

On Saturday, August 19, the American Trucking Association announced James Gragg Wilson, a dedicated UPS truck driver from Nevada, as the Bendix Grand Champion of the 2023 NTDC. Wilson navigated his tanker truck and claimed the number one spot out of 400+ competitors. 


This victory is a testament to his commitment to safety and dedication to trucking. Congratulations to James on your achievement and commitment to excellence. 


Team Tennesseee Takes 3rd PlacE at the NTDC 

For our Tennessee competitors, the journey to the NTDC 2023 started in April when they claimed first place at the Tennessee Truck Driving Championships.  The following individuals earned first place in their categories, earning the right to represent Tennessee and take their place among the 2023 National Truck Driving Championships Winners.

Tennessee clinched 3rd place as a team with the help of 9 drivers. 

  • Scott Lambert, FedEx Freight
  • Andy Bryant, FedEx Freight
  • Brian Turner, Old Dominion Freight Line, Inc.
  • Barry Blanton, Old Dominion Freight Line, Inc.
  • Tim Blair, FedEx Freight – Tim’s attention to detail earned him the Pre-trip award.
  • Covey Thompson, Martin Brower Company
  • Jamie Sowder, FedEx Freight – Jamie secured 3rd in the Flatbed category. 
  • Mike Patterson, FedEx Freight
  • Jeff Barton, FedEx Freight


Congratulations to Team Tennessee for your hard work and achieving 3rd place in this year’s competition. 

2023 National Truck Driving Championships Winners

Within the arena of the National Truck Driving Championships (NTDC), the heart of trucking excellence beats stronger than ever. We applaud all of the 2023 National Truck Driving Championships Winners and the drivers who claimed victory in their respective categories.Photo Credit: Marty Pollock, TTA

Setup for the big NTDC event with competitors from across the country. Photo Credit: Marty Pollock, TTA


Step Van:

  • 1st – Jerome De La Cruz, FedEx Express, Alaska
  • 2nd – Gregory Long, FedEx Express, Maryland
  • 3rd – Alex Lofgren, FedEx Express, Minnesota

Straight Truck:

  • 1st – David Coffel, FedEx Express, Arizona
  • 2nd – William Colantuone, FedEx Express, Massachusetts
  • 3rd – James Kohr, FedEx Express, New York


  • 1st – Barry Kraemer, XPO, Wisconsin
  • 2nd – Joseph Hicks, XPO, Rhode Island
  • 3rd – Ritch Fundell, FedEx Freight, Illinois


  • 1st – Martin McMahon, RIST Transport, New York
  • 2nd – Bruce Quaal, ABF Freight System, Minnesota
  • 3rd – Adam Heim, FedEx Freight, Idaho


  • 1st – John Greene, FedEx Freight, Connecticut
  • 2nd – James Quarles, Wal-Mart Transportation, South Carolina
  • 3rd – Michael Martin, Wal-Mart Transportation


  • 1st – Daryl Miller, The Cope Company Salt, Pennsylvania
  • 2nd – Ernest Wagers, Old Dominion Freight Line, Kentucky
  • 3rd – James Sowder, FedEx Freight, Tennessee (Tennessee’s Jamie Sowder achieved 3rd place in this category)

Tank Truck:

  • 1st – James “Gragg” Wilson, UPS, Nevada
  • 2nd – Jason Imhoff, Wal-Mart Transportation, Ohio
  • 3rd – Timothy Vogt, XPO, Georgia


  • 1st – Robert Fair, FedEx Freight, New Hampshire
  • 2nd – Jeffrey Langenhahn, XPO, Wisconsin
  • 3rd – Michael Flippin, FedEx Freight, Colorado

Sleeper Berth:

  • 1st – Roland Bolduc, FedEx Express, Connecticut
  • 2nd – Chris Moore, Wal-Mart Transportation, Georgia
  • 3rd – Tyler Rogers, FedEx Freight, Colorado

Rookie of the Year:

  • Myron Means, Old Dominion Freight Line, Flatbed, Wyoming

State Team Award:

  • 1st – Connecticut
  • 2nd – Illinois
  • 3rd – Tennessee

Pre-Trip Inspection Award:

  • Timothy Blair, FedEx Freight, 5-Axle, Tennessee

Highest Written Exam Award:

  • Michael Bills, FedEx Express, North Carolina
  • David Comings, FedEx Freight, North Dakota
  • David Mogler, FedEx Freight, Colorado
  • Michael Flippin, FedEx Freight, Colorado

Neill Darmstadter Professional Excellence Award:

  • Ina Daly, XPO Logistics, Arizona

Lifetime Volunteer Award:

  • Bill Graham


the legacy of the NTDC

The National Truck Driving Championships 2023 is a wonderful showcase of the commitment to continuous growth and achievement within the trucking community.


From Team Tennessee’s third-place finish to James “Gragg” Wilson’s Bendix Grand Champion triumph, each story reflects the heart of trucking. As the sun sets on another successful NTDC, the legacy will continue, united by a love for the open road.