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.
Introducing the From Roadeo to TDC – The History of the National Truck Driving Championships and National Step Van Driving Championships Book officially available for sale at #NTDC23. Explore the captivating history of the Championships and journey through decades of excellence. pic.twitter.com/Zyi7iHfkT0
— American Trucking (@TRUCKINGdotORG) August 18, 2023
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.
Put your hands together for Gragg Wilson the #NTDC Grand Champion! 👏 👏 👏 (1st out of 418 competitors & the first UPS National Grand Champion!) 🏆
He placed 1st in the tanker class before being crowned the Grand Champion at the National Truck Driving Championships.
Gragg is… pic.twitter.com/aS7uwyVQfS
— UPS (@UPS) August 21, 2023
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.
Setup for the big NTDC event with competitors from across the country. Photo Credit: Marty Pollock, TTA
- 1st – Jerome De La Cruz, FedEx Express, Alaska
- 2nd – Gregory Long, FedEx Express, Maryland
- 3rd – Alex Lofgren, FedEx Express, Minnesota
- 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)
- 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
- 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
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.