Posted: 08/27/07 12:52 PM
Roadway's Alphonso Lewis is 2007 National Truck Driving Champion
Jason Matte, FedEx Freight, Named Rookie of the Year
MINNEAPOLIS, Aug. 26 /PRNewswire/ -- Alphonso "Al" Lewis, a Roadway professional truck driver based in Montgomery, Ala. was named the 2007 National Truck Driving Grand Champion. Lewis' driving skills and knowledge of transportation and truck safety information topped those of 377 other drivers from all across the United States in the National Truck Driving Championships, held in Minneapolis, Minn. In route to his title, Lewis has logged 21 accident and injury free years as a driver. Lewis is the first African-American winner in the 70-year history of the Championships.
The 70th annual "Super Bowl of Safety" is sponsored by the American Trucking Associations.
The contestants were the state champions (in eight truck types) from all 50 states. Collectively, they have driven over a half-billion accident-free miles.
In their respective classes, drivers tested their expertise in the driving skills they use daily. The competition course inside the Minneapolis Convention Center challenged their knowledge of safety, equipment and the industry. The skills course tested drivers' ability to judge distances, maneuver tight spaces, reverse, park, and position their vehicle exactly over scales, before barriers or around curves.
Lewis also won the individual Four-axle truck driving competition. Joining Lewis as champions in their respective classes:
Straight Truck: Scott Watts, FedEx Express (Anchorage, Alaska)
Three-Axle: John Hazlett, ABF Freight System (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)
Five-Axle: Kevin Scott Harris, Sr., ABF Freight System (North Greenbush,
Five-Axle Sleeper: Warren Lewis, Jr., Hannaford Trucking Company
Twins: Dennis Day, Con-way Freight (Lawrenceville, Georgia)
Flatbed: John Smith, Jr., FedEx Ground (Tupelo, Mississippi)
Tank Truck: Dale Duncan, Con-way Freight (Chula Vista, California)
Lewis succeeds Dale Duncan as the National Grand Champion, who himself won this year's Tank Truck division.
Jason Matte, a five-axle driver for FedEx Freight from Pearl, Miss., was named 2007 Rookie of the Year. Matte, who has been a professional truck driver for nine years and has over 700,000 accident-free miles, was also the 2007 Mississippi Truck Driving Championships Rookie of the Year.
The Arizona state truck driving championship team won honors as the highest scoring state team, followed by Washington and South Dakota respectively.
A full list of award winners is attached.
2007 National Truck Driving Championship Winners:
Grand Champion: Alphonso "Al" Lewis, Roadway (Montgomery, AL)
Rookie of the Year: Jason D. Matte, FedEx Freight (Pearl, MS)
State Team Trophy: Arizona-1st Place; Washington-2nd Place; South
Vehicle Condition Award: Paul Robichaud, FedEx Express (Bedford, NH)
Neill Darmstadter Professional Excellence Award: John Hazlett, ABF
Freight System (Philadelphia, PA)
Outstanding Volunteer Service Award: Doug Lax Sr., CDS, Sumter Transport
Straight Truck Class
1st Place - Scott Watts, FedEx Express (Anchorage, Alaska)
2nd Place - Robert Crowder, Wilson Trucking Corporation (Eden, North
3rd Place - Leroy Williams, Sr., Con-way Freight (Zachary, Louisiana)
1st Place - John Hazlett, ABF Freight System (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)
2nd Place - Louis Medders, Yellow Transportation (Holly Hill, Florida)
3rd Place - Randy Reed, FedEx Express (Tulsa, Oklahoma)
1st Place - Alphonso Lewis, Roadway (Montgomery, Alabama)
2nd Place - Dave Parkhurst, Yellow Transportation, (Laveen, Arizona)
3rd Place - Les Gonsor, Con-way Freight (Watertown, South Dakota)
1st Place - Kevin Scott Harris, Sr., ABF Freight System (North Greenbush,
2nd Place - Brooks Washburn, FedEx Freight (Rio Rancho, New Mexico)
3rd Place - Brian Walker, UPS Freight (Randleman, North Carolina)
1st Place - John Smith, Jr., FedEx Ground (Tupelo, Mississippi)
2nd Place - Brian Walton, FedEx Freight (Aurora, Colorado)
3rd Place - Joseph Rienert (Hooksett, New Hampshire)
Tank Truck Class
1st Place - Dale Duncan, Con-way Freight (Chula Vista, California)
2nd Place - Tommy Winston, FedEx Freight (Greenville, South Carolina)
3rd Place - Lynn Springer, Roadway (Molalla, Oregon)
1st Place - Dennis Day, Con-way Freight (Lawrenceville, Georgia)
2nd Place - Steven Beckwith, USF Reddaway (Fort Lupton, Colorado)
3rd Place - Gary Martin, FedEx Ground (Sacramento, California)
Sleeper Berth Class
1st Place - David Zimmerman, Wal-Mart Transportation (Denver, Colorado)
2nd Place - Warren Lewis, Jr., Hannaford Trucking Company (Lewiston,
3rd Place - Bill Anthony, FedEx Express (Boston, Massachusetts)
Source: American Trucking Associations
CONTACT: Eric Reller of American Trucking Associations, +1-703-838-1896
Web site: http://www.truckline.com/