Mike White has been named the Bendix Grand Champion of the 2016 National Truck Driving Championships in Indianapolis, according to the American Trucking Associations (ATA).
“After an impressive showing throughout the week, Mike White emerged as the most skilled and knowledgeable truck driver in the country,” said ATA President and CEO Chris Spear. “On behalf of the ATA and the trucking community, I want to congratulate Mike and thank the entire field of competitors for participating in these championships. Your commitment to excellence has made the nation’s highways a safer place for everyone.”
To clinch the prestigious title of 2016 Bendix Grand Champion, White’s driving skills and knowledge of transportation and truck safety surpassed the those of the 430 other professional truck drivers competing in Indianapolis this week.
White, who also took home the three-axle class title, lives in nearby Nineveh, Ind., and drives professionally for Walmart Transportation.
ATA also recognized Richard Merich as the 2016 Rookie of the Year. Merich took home the honor after a strong performance in the flatbed division. The team of drivers from South Carolina produced the best collective score, with an average of 278.13, and was honored as the top state delegation.
Professionalism and dedication to the trucking industry were key themes during the National Truck Driving Championships. Charles Woodland was honored during the awards banquet with the Neill Darmstadter Professional Excellence Award and Chris Ignowski, CDS was chosen as the Lifetime Volunteer Award recipient.
ACT 1 served as a premier sponsor of the 2016 National Truck Driving Championships and National Step Van Driving Championships, which took place Aug. 10-13 at the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis. Since 2011, Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems has been the sole sponsor of the Bendix National Truck Driving Championships Grand Champion.
Collectively, this week’s competitors have accumulated more than 600 million safe-driving miles during their careers as professional truck drivers.
Champions from each of the 9 classes and the top state delegation were also announced. Joining Charles White on the list of national champions are:
Three-Axle: Mike White, Nineveh, Ind., Walmart Transportation
Four-Axle: Ronald Metternick, Lowell, Mich., FedEx Freight
Five-Axle: Toby Kort, Aurora, Neb., FedEx Freight
Flatbed: Jay Love, Davis, S.D., FedEx Freight
Sleeper Berth: Larry Breen, Bushnell, Fla., Walmart Transportation
Straight Truck: Charles Randolph, Belle, W Va., PITT OHIO
Tank Truck: Jeffrey Langenhahn, Plover, Wis., XPO Logistics
Twins: Chris Poynor, Richland, Wash., XPO Logistics
Step Van: Frank Woods, Shawsville, Va., FedEx Express
Rookie of the Year: Richard Merich, Lochbuie, Colo., FedEx Freight
Team Champions: South Carolina
Vehicle Condition: William Pudney, Minneapolis, Minn., FedEx Freight
Neill Darmstadter Professional Excellence: Charles Woodland, Surprise, Ariz., FedEx Freight
Lifetime Volunteer Award: Chris Ignowski, CDS, FedEx Ground.