FedEx Freight truck driver wins top honors in his own backyard



COLUMBUS, Ohio – Scott Woodrome of FedEx Freight Saturday was crowned Bendix Grand Champion at the American Trucking Associations 2018 Newsal Truck Driving Championships.

“Congratulations to Scott Woodrome and his team at FedEx Freight for winning this year’s Bendix Grand Champion Award,” said ATA President and CEO Chris Spear. “This process began with thousands of drivers competing at the state level, but only one driver can emerge as overall grand champion, and it’s a testament to Scott’s commitment to safety and his craft that he was able to take home top honors this year.”

Woodrome, a longtime competitor in truck driving championships with more than 1.8 million lifetime safe driving miles, competed this week in the Tank Truck division. He has been in the trucking industry for 25 years, spending 12 of those years with his current employer, FedEx Freight. While this is the first Bendix Grand Champion award for Woodrome, he has won his state championship a perfect 12 times in twelve attempts.

“What an honor it’s been to host hundreds of the nation’s elite truck drivers this week and showcase their skills as safe professionals,” said ATA COO and EVP of Industry Affairs Elisabeth Barna. “From start to finish, Columbus was a great location and we were excited to see such great support from the families and friends who came out to support these drivers.”

Woodrome, an America’s Road Team Captain, also took home the Tank Truck class national title. He lives in Middletown, Ohio with his wife Lorraine.

ATA also recognized Ronald Zieser as the 2018 Rookie of the Year. Zeiser claimed the title after an outstanding performance in the 3-Axle division. To be a “rookie,” drivers must be first-time competitors at the state level who advanced to nationals. This year, there were 28 rookies competing at the Newsal Truck Driving Championships.

In addition to the individual awards, the team of drivers from the Silver State, Nevada, is going home this week with the Team Championship. The state of Pennsylvania took home second place honors, with Colorado coming in third.

Several individuals excelled outside the driving course throughout this week’s competition, demonstrating their professionalism, knowledge and dedication to the trucking industry. Professional truck driver Neil Nogues of YRC Freight was recognized with the highly-coveted Neill Darmstadter Professional Excellence award. Michael Flippin and Eric Courville of FedEx Freight and Tony Spero of ABF Freight achieved perfect scores on the written exam phase of the championships and are receiving the Highest Written Exam Award for their efforts. Additionally, Michael Whitehead of FedEx Freight is taking home the Vehicle Condition Award for his performance during the pre-trip inspections.

Newsal Truck Driving Championships are made possible by dozens of NTDC committee members and volunteers who judge the course, serve as liaisons to the drivers, conduct course walk-throughs and perform a number of other key tasks. As such, ATA and ATA’s Safety Management Council honor one volunteer each year with the Sam Gillette Volunteer of the Year Award. This year’s Sam Gillette Volunteer of the Year Award was presented to Jerry Waddell of Cargo Transporters.

ACT 1 served as a premier sponsor of the 2018 Newsal Truck Driving Championships and Newsal Step Van Driving Championships, which took place Aug. 15-18 at the Greater Columbus Convention Center in Columbus, Ohio.

Since 2011, Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems has been the sole sponsor of the Bendix Newsal Truck Driving Championships Grand Champion. Bendix Director of Government Affairs and Marketing Fred Andersky presented the Grand Champion Award.

Champions from each of the 9 vehicle classes were also announced. Joining Scott Woodrome on the list of national champions are:

  • 3-Axle: Eric Courville, FedEx Freight, Louisiana
  • 4-Axle: Nick Arnold, FedEx Freight, Oklahoma
  • 5-Axle: Duane Staveness, FedEx Freight, Wisconsin
  • Flatbed: Steven Newsome, UPS Freight, South Carolina
  • Sleeper Berth: Artur Lesniowski, FedEx Ground, New Jersey
  • Straight Truck: Dale Brenaman, UPS, Kentucky
  • Tank Truck: Scott Woodrome, FedEx Freight, Ohio
  • Twins: Miguel Corral, FedEx Freight, Illinois
  • Step Van: Eric Damon, FedEx Express, Colorado

Other Awards

  • Rookie of the Year: Ronald Zieser, FedEx Freight, Oregon
  • Team Champions: Nevada
  • Vehicle Condition: Michael Whitehead, FedEx Freight in the 3-Axle division
  • Highest Written Exam Award: Three perfect scores: Michael Flippin, FedEx Freight in the Twins division; Tony Spero, ABF Freight in the Tank Truck division; and Eric Courville, FedEx Freight in the 3-Axle division
  • Neill Darmstadter Professional Excellence: Neil P. Nogues, YRC Freight, New Hampshire in the Straight Truck division
  • Sam Gillette Volunteer of the Year Award: Jerry Waddell, Cargo Transporters

Full results from the final competition are listed below.

3-Axle Class

(1) Eric Courville; FedEx Freight, Louisiana; (2) David Mogler, FedEx Freight, Colorado; (3) Brian Singelais, Frito-Lay, Massachusetts.

4-Axle Class

(1) Nick Arnold, FedEx Freight, Oklahoma; (2) Andrew Rynearson, XPO Logistics, Wisconsin; (3) Heladio Fernandez, FedEx Freight, Oregon


(1) Duane Staveness, FedEx Freight, Wisconsin; (2) Jack Hargett, AAA Cooper, Texas; (3) Bryan Krol, The Martin-Brower Co., Pennsylvania.


(1) Steven Newsome, UPS Freight, South Carolina; (2) Thomas Garner, FedEx Freight, Alabama; (3) Gary Mars, Walmart Transportation, Arkansas.

Sleeper Berth

(1)  Artur Lesniowski, FedEx Ground, New Jersey;  (2) Brian Hall, Old Dominion Freight Line, Tennessee; (3) Edward Pennington, FedEx Freight, Florida.

Straight Truck

(1) Dale Brenaman, UPS, Kentucky; (2) Michael Bills, FedEx Express, North Carolina; (3)

James Sheehan, FedEx Ground, Tennessee.

Tank Truck

(1) Scott Woodrome, FedEx Freight, Ohio; (2) Don Logan  FedEx Freight,  Kansas; (3) Dave Miller,       UPS Freight, Illinois.


(1) Miguel Corral, FedEx Freight, Illinois; (2) Wilbert Vano, XPO Logistics, New Jersey; (3)

Darrell Shelton, FedEx Freight, Washington.

Step Van

(1) Eric Damon, FedEx Express, Colorado; (2) Robert Ledoux, FedEx Express, Massachusetts; (3) Gregory Long, FedEx Express, Virginia

The American Trucking Associations is the largest national trade association for the trucking industry. Through a federation of 50 affiliated state trucking associations and industry-related conferences and councils, ATA is the voice of the industry America depends on most to move our nation’s freight. Follow ATA on Twitter or on Facebook.Trucking Moves America Forward


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