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August 15, 2016 4:15 PM, EDT
NTDC 2016: Indiana Wal-Mart Driver Charles 'Mike' White Named Bendix Grand Champion
John Sommers II for Transport Topics

INDIANAPOLIS — Charles "Mike" White, a Wal-Mart Transportation professional driver from nearby Nineveh, Indiana, was named Bendix Grand Champion of the 2016 National Truck Driving Championships and National Step Van Driving Championships on Aug. 13.

White by John Sommers II for TT

White, who lives about 35 miles south of the Indiana Convention Center where the 79th annual competition was held, also took home the 3-axle class title.

"I can't wrap my head around this," White said. "I mean, it's my home state, my home turf. I really wanted to be grand champion, but I tell you, there are so many fantastic drivers here."

"After an impressive showing throughout the week, Charles White emerged as the most skilled and knowledgeable truck driver in the country,"  ATA President Chris Spear said. "On behalf of ATA and the trucking community, I want to congratulate Charles 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."

White's regional safety manager for Wal-Mart, Jennifer Gray, was on hand and said the honor was well-deserved. "I'm going to buy him a truck. He gets a new semi, whatever color he wants," Gray said. "He's been a great driver forever, but he's just a nice person, too. I think that people just don't know that he has a kind heart. He's very business, he's very professional. He's just an awesome individual."

PHOTO GALLERY: Scenes from NTDC 2016

LIST OF COMPETITORS: By company | By state | Finalists

NTDC 2016 FULL COVERAGE: Photos, video, news, features and more

Other major honors went to:

  • Richard Merich of Lochbuie, Colorado, and FedEx Freight 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, honored as the top state delegation after producing the best collective score, with an average of 278.13.
  • Charles Woodland of Surprise, Arizona, and FedEx Freight as the winner of the Neill Darmstadter Professional Excellence Award.
  • Chris Ignowski of FedEx Ground as the winner of the Lifetime Volunteer Award.

Jeffrey Langenhahn, of Plover, Wisconsin, and XPO Logistics, the 2014 Bendix Grand Champion, won the tank truck division to highlight the winners of individual classes. Complete results are listed below.

 

RANK 3-AXLE EMPLOYER STATE
1 Charles White Wal-Mart Transportation Indiana
2 Jimmie Wisley YRC Freight Kansas
3 Robin Sams FedEx Freight Arkansas
4 Robert Fernald Wal-Mart Transportation Maine
5 Cedric Pack FedEx Freight Washington
       
RANK 4-AXLE EMPLOYER STATE
1 Ronald Metternick FedEx Freight Michigan
2 Eduardo Camacho H-E-B Grocery Co. Texas
3 Allen Sohn FedEx Freight Iowa
4 Andres Orozco FedEx Freight Arizona
5 Aslaiyi Wilkes Reddaway Oregon
       
RANK 5-AXLE EMPLOYER STATE
1 Toby Kort FedEx Freight Nebraska
2 Larry Warr Wal-Mart Transportation Florida
3 Daniel Bruch FedEx Freight New Mexico
4 Christopher Novak FedEx Express Vermont
5 Darren Bogart Wal-Mart Transportation Kansas
         
RANK FLATBED EMPLOYER STATE
1 Jay Love FedEx Freight South Dakota
2 William Hill Old Dominion Freight Line, Inc. Idaho
3 Donald Logan FedEx Freight Kansas
4 Robert Dean XPO Logistics, Inc. Washington
5 Curtis McMellon XPO Logistics, Inc. Louisiana
         
RANK SLEEPER BERTH EMPLOYER STATE
1 Larry Breen Wal-Mart Transportation Florida
2 Bryan Elges FedEx Freight Ohio
3 Ron Marker Wal-Mart Transportation Indiana
4 Roland Bolduc FedEx Express Massachusetts
5 Barry Geck Wal-Mart Transportation Utah
         
RANK STRAIGHT TRUCK EMPLOYER STATE
1 Charles Randolph PITT OHIO West Virginia
2 Glendon Buzzell Wal-Mart Transportation Maine
3 Wilbur Johnson FedEx Freight Florida
4 James Carver Safeway, Inc. Maryland
5 Jesse Benkert Fedex Ground Kentucky
         
RANK TANK TRUCK EMPLOYER STATE
1 Jeffrey Langenhahn XPO Logistics, Inc. Wisconsin
2 Kenneth Painter XPO Logistics, Inc. Montana
3 Allen Byrne Wal-Mart Transportation Utah
4 Steve Elliston Wal-Mart Transportation Michigan
5 Nickolas Backes PITT OHIO West Virginia
         
RANK TWINS EMPLOYER STATE
1 Chris Poynor XPO Logistics, Inc. Washington
2 Andrew Kelly ABF Freight System, Inc. Wyoming
3 James Luckadoo UPS Freight South Carolina
4 James McNeill FedEx Freight Mississippi
5 Stephen Black Golub Corp/PriceChopper Supermarkets New York
         
RANK STEP VAN EMPLOYER STATE
1 Frank Woods FedEx Express Virginia
2 Jeff Evans FedEx Ground New York
3 Curtis Harpole FedEx Ground Oklahoma
4 Jason Imhoff Wal-Mart Transportation Ohio
5 Matthew Allison FedEx Ground Colorado