Special Coverage of the National Truck Driving Championships

FedEx’s Corey Mitchell Wins Big in Bayou

Straight Truck Champ Earns Fourth Trip to Nationals
Corey Mitchell and family
Corey Mitchell needs help from son Mason (left) and wife Ginger to hold all his trophies from the Louisiana Truck Driving Championships. (John Ballance Photography)

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A few weeks ago, while en route to the Pelican State’s precision truck driving tournament, Corey Mitchell’s son Mason issued his father an ultimatum.

2024 STATE TDC SCHEDULE: Dates and locations

The 12-year-old set the bar pretty high as he insisted his father win his class at the Louisiana Truck Driving Championships held March 1-2 in Baton Rouge.

“I got third last year and my 12-year-old told me on the way down that he wasn’t driving four hours to watch me win third place. So I definitely had a little added pressure,” Mitchell recalled, emphasizing, “He’s pretty tough on me.”

Mitchell heeded Mason’s call. And, not only did he take home top honors while competing in the straight truck class, Mitchell also managed to secure the event’s prestigious blue ribbon.

Getting to Know

Corey Mitchell

Name: Corey Mitchell

Age: 52

From: Stonewall, La.

Class: Straight truck

Company: FedEx Freight

NTDC appearances: 3

Do you prefer shopping online or in-person: online

Where do you practice: “Every day on my route. … I’m a city driver.”

Childhood hero: Tony Dorsett

Last place visited: Sturgis, S.D.

Favorite quote: “Safety above all.”

The longtime FedEx Freight driver’s performance earned him grand champion status and a fourth trip to the National Truck Driving Championships. In doing so he surpassed Eric Courville of FedEx Freight, last year’s state grand champion and a fixture at the national level.

“[Courville] told me before they announced [the state’s grand champion] that I won it. And he was the first one to congratulate me,” Mitchell told Transport Topics on March 12. “Courville is a class act. He’s a good guy.”

Courville won this year’s 5-axle class division at the state qualifier, earning him a trip to the national tournament alongside Mitchell and the top finishers in seven other vehicle classes.

Those other qualifiers were Joseph Vital of FedEx Freight in flatbed, Donald Williams of FedEx Ground in step van, David Jowers of Old Dominion in 3-axle, Michael Bass of FedEx Freight in 4-axle, Malcolm Taylor of FedEx Freight in sleeper berth, Patrick Rudesill of FedEx Freight in tank truck and Desmond Washington of FedEx Freight in twins. 

The National Truck Driving Championships and National Step Van Driving Championships, scheduled for Aug. 21-24 in Indianapolis, will feature vehicle class winners from every state.

As Mitchell readies for his return trip to the national stage, he explained that his work schedule serves as the best form of preparation. “I train every day,” he said. “Every day when I’m on my route, I’m training.” At the nationals, Mitchell’s wife, Ginger, and Mason will be on hand to cheer on the family patriarch.

Mitchell is banking that this year at NTDC, experience and sharpness eclipse credulity and hubris. During his most recent trip to the national arena a couple of years ago he admittedly stumbled on a driving course obstacle, which he said cost him a shot at the tournament’s illustrious final round. The top five drivers from each of the nine vehicle classes advance to NTDC’s finals. “That just made me sick to my stomach,” he said of the experience, adding this year he intends to keep “focusing on my problems and not thinking of anything else — just straight focus.”

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