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June 3, 2019 1:45 PM, EDT

Florida Truck Driving Championships to Welcome Largest Field Ever of 300-Plus Drivers

One Team Florida photo from 2018 Truck Driving Championships "One Team Florida" drivers gather for their 2018 group photo. (Florida Trucking Association)

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The Florida Trucking Association will host what it is billing as the largest Truck Driving Championships in its history June 6-8 in Daytona Beach.

2019 NTDC

The 2019 National Truck Driving Championships

Qualifiers | Map | Photos | Video

Who: Winners from nine categories at the state level have advanced to the national competition, where a Grand Champion will be crowned

What: Contestants are judged on a written examination and their driving skills

When: Aug. 14-17

Where: Pittsburgh

Approximately 315 drivers will be competing, forming the largest field in Florida history, and approximately 1,250 people are expected to attend the awards banquet dinner at the Daytona Beach Hilton.

Jottyn Santos of FedEx Express will be back to defend his titles as Grand Champion and winner of the 4-Axle division.

Last year, FTA gathered all of its driving competitors for a group photo to celebrate the concept of “One Team Florida,” and the association will repeat that effort this year.

“One Team Florida [is] the message that FTA staff, member companies and drivers all prioritize safety and excellence in the profession, regardless of affiliation,” said TDC Chair Ralph Cartwright, owner of Southern States Safety Consulting in St. Augustine. “This year, as we take the largest photo of drivers in the state’s TDC history, we espouse the same message that while the competition is fierce, we come together as one team, representing the state of Florida.”

2019 SCHEDULEState-by-state list.

For the second year in a row, spectators will be treated to the announcing work of Florida Road Team members Charles Lobsiger and Charles Demchock.

Another highlight to the event will be a Friday night “Back to the Beach” dance party that celebrates the drivers and their families with a DJ and milkshake/cookie bars.

FLORIDA ARCHIVE PAGE: Previews, recaps and more

Drivers will take their written test in the evening of June 6 and then participate in a course walk-through. Pre-trip inspections and skills course competition will be held June 7-8, with four to five classes each day.