Competing in the tanker class, XPO Logistics Inc. trucking legend Ina Daly earned grand champion honors at Arizona’s truck driving championships and again secured a spot in the National Truck Driving Championships in August.
Daly defeated a deep field of competitors in her class on her way to record the event’s top score. Her best-in-show honors April 14 in Tempe solidified her 13th trip to nationals. The humble competitor committed to mastering her craft told Transport Topics she felt she had practiced and studied well for the state meet. (Photo gallery)
Who: Winners from nine categories at the state level advance to the national competition, with a grand champion crowned
What: Contestants are judged on a written examination and their driving skills
When: Aug. 15-18
Where: Columbus, Ohio
“I went out, just focused and went and scored on each problem; all six problems I scored. And that was my goal, you know, go score. Go get points,” she said April 18.
Daly, who has competed in trucking competitions since the late ’80s, is a former state team champion as well as a tanker class champion at nationals. She emphasized her belief in encouraging other truckers to strive for a spot at nationals, and she also often practices with her grandson Evan, 8, on the weekends.
“He thinks it’s cool. He’s quite well-known with the other drivers. He has a huge personality,” Daly said of her grandson, who traveled to last year’s nationals in Orlando, Fla. She is trying to persuade Evan’s mom to allow him to miss a few days of school so he may cheer for his cool grandmother.
The other winners in Arizona were Charles Woodland of FedEx Freight in straight truck, Chris Finn of XPO Logistics in 3-axle, Andres Orozco of FedEx Freight in 4-axle, Jose Orozco of XPO Logistics in 5-axle, Sam Smith of Old Dominion Freight Line in the flatbed class, Wesley Bauer of Walmart Transportation in sleeper berth and Mohammed Khan of FedEx Freight in the twin trailers class. Michael Ortiz of FedEx Ground was the step van class winner.
Arizona Trucking Association Chairman Kyle Wilkes (left) Smith, Jose Orozco, Andres Orozco, Bauer, Daly, Woodland, Ortiz, Khan and Arizona Trucking Association TDC Chairman Sean Williams at the 2018 Arizona championships.