The North Carolina Truck Driving Championships crowned Timothy Whitley as the Grand Champion in Raleigh on May 11. Whitley, a driver for Old Dominion Freight Line Inc., placed first in the Straight Truck division.
2019 SCHEDULE: State-by-state list.
Whitley has been driving for 25 years and has been with ODFL for 21 years. He has more than 500,000 accident-free miles behind him and resides in Wilson.
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
Whitley has been a consistent face at North Carolina’s state truck driving rodeo; he began competing in 2008. He has a history of placing, but this is the first time he has walked away as Grand Champion.
“This is like a dream. I feel like I am in another world. I have been competing since 2008 and so glad to win,” Whitley said in a release after his win.
Whitley was the top driver in the 4-Axle division in 2012 and 2016 and represented his home state at the National Truck Driving Championships. He will have the chance to do so again this year in Pittsburgh.
NORTH CAROLINA ARCHIVE PAGE: Previews, recaps and more
Michael Bills, the 2018 North Carolina Grand Champion and a driver for FedEx Express, ultimately replaced Whitley as the Straight Truck division winner and will appear at the national competition. Whitley retains his Grand Chamption title.
The following drivers also will advance to the national competition from North Carolina:
- 3-Axle: Brian Walker, UPS Inc.
- 4-Axle: David Rohman, FedEx Express
- 5-Axle: Johnny Willard, FedEx Ground.
- Flatbed: Basher Pierce, FedEx Freight
- Sleeper Berth: Christopher Gibbons, FedEx Freight
- Tank Truck: Cecil Hicks, FedEx Freight
- Twins: David Wagoner Jr., Old Dominion Freight Line
- Straight Truck: Michael Bills, FedEx Express
- Step Van: Antonio Toon, FedEx Freight