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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
For Kevin Mailand, the National Truck Driving Championships are going to have a familiar feel.
Mailand, a YRC Freight driver with 35 years' experiece over the road, captured the 3-Axle crown at the Kansas Truck Driving Championships in Topeka on June 14-15. In the process, he punched his ticket to Pittsburgh for nationals on Aug. 14-17.
Turn back the clock 10 years. Mailand won in the Twins class to earn Rookie of the Year honors and a trip to the NTDC in … Pittsburgh.
"They need to have it in Pittsburgh more often, so I can win more often," said Mailand, who counts riding his motorcycle among his hobbies.
Mailand also placed first in Field Test at Kansas Expocentre in a discipline that recognizes the drivers who scored the most points while navigating a course that contained six “problems.”
"When I went into it, I honestly had no expectations," he said. "It is what I do on a daily basis."
Mailand concedes that the written aspect of the competition will be his biggest challenge while prepping for Pittsburgh.
"I need to do a lot more book work," Mailand said. "As far as driving goes, it's what I do for a living."
KANSAS ARCHIVE PAGE: Recaps, previews and more
Jimmie Lee Wisley (4-Axle) also will represent YRC Freight at the National Truck Driving Championships on Aug. 14-17 in Pittsburgh.
PHOTO GALLERY: Scenes from the 2019 Kansas Truck Driving Championships
Walmart Transportation led with victories in three divisions and captured the team trophy for large fleets.
Kansas TDC icon Don Logan, whose résumé includes 12 wins at the state level (five Grand Champion titles) and Grand Champion at the 2012 NTDC, did not compete this year.
Donald Grubb of HIT Inc. earned Rookie of the Year honors.
Top finishers in the 3-Axle divison are (from left) Josue Rivera of Old Dominion Freight Line, third place; Jason Ramsdell of FedEx Freight, runner-up; and champion Kevin Mailand of YRC Freight. (Kansas Motor Carriers Association)
All class winners advancing to nationals:
- 3-Axle: Kevin Mailand, YRC Freight
- 4-Axle: Jimmie Lee Wisley, YRC Freight
- 5-Axle: Gary Harms, Walmart Transportation
- Flatbed: Terry Covey, FedEx Freight
- Sleeper Berth: Gary Stackhouse, Convoy Systems
- Straight Truck: Jerry Joyner, Walmart Transportation
- Tank Truck: Jeff Davis, Walmart Transportation
- Twins: Stephen Caudill, Old Dominion Freight Line
- Step Van: Richard Johnson, FedEx Freight