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May 7, 2019 9:30 AM, EDT

Michael Bills to Defend Title at N.C.’s ‘Super Bowl of Safety’

Michael Bills Michael Bills celebrates his 2017 national win in the Step Van division. (John Sommers II for Transport Topics)

The Tar Heel State is set to test its top drivers at the North Carolina Truck Driving Championships hosted by the North Carolina Trucking Association. The competition will be held May 9-11 at the N.C. State Fairgrounds in Raleigh.

There are 161 drivers slated to compete, according to Dana Cochran, NCTA director of marketing. The organization also has about 50 volunteers scheduled to assist with the event.

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

Cochran described the competition as the “Super Bowl of Safety” and said that the requirement that competitors must be accident-free for at least one year prior to the tournament motivates drivers.

“Many of the competitors have millions of accident-free driving miles to their credit,” Cochran said. “The drivers who compete are the best of the best on our highways and in our companies across North Carolina.”

Michael Bills proved to be the best of the best in 2018, taking home the Grand Champion title for his performance in the Straight Truck division. Bills, who drives for FedEx Express, has more than 25 years of experience behind the wheel and will compete in the Straight Truck division again this year.

NORTH CAROLINA ARCHIVE PAGE: Previews, recaps and more

Bills also made an impressive showing at last year’s National Truck Driving Championships, coming in No. 2 in his division.

And 2018 was not the first time Bills appeared on the national stage. He has made multiple trips to nationals, including winning the Step Van division in 2017. All eyes will be on Bills this weekend to see if he continues to reign among the best of the best.