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April 24, 2019 1:45 PM, EDT

New Division, Same Aim for Defending Tennessee Champion Phil Shelton

Tennessee competitor Phil Shelton Phil Shelton is switching from competing in the Tank Truck division to the Flatbed division. His father drove a tank truck and that inspired Shelton to do the same in past competitions. (Tennessee Trucking Association)

The Tennessee Trucking Association is ready for the state’s Super Bowl of safety, and reigning Grand Champion Phil Shelton of Walmart Transportation is returning to defend his title. More than 159 drivers are registered to compete in the 2019 Tennessee Truck Driving Championships with the help of 75 volunteers.

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

Shelton is switching from competing in the Tank Truck division last year to the Flatbed division this year. His father drove a tank truck and that inspired Shelton to do the same in past competitions.

TENNESSEE ARCHIVE PAGE: Previews, recaps and more

Shelton has been competing since 2004. He has clocked 39 years behind the wheel and more than 3.5 million safe miles.

“We have numerous experienced competitors that are very hungry to punch their ticket to Pittsburgh,” said Jeremy Snapp, TTA’s director of safety.

“I am very proud to say our drivers represent the best of the best in our industry,” he added, “and it truly shows in how well they represent professional drivers in Tennessee each and every day.”