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May 17, 2019 11:30 AM, EDT

Ohio Competition Gets Underway With Scott Woodrome Favored to Win

Scott Woodrome at the 2019 Ohio Trucking Driving Championships Defending national Grand Champion Scott Woodrome of FedEx Freight takes the written portion of the test at this year's Ohio Truck Driving Championships. (Marissa Gamache/Transport Topics)

SANDUSKY, Ohio — Can he do it again?

LeBron did, so maybe FedEx Freight driver Scott Woodrome can too? A back-to-back national Grand Champion winner is hard to come by, but if anyone has a good shot it would be Woodrome, 13-time national qualifier and last year’s national Grand Champion.

“I do not think the pressure will weigh on him one bit,” said Tom Balzer, Ohio Trucking Association President and CEO, speaking about the man who was nicknamed the LeBron James of trucking.

PHOTO GALLERY: Day One written test, pre-trip, course competition.

The Ohio Truck Driving Championships kicked off May 17 with more than 230 drivers sitting down to take the written portion of the test. Half of the competitors will undergo the pre-trip test and driving course, while the other half will compete May 18.

I do not think the pressure will weigh on [Woodrome] one bit.

Tom Balzer, Ohio Trucking Association President and CEO

Returning champ Woodrome has clinched national titles in Flatbed and Tank Truck and is going after a Twins title this year. With close to 2 million safe driving miles, he is poised for another successful run at the TDC. He needs at least a divisional first place advance, and with a packed Twins division he has his work cut out.

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

“I am super excited to have a record number of competitors competing this year,” Balzer said.

OHIO ARCHIVE PAGE: Previews, recaps and more

Another driver to watch is America’s Road Team 2017-2018 captain Steve Brand of FedEx Freight, who is competing in Sleeper Berth this year. Brand has qualified for nationals once in the past, and has the potential to do it again.

“The quality of competition continues to increase,” Balzer said. “There are a lot of great competitors spread out across all classes.”

Other names to keep an eye out for this weekend include Russ Simpson of Holland competing in Flatbed, Jeffrey Mefford of YRC Freight in 4-Axle and Jason Imhoff of Walmart Transport in Straight Truck.