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For the second summer in a row, the National Truck Driving Championships & National Step Van Driving Championships are being canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a Feb. 17 letter to the truck driving community, American Trucking Associations President Chris Spear listed a multitude of reasons that led the federation to forgo the event.
“After discussing major challenges such as travel bans, equipment donations, CDC restrictions, ability for state trucking associations to host events prior to August and building capacity in Minneapolis, the decision has been made to cancel” the events, he said. This year’s competition had been scheduled for Aug. 11-14 in Minneapolis.
A note from ATA President and CEO Chris Spear re: the 2021 National Truck Driving Championships.— American Trucking (@TRUCKINGdotORG) February 18, 2021
To all the drivers who continue to serve on the front lines throughout this COVID-19 pandemic, we salute you -- and we'll see you in Indianapolis next year. #NTDCpic.twitter.com/tqmvQVCPuv
The annual NTDC is the culmination of a spring and summer’s worth of local, state and regional truck driving championships held across the country. The national competition gives drivers the opportunity to put their skills on display and compete alongside top colleagues.
“As I have said many times, NTDC is the event I most look forward to every year,” Spear said. “Know that we do not take this decision lightly. The Super Bowl of Safety had not been canceled since World War II until last year, which is a testament to just how unprecedented this present challenge is.”
Last April, ATA officials canceled the planned 2020 event in Indianapolis as the pandemic took hold in the United States.
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“Our industry’s creed and the very spirit of these competitions is ‘safety first,’ and this outcome reflects that. This decision is made out of an abundance of caution on behalf of the professional drivers, companies and family members who organize, host and cheer on competitors,” Spear said. “We believe this decision is necessary to maintain the integrity and atmosphere of a ‘national’ championship.”
Spear also praised the industry’s ongoing efforts to battle the pandemic, including assisting with the nationwide vaccine rollout.
“As we continue to battle, protecting the health, safety and well-being of our workforce remains most important to us,” Spear said. “We congratulate all drivers who have driven accident-free over the past year and the scores who have accumulated millions of accident-free miles. Thank you for every mile you run and every delivery you make. You make your families, our industry and country proud. You all are heroes.”
Spear also looks forward to resuming the event next year. “Continue to stay safe, and thank you for all you do. We certainly look forward to seeing you in Indianapolis, IN in 2022,” he said.
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