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The Grand Champion of the Texas Truck Driving Championships, Brent Dotts, is no stranger to competition.
In order to make his way to the Texas competition, he placed first at the San Antonio regional. Given the size of the state, Texas is one of a few states that conducts regional qualifiers.
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
Now, Dotts will head to the next level of competition at the National Truck Driving Championships, which will be held Aug. 14-17 in Pittsburgh.
Dotts, who drives for FedEx Express, took home the top prize in the Straight Truck division.
This is the second year that Dotts competed in Texas; last year, he took first place in the Houston regional. Originally from California, Dotts has been living in Houston for two years.
TEXAS ARCHIVE PAGE: Previews, recaps and more
Dotts told Transport Topics via e-mail that he naturally is competitive. “I enjoy competition because it pushes me to be the best and strive for more,” he wrote. “Even a game of pingpong or board game can get me worked up; I just don’t like losing!”
Dotts is ready to bring that competitive nature to Pittsburgh. One of his strategies for preparing is to volunteer for shifts where he drives a straight truck to complete pickups and deliveries.
“Driving around helped me get used to its turn radius, mirrors and overall handling. I am going to continue volunteering up until the competition date to keep practicing and keep my reflexes sharp. It has worked so far, and I am hoping it will continue to as August comes closer,” Dotts said.
PHOTO GALLERY: Scenes from the competition
Also representing Texas in the national competition:
- 3-Axle, Rick Salazar, ABF Freight System
- 4-Axle, Christopher Flippin, FedEx Freight
- 5-Axle, Bobby Tinsley, XPO Logistics
- Flatbed, Juan Martinez, HEB
- Sleeper Berth, Robert Svoboda, Walmart Transportation
- Tank Truck, Thomas Wilson, HEB
- Twins, Phil Beck, YRC
- Straight Truck, Brent Dotts, FedEx Express
- Step Van, Todd Trahan, FedEx Express