Special Coverage of the National Truck Driving Championships
June 7, 2019 12:30 PM, EDT

Troy Swenson Will Make Triumphant Return to Pittsburgh as South Dakota Grand Champion

South Dakota Truck Driving Championships Grand Champion Troy Swenson with event Chairman Don Knowler and Co-Chair Steve HoffmanSouth Dakota Truck Driving Championships Grand Champion Troy Swenson (center) poses with his plaque with event Chairman Don Knowler (left) and co-Chairman Steve Hoffman. (South Dakota Trucking Association)

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FedEx Freight driver Troy Swenson won the Sleeper class championship at the 2009 National Truck Driving Championships in Pittsburgh. He hasn’t been back to the Steel City since — but that’s about to change.

Swenson, competing out of the 4-Axle division, captured his third Grand Champion crown at the South Dakota Trucking Championships on May 18 at the Southeast Technical Institute in Sioux Falls. He will make his ninth appearance at NTDC, which Pittsburgh is hosting in August.

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

“Pittsburgh is where I won the 2009 Sleeper class championship, so it is a special place for me,” Swenson said. “I have not been back to the city since winning the championship there. I’m looking forward to going and competing again this year.”

Swenson, born and raised in South Dakota, has competed at the state event 15 times. He’s racked up 1.25 million accident-free miles over a 25-year career, Swenson said. Twenty of those have been spent driving FedEx trucks.

SOUTH DAKOTA ARCHIVE PAGE: Previews, recaps and more

PHOTOS: 2019 South Dakota Truck Driving Championships

Even though it has happened three times, being Grand Champion is always a good feeling.

“We have a lot of great drivers here in South Dakota, so earning the recognition as Grand Champion is a pretty special deal,” he said.

Last year’s state Grand Champion, Wade Wagemann, will return to NTDC after winning the 4-Axle class.

2019 SCHEDULEState-by-state list.

All competitors moving on to nationals:

  • 3-Axle: Mike Whitehead, FedEx Freight
  • 4-Axle: Troy Swenson, FedEx Freight
  • 5-Axle: Wade Wagemann, YRC Freight
  • Flatbed: Jeremy Senger, FedEx Freight
  • Sleeper Berth: Dan Cameron, K&J Trucking
  • Tank Truck: Greg Keller, A&A Express
  • Twins: Marty Ellis, A&A Express
  • Straight Truck: Nan Harguth, Cliff Viessman, Inc.