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June 13, 2019 1:15 PM, EDT

West Virginia’s Jeremy Thomas Wins Second Straight Grand Champion Honors

Jeremy Thomas Jeremy Thomas (left) next to his father, Randy Thomas. (Jeremy Thomas)

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This year’s West Virginia Truck Driving Championships featured the second consecutive win by Jeremy Thomas.

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

Thomas, a FedEx Freight driver, took home the top marks in the 3-Axle category. In 2018, he won in the Tank Truck class in his second year in the competition.

Now, Thomas will head back to nationals in Pittsburgh, held Aug. 14-17.

WEST VIRGINIA ARCHIVE PAGE: Previews, recaps and more

“I am very proud to be a professional truck driver, so I have a passion for anything that shows the positive side of trucking,” Thomas told Transport Topics via e-mail. “The competitions shine a positive light on the industry by allowing professional truck drivers to demonstrate the skill, knowledge and professionalism that they are using on our highways every day to safely keep our economy moving.”

Competitive truck driving runs in the Thomas family. His father, Randy Thomas, is a longtime competitor in West Virginia and also drives for FedEx Freight. The two prepare together on practice problems they set up.

Thomas’ wife, Jessica, helps him study for the written exam. His children like to quiz him, too.

Thomas also prepares on his own, by bringing the principles of competitive truck driving to his work. “Every morning, I pre-trip my truck as if a DOT officer is standing over my shoulder during a competition. I try to build a solid routine that strategically looks over the entire truck quickly and thoroughly with the hopes that it becomes a habit,” Thomas said.