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Charles White Named Bendix Grand Champion At 2016 National Truck Driving Championships Richard Merich Awarded Rookie Of The Year

Charles White Named Bendix Grand Champion at 2016 National Truck Driving Championships Richard Merich Awarded Rookie of the Year

Indianapolis – Today, American Trucking Associations announced Charles White as the Bendix Grand Champion of the 2016 National Truck Driving Championships in Indianapolis.

“After an impressive showing throughout the week, Charles White emerged as the most skilled and knowledgeable truck driver in the country,” said ATA President and CEO Chris Spear. “On behalf of the ATA and the trucking community, I want to congratulate Charles and thank the entire field of competitors for participating in these championships. Your commitment to excellence has made the nation’s highways a safer place for everyone.”

To clinch the prestigious title of 2016 Bendix Grand Champion, White’s driving skills and knowledge of transportation and truck safety surpassed the over 430 other professional truck drivers competing in Indianapolis this week.

White, who also took home the 3-axle class title, lives in nearby Nineveh, Indiana and drives professionally for Walmart Transportation.

ATA also recognized Richard Merich as the 2016 Rookie of the Year. Merich took home the honor after a strong performance in the flatbed division. The team of drivers from South Carolina produced the best collective score, with an average of 278.13, and were honored as the top state delegation.

Professionalism and dedication to the trucking industry were key themes during the National Truck Driving Championships. Charles Woodland was honored during the awards banquet with the Neill Darmstadter Professional Excellence Award and Chris Ignowski, CDS was chosen as the Lifetime Volunteer Award recipient.

ACT 1 served as a premier sponsor of the 2016 National Truck Driving Championships and National Step Van Driving Championships, which took place Aug. 10-13 at the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis.

Since 2011, Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems has been the sole sponsor of the Bendix National Truck Driving Championships Grand Champion.

Collectively, this week’s competitors have accumulated more than 600 million safe-driving miles during their careers as professional truck drivers.

Champions from each of the 9 classes and the top state delegation were also announced. Joining Charles White on the list of national champions are:

  • 3-Axle: Charles White, Nineveh, Indiana, Walmart Transportation
  • 4-Axle: Ronald Metternick, Lowell, Michigan, FedEx Freight
  • 5-Axle: Toby Kort, Aurora, Nebraska, FedEx Freight
  • Flatbed: Jay Love, Davis, South Dakota, FedEx Freight
  • Sleeper Berth: Larry Breen, Bushnell, Florida, Walmart Transportation
  • Straight Truck: Charles Randolph, Belle, West Virginia, PITT OHIO
  • Tank Truck: Jeffrey Langenhahn, Plover, Wisconsin, XPO Logistics
  • Twins: Chris Poynor, Richland, Washington, XPO Logistics
  • Step Van: Frank Woods, Shawsville, Virginia, FedEx Express

Other Awards

  • Rookie of the Year: Richard Merich, Lochbuie, Colorado, FedEx Freight
  • Team Champions: South Carolina
  • Vehicle Condition: William Pudney, Minneapolis, Minnesota, FedEx Freight
  • Neill Darmstadter Professional Excellence: Charles Woodland, Surprise, Arizona, FedEx Freight
  • Lifetime Volunteer Award: Chris Ignowski, CDS, FedEx Ground

Full results from today’s final competition below:


  1. Charles White, Walmart Transportation, LLC, Indiana
  2. Jimmie Wisley, YRC Freight, Kansas
  3. Robin Sams, FedEx Freight, Arkansas
  4. Robert Fernald, Wal-Mart Transportation, LLC, Maine
  5. Cedric Pack, FedEx Freight, Washington


  1. Ronald Metternick, FedEx Freight, Michigan
  2. Eduardo Camacho, H-E-B Grocery Co., Texas
  3. Allen Sohn, FedEx Freight, Iowa
  4. Andres Orozco, FedEx Freight, Arizona
  5. Aslaiyi Wilkes, Reddaway, Oregon


  1. Toby Kort, FedEx Freight, Nebraska
  2. Larry Warr, Wal-Mart Transportation, LLC, Florida
  3. Daniel Bruch, FedEx Freight, New Mexico
  4. Christopher Novak, FedEx Express, Vermont
  5. Darren Bogart, Wal-Mart Transportation, LLC, Kansas


  1. Jay Love, FedEx Freight, South Dakota
  2. William Hill, Old Dominion Freight Line, Inc., Idaho
  3. Donald Logan, FedEx Freight, Kansas
  4. Robert Dean, XPO Logistics, Inc., Washington
  5. Curtis McMellon, XPO Logistics, Inc., Louisiana

Sleeper Berth

  1. Larry Breen, Walmart Transportation, LLC, Florida
  2. Bryan Elges, FedEx Freight, Ohio
  3. Ron Marker, Walmart Transportation, LLC, Indiana
  4. Roland Bolduc, FedEx Express, Massachusetts
  5. Barry Geck, Wal-Mart Transportation, LLC, Utah

Straight Truck

  1. Charles Randolph, PITT OHIO, West Virginia
  2. Glendon Buzzell, Wal-Mart Transportation, LLC, Maine
  3. Wilbur Johnson, FedEx Freight, Florida
  4. James Carver, Safeway, Inc., Maryland
  5. Jesse Benkert, Fedex Ground, Kentucky

Tank Truck

  1. Jeffrey Langenhahn, XPO Logistics, Inc., Wisconsin
  2. Kenneth Painter, XPO Logistics, Inc., Montana
  3. Allen Byrne, Wal-Mart Transportation, LLC, Utah
  4. Steve Elliston, Wal-Mart Transportation, LLC, Michigan
  5. Nickolas Backes, PITT OHIO, West Virginia


  1. Chris Poynor, XPO Logistics, Inc., Washington
  2. Andrew Kelly, ABF Freight System, Inc., Wyoming
  3. James Luckadoo, UPS Freight, South Carolina
  4. James McNeill, FedEx Freight, Mississippi
  5. Stephen Black, Golub Corp/PriceChopper Supermarkets, New York

Step Van

  1. Frank Woods, FedEx Express, Virginia
  2. Jeff Evans, FedEx Ground, New York
  3. Curtis Harpole, FedEx Ground, Oklahoma
  4. Jason Imhoff, Wal-Mart Transportation, LLC, Ohio
  5. Matthew Allison, FedEx Ground, Colorado

American Trucking Associations is the largest national trade association for the trucking industry. Through a federation of 50 affiliated state trucking associations and industry-related conferences and councils, ATA is the voice of the industry America depends on most to move our nation’s freight. Follow ATA on Twitter or on Facebook.Trucking Moves America Forward


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