ANN ARBOR, Mich., Aug. 16 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Con-way Freight's professional drivers are headed to Minnesota to compete in the 2007 National Truck Driving Championships August 21 - 25. More than 50 Con-way drivers, including 2006 Grand Champion Dale Duncan, will compete in one of a series of eight individual equipment classes. Participants must demonstrate a mastery of the critical safety skills that have allowed this group to drive more than 80 million accident-free miles. Con-way Freight is a less-than-truckload (LTL) freight carrier and subsidiary of Con-way Inc. (NYSE: CNW). (Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20060418/SFTU007LOGO) Con-way's team, representing 33 states, comprises 27 veteran competitors and 25 newcomers to the National Championship. Dale Duncan, a 24-year driving veteran, will be going for his second Grand Champion title, competing in the Tanker class. Previously, Duncan has taken two individual event National Champion titles. To compete in the national event, drivers must win state championships in their respective equipment classes. When a state champion is unable to attend, the next top finisher is tapped to be the state's representative at Nationals. "The physical and mental demands placed on these front-line professionals are tremendous. The best in the business have stamina, patience, foresight, good organizational skills and the ability to quickly analyze and respond safely to the constantly changing conditions of their workplace -- our nation's roads and highways," said John G. Labrie, president, Con-way Freight. "Our national competitors have risen to the top of their profession due to unwavering dedication to their craft and being the best at what they do." Con-way competitors and their guests travel to Minneapolis at the company's expense to participate in the competition. Since 1999, whenever a Con-way driver sales representative wins an equipment class National Champion title, the company gives the driver a new Ford F150 4x4 Stretch Cab pickup truck. The company further commemorates the employee's achievement with a customized commercial tractor that displays the driver's name and championship title, which is then provided to the driver as his work vehicle. In addition, Con-way employees competing in the event are eligible for a $7,500 award by the company for winning the Grand Champion title. The National Champion of each class also receives a check for $1,000, a plaque and a gold belt buckle from the American Trucking Associations (ATA). Additionally, the organization awards the Grand Champion a commemorative diamond ring and plaque, as well as industry-wide recognition as "The Best Truck Driver in America." Each Con-way driver qualified to compete at the state competition by maintaining an accident-free safety record for the previous year. At the national competition, each driver faces testing in four areas: a personal interview, a timed written exam, a pre-trip inspection test and a driving skills test. Including Dale Duncan's 2006 Grand Champion win, nine Con-way drivers have won National Champion honors and received new pickup trucks from the company over the past eight years. The following Con-way Freight drivers will represent the company at the Nationals next week: Name Class City State George Lumpkin Tanker Gadsen AL Jerry Talley StraightTruck Gadsen AL Michael Umphrey 3-Axle Decatur AL Richard Templeton Tanker Jonesboro AR Edward Romero 5-Axle Tucson AZ Dale Duncan Tanker Chula Vista CA Mark Lannerd 3-Axle Henderson CO Michael Gershak Twins West Palm Beach FL Dennis Day Twins Lawrenceville GA Dennis Fields StraightTruck Lawrenceville GA Timothy Vogt Tanker Lawrenceville GA Christopher Buckley 5-AxleFlatbed Boise ID Matthew Clemens Tanker Boise ID Michael Grogan 5-Axle Boise ID Jeffrey Halford 3-Axle Boise ID Josh Jetton Straight Boise ID James Walters Twins Boise ID Kevin Goolsby 5-AxleFlatbed Chicago IL Brent Quire 3-Axle Bedford, IN Brian Laytart Tanker Lexington KY Lawrence Schilmiller Twins Louisville KY Leroy Williams Sr. Straight Baton Rouge LA Tony Fairley Twins Chicopee MA Mark O'Dea Twins Romulus MI James Mason Straight Richland MS Christopher Lopez 5-AxleSleeper Billings MT Robert Pierce 5-AxleFlatbed Missoula MT Scott Ruth Tanker Butte MT Robert Fiest 3-Axle Bismarck ND Steven Johnson 5-AxleSleeper West Fargo ND Wilbert Vano 5-Axle Newark NJ David May StraightTruck Tonwanda NY Bruce Early 5-AxleSleeper Parma OH Neil Henry 4-Axle Portland OR Otho Kretzer 5-AxleSleeper Greencastle PA Tim Sarasin 3-Axle Cranston RI Willie Atkinson 3-Axle Florence SC David Lawrence 5-AxleSleeper Wellford SC Ronald Gasper 5-AxleFlatbed Watertown SD Les Gonsor 4-Axle Watertown SD Michael Jackson Twins Blountville TN Bobby Tinsley 5-AxleFlatbed Fort Worth TX Matthew Adams Straight Salt Lake City UT Mike Kelly Twins Salt Lake City UT Lynn Wilson 5-Axle Salt Lake City UT Nevin Brill Straight Winchester VA Christopher Poynor Twins Pasco WA Ricky Bernard 5-AxleFlatbed Franklin WI Nick Backes 4-Axle Belle WV Don Maddy 3-Axle Belle WV Jerry Barker Straight Casper WY Randy Ferguson 4-Axle Casper WY About Con-way Freight Con-way Freight is the industry's leading less-than-truckload (LTL) freight transportation company, providing guaranteed, day-definite regional and transcontinental service through a network of 440 service centers in the United States, Canada, Mexico and Puerto Rico. Based in Ann Arbor, Mich., Con-way Freight offers LTL freight delivery across North America, as well as delivery in the United States for international less-than-container (LCL) ocean shipments from Asia through its OceanGuaranteed(SM) service. Con-way Freight is a certified FAST highway carrier and is ISO 9001- and 14001-, C-TPAT/PIP, ACE- and CSA-certified. Con-way Freight is a subsidiary of Con-way Inc. (NYSE: CNW), a $4.2 billion freight transportation and logistics services company and FORTUNE magazine's "Most Admired Company" in transportation and logistics for 2007. For more information, visit http://www.con-way.com/freight.
SOURCE Con-way Freight