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FedEx Newsroom

Ten FedEx Drivers Earn Honors at the Illinois Truck Driving Championship

June 25, 2012

MORRIS, Ill. – June 18, 2012 – Ten drivers representing FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX) operating companies placed among the top finishers at the 2012 Illinois State Truck Driving Championship in Morris on June 15-16.

  • Tim Banasiak, a driver for FedEx Freight based in Peru, captured his third state title with a win in the Twins class.
  • Effingham-based FedEx Freight driver Joe Carson earned his second straight state title in the Tank Truck class.
  • Fellow Effingham-based FedEx Freight driver Shay Gibson also attained his second consecutive state title with his win in the Step Van class.
  • Alina Knish, owner of P&A Business, Inc. based at the FedEx Ground station in North Chicago, won the Straight Truck class and also earned the Rookie of the Year award.
  • Ritch Fundell, a driver for FedEx Freight domiciled in Peru, posted a second-place finish in the 4-Axle class.
  • Chicago-based FedEx Express drivers Vince Fini and Jay VanKampen finished third in the 4-Axle and 5-Axle classes, respectively. VanKampen also earned the highest score in the Pre-Trip Inspection portion of the competition.
  • Nenko Topalov, a driver for Sofia Express, Inc. based at the FedEx Ground station in Chicago, and David Leong, a driver for CJC Distributors based at the FedEx Ground station in Carol Stream, posted third-place finishes in the 5-Axle Sleeper and Step Van classes, respectively.
  • FedEx Freight driver Miguel Corral (Effingham) finished third in the Straight Truck class.

Banasiak, Carson, Gibson and Knish will go on to compete at the American Trucking Associations’ 2012 National Truck Driving Championships (NTDC), known as the “Super Bowl of Safety,” August 7-11 in Minneapolis, Minn. In addition, each state winner will be recognized by FedEx as part of its safe driving initiative, The Chairman’s Challenge.   

“The entire team of drivers representing FedEx is dedicated to safety. It is an integral part of everything they do,” said Frederick W. Smith, chairman, president and CEO, FedEx Corp. “The performance of these participants at the Illinois championship is a testament to their commitment to safety excellence.”

The Illinois State Truck Driving Championship is an opportunity for professional truck drivers to demonstrate their driving skills and safety expertise. The event includes a difficult driving skills test, pre-trip inspection and written examination covering vehicle operation and knowledge of federal safety regulations.

In 2011, 115 driving professionals from 45 states representing FedEx Freight, FedEx Ground, FedEx Express, and FedEx Custom Critical qualified to compete at the National Truck Driving Championships by winning their respective state’s competition and driving accident-free for at least one year. One FedEx competitor captured the National Champion title in the Step Van class. In addition, FedEx drivers earned nine additional top-three finishes in their respective vehicle classes.

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