UPS driver from Nevada wins driving contest grand champion title

Updated Sep 3, 2023
Grand champion driver holds trophy aloft
James "Gragg" Wilson is this year's Bendix Grand Champion of the National Truck Driving Championships
American Trucking Associations

A trucker with 37 years of experience and 2.5 million miles to his credit won the top award at national competition for professional drivers that concluded over the weekend. 

The American Trucking Associations announced that James "Gragg" Wilson of Nevada, who drives for United Parcel Service, was named the Bendix Grand Champion of the 2023 National Truck Driving Championships. The competition took place Aug. 16-19 at the Greater Columbus Convention Center.

"Gragg delivered a flawless performance to take home our industry's top prize and earn the title of Grand Champion," said ATA President and CEO Chris Spear. "This accomplishment epitomizes his entire career, with 37 years and more than 2.5 million miles of accident-free driving."

To clinch the title of 2023 Bendix Grand Champion, Wilson's driving accuracy and knowledge of truck safety was scored the highest of 418 state champion professional truck drivers from 49 states competing in all vehicle classes this week. 

Wilson, who competed in the tank truck division, has previously won the Nevada State Championship 13 times in six different classes, and he has also won Grand Champion five times in the State of Nevada. Wilson was the 2019 Nevada Driver of the Year.

ATA also recognized Myron Means of Wyoming, a professional driver for Old Dominion Freight Line, as the 2023 Rookie of the Year. Additionally, the team of drivers from Connecticut produced the best collective score and were honored as the top state delegation.

Ina Daly of Arizona, a professional driver for XPO, was honored during the awards banquet with the Neill Darmstadter Professional Excellence Award. Bill Graham was chosen as the Lifetime Volunteer Award recipient.

Known as the "Super Bowl of Safety," this annual event dates back to 1937. This year's competitors accumulated more than 643 million accident-free miles in 

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

Champions from each of the nine vehicle classes were also announced. The full list of champions and top finishers includes:

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Step Van

  1. Jerome De La Cruz, FedEx Express, Alaska
  2. Gregory Long, FedEx Express Maryland
  3. Alex Lofgren, FedEx Express Minnesota

Straight Truck

  1. David Coffel, FedEx Express, Arizona
  2. William Colantuone, FedEx Express, Massachusetts
  3. James Kohr, FedEx Express, New York


  1. Barry Kraemer, XPO, Wisconsin
  2. Joseph Hicks, XPO, Rhode Island
  3. Ritch Fundell, FedEx Freight, Illinois


  1. Martin McMahon, RIST Transport, New York
  2. Bruce Quaal, ABF Freight System, Inc. Minnesota
  3. Adam Heim, FedEx Freight, Idaho


  1. John Greene, FedEx Freight, Connecticut
  2. James Quarles, Wal-Mart Transportation, LLC South Carolina
  3. Michael Martin, Wal-Mart Transportation, LLC


  1. Daryl Miller, The Cope Company Salt, Pennsylvania
  2. Ernest Wagers, Old Dominion Freight Line, Inc., Kentucky
  3. James Sowder, FedEx Freight, Tennessee

Tank Truck

  1. James "Gragg" Wilson, United Parcel Service, Inc., Nevada
  2. Jason Imhoff, Wal-Mart Transportation, LLC, Ohio
  3. Timothy Vogt, XPO, Georgia


  1. Robert Fair, FedEx Freight, New Hampshire
  2. Jeffrey Langenhahn, XPO Wisconsin
  3. Michael Flippin, FedEx Freight, Colorado

Sleeper Berth

  1. Roland Bolduc, FedEx Express, Connecticut
  2. Chris Moore, Wal-Mart Transportation, LLC, Georgia
  3. Tyler Rogers, FedEx Freight, Colorado

Rookie of the Year

  • Myron Means, Old Dominion Freight Line, Inc., Flatbed, Wyoming

State Team Award

  1. Connecticut
  2. Illinois
  3. Tennessee

Vehicle Condition Award

  • Timothy Blair, FedEx Freight, 5-Axle, Tennessee

Highest Written Exam Award

  1. Michael Bills, FedEx Express, North Carolina
  2. David Comings, FedEx Freight, North Dakota
  3. David Mogler, FedEx Freight, Colorado
  4. Michael Flippin, FedEx Freight, Colorado

The corporate sponsors of the 2023 National Truck Driving Championships include:


  • Amazon Freight Partner
  • Fed Ex
  • Fed Ex Express
  • Fed Ex Freight
  • Fed Ex Ground
  • Yellow


  • ABF Freight
  • DHL
  • Old Dominion Freight Line
  • PrePass
  • United Parcel Service
  • WalMart-Transportation
  • XPO


  • U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Motor Carrier Administration