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Smith named state's best driver

John Smith Jr. of Mooreville was named the best professional truck driver in Mississippi after winning the tank truck competition and receiving the highest overall score in the nine competing categories at the 2009 Mississippi Truck Driving Championships. The annual event is sponsored by the Mississippi Trucking Association.

Smith, who drives for FedEx Ground, now qualifies to compete in the American Trucking Associations’ National Truck Driving Championships Aug. 18-22 in Pittsburgh, Pa. The winners from each of the eight other categories are also eligible to compete in the national championship.

Mississippi participants at National for each category include: Smith; John Phillips, Con-way Freight, Pearl (Straight Truck); Virgil “Tommy” Boyanton, FedEx Freight, Florence (Three-Axle); James Massengill, Wal-Mart Transportation, Saltillo (Four-Axle); Gerald Delancey, Wal-Mart Transportation, Purvis (Five-Axle); Dennis Middleton, Wal-Mart Transportation, Wesson (Five-Axle Sleeper); Sam Aker, Con-way Freight, Senatobia (Flatbed); Tim Harris, YRC, Rienzi (Twins); and, Rodney Talbert, FedEx Ground, Liberty (Step Van).

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