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JGR Hauler Drivers Ready to Defend

By on March 1, 2019

Exciting Changes Intensify TA Truck Service Challenge

When the points were tallied for the sixth and final 2018 event on September 27th at the Charlotte Motor Speedway, the 2018 TA Truck Service Challenge proved to be record setting in two key aspects. Tom “Thumper” McCrimmon took the Grand Championship and the $25,000 top prize by the slimmest margin ever (5,919 to 5,918). Brendan “Slim” Greene waged a spirited battle but fell short by just one point to the four-time winner. In nailing down $5,000 for third, Ken Pitcher completed a trifecta of sorts for Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR). It was the first time ever in the 20-some years of this competition that hauler drivers from one team swept the top-three championship positions. As tough as it will likely be, the JGR hauler drivers are ready to defend against all comers during 2019.

During the offseason, participating hauler drivers were surveyed to seek their input for improving the 2019 TA Truck Service Challenge. That input enabled the TA Truck Service competition administrators and the team from Marketing 500, headed by Kathy Virtue, to make three significant changes that will make the competition more enjoyable and more rewarding for the competitors. 

Three Major Changes

First, hauler drivers for NASCAR Gander Outdoor Truck Series teams are eligible to compete for the first time. They join hauler drivers from the Monster Energy and Xfinity Series. Drivers for Goodyear and Champion Tire & Wheel are also eligible to compete. The number of competitors is certain to top 50 and could be as high as 60 or 70.

Second, individual events will pay the top-three point earners, rather than just 1st-place winners as previously done. 

Third, in addition to their money winnings, the top-3 point accumulators at each event will earn bonus points on a 5-3-1 scale that count for that event and for the best-five-of-six point totals that will determine the 2019 Grand Champion and the two runners-up. These bonus points are similar to the approach used by NASCAR’s bonus playoff points where five bonus points are awarded to each race winner and one bonus point is awarded to the winner of each race stage. 

Family Night

The May 23 event at Charlotte Motor Speedway replaces the 2018 Sonoma competition. The drivers expressed great support for conducting at least one of the competitions close to home so that family and friends could watch from a safe distance, while cheering for their favorite drivers. The event will be held partially under the lights from 3:00 to 10:00 p.m.

About the Challenge

The TA Truck Service Challenge tests the professional transport drivers’ skills behind the wheel of the Freightliner Cascadia dedicated to the Challenge, as well as their knowledge of DOT rules and regulations in a written exam. Over the course of six events, competitors will be called upon to exhibit a wide range of driving skills with only inches to spare, similar to many state, regional and national driving competitions. Challenge events take place in cordoned-off sections of parking lots at each track.

Each registered team transport driver is eligible to compete in the six competitions. Based on the best-five-of-six point totals, a Grand Champion and two runners-up will be crowned at the Charlotte Motor Speedway on Sunday, September 29, 2019. Cash prizes of $25,000 for first, $10,000 for second and $5,000 for third are on the line. The TA Truck Service Challenge is hosted and administered by Marketing 500. Freightliner is the official truck of the Challenge.

See the Challenge Hauler

You can see the official Challenge hauler as it stops at approximately 100 TA and Petro locations around the country. Per the adjacent schedule, the TA Truck Service Challenge events are free and open to race enthusiasts holding the proper credentials. All NASCAR fans can visit the TA Truck Service booth in the Fan Zone throughout the six race weekends. Follow each of the competitions and see the event winners and point standings at TATruckChallenge.com or on the TA Truck Service Challenge Facebook page. 

About Warren Eulgen

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