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Recipe for Success

By on July 1, 2019

New Winners Tighten Competition

Halfway through season two of the TA Truck Service Challenge, a friendly competition that showcases the DOT knowledge and driving skills of NASCAR hauler drivers, Michael Williams won the May 22 Charlotte Motor Speedway competition with 1193 out of a possible 1200 points. Michael is the hauler driver for Brad Keselowski’s No. 2 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series entry.

Like other Challenge competitors, Michael’s responsibilities include more than just driving a Team Penske hauler. As a floater, he assists the assigned technician with fuel cells. On Sundays, he’s responsible for filling/refilling the over-the-wall fuel cans. More than just running fuel cans, he’s involved with team fuel strategy, which includes weighing fuel, monitoring consumption, determining mileage and planning pit-stop windows.

Michael Williams

A Winning Approach

“Penske Racing is doing really well this year with early success,” Michael said. “I’m proud of this team and what we’ve accomplished.” The pride and camaraderie between all competitors shine through. Despite representing different racing teams and competing individually, Michael’s 2019 Challenge recipe for success has been influenced by reigning Challenge champion Tom McCrimmon.

Michael Hutton

“Tom always told me to take it nice and slow, be observant,” said Michael. “Don’t rush and a good score will come. I tried that, and it sure paid off.” After being one clipped cone away from receiving a perfect score on the obstacle course, Michael edged returning Challenge winners Michael Hutton (1190) and Josh Collins (1190) for first place in Charlotte.

Josh Collins

Despite being under the pressure of a time clock during the tricky pre-trip inspection put together by Homer Hogg, for TravelCenters of America Director, Technical Services Michael still pulled out the win. “Homer made it really difficult, and knowing the clock is ticking makes it even harder,” said Michael. “But it’s good to remind us to check our trucks before we head out on the road.”

Be sure to follow the Challenge on Facebook and Instagram @TATruckServiceChallenge to keep up with more competition news.

Culinary Cook Off

In addition to their driving, race-day and shop duties, NASCAR hauler drivers frequently are responsible for preparing meals for team members, sponsors and invited guests. That includes menu planning and restocking the food and beverage supplies aboard their haulers prior to leaving for each event.

With the May 22 Charlotte event being a home game of sorts, the hauler drivers’ spouses, significant others, families, relatives and friends were invited to view the Challenge competition while enjoying food and beverages. A significant turnout also witnessed the first ever TA Truck Service Challenge cook off. The contestants took this opportunity to demonstrate their culinary skills seriously, preparing one of their favorite recipes. None other than NASCAR King Richard Petty and host of Dialed In on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Claire B. Lang served as celebrity judges.

The tasty favorites prepared by all of the participants were typical of the diverse culinary talents on display every race weekend in the NASCAR garages. Special congratulations are due to the top three as determined by the judges. 

1st Place
Michael Hutton
Jeremy Clements Racing
No. 51, NASCAR Xfinity Series
Blueberry Pie

2nd Place
Jason Guffey
Premium Motorsports
No. 15, Monster Energy
NASCAR Cup Series
Fresh Tomato & Corn Summer Salad

3rd Place
Ron Utter
Go Fas Racing
No. 32, Monster Energy
NASCAR Cup Series
Great Grandma Malone’s
Mac-n-Cheese Casserole

In commenting about the TA Truck Service Challenge, Richard Petty said, “This deal that TA Truck Service puts on for all the NASCAR hauler drivers is really unique. They are the hardest working members of the team, and they deserve to be recognized. This special competition is a great way to demonstrate their knowledge and skills while competing for some significant rewards.”

Special thanks to all of the contestants and their fans for sharing in the fun! 

About Warren Eulgen

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