Pilot Flying J announced the winners of its sixth annualRoad Warriorcontest onSeptember 9, hosting a surprise celebration for the$10,000grand prize winner as part of the company's kick off to National Truck Driver Appreciation Week. Based on more than 13,000 combined online votes,Timothy CheletteofMurfreesboro, Tenn.is the 2019 Road Warrior grand prize winner.Rodney HaganofWebster, Florida, andWilliam McNameeofChristopher, Illinois, have been named the second and third place Road Warrior winners, respectively.
"Each year, our Road Warrior program allows us to honor the unsung 'heroes on the road' who go above and beyond as professional drivers," saidKen Parent, president of Pilot Flying J. "The trucking community is lucky to have so many hardworking men and women on the road committed to keeping America moving and this year's winners exemplify some of the most admirable qualities of the industry. Thank you and congratulations to Timothy and the finalists for their hard work and dedication."
To honor Chelette as the grand prize winner, Pilot Flying J partnered with his employer, Big G Express, to surprise him with the news of his win and present him with his$10,000prize at the Pilot Travel Center in his hometown ofMurfreesboro.
A professional driver at Big G Express for nearly 15 years, Chelette has served as a Tennessee Road Team Captain and currently serves as an American Road Team Captain, presenting about safety across the nation. Over the years, he has driven more than 1.9 million accident-free miles delivering freight. In the last four years, Chelette has raised more than$30,000for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital through an annual motorcycle ride he created.
"It is a great honor to be named the Road Warrior winner," said Chelette. "Thank you to Big G Express for nominating me and to Pilot Flying J for putting on this great program that recognizes drivers like me. I will be able to do more charity rides now that my motorcycle will be paid off. I appreciate everyone who voted – it really means a lot."
In addition to the$10,000grand prize, Pilot Flying J awarded$5,000to second place winner, Hagan, and$2,500to third place winner, McNamee. Nominators of the grand, second and third place winners will also receive a$500prize. This year, the three finalists were selected from more than 7,500 online nominations for their superior efforts in the U.S. trucking industry.