Joe Gibbs driver named Freightliner “Run Smart” champion

The Freightliner Trucks Run Smart Hauler Challenge has come to an end, with Tom “Thumper” McCrimmon, driver of the Number 20 hauler for Joe Gibbs Racing, claiming the $30,000 grand prize and the coveted Freightliner Trucks trophy.

Freightliner Trucks, the official hauler of NASCAR, holds the competition every year to test the driving abilities of NASCAR team hauler drivers. Whichever driver most successfully navigates the turns and obstacles of the championship course is crowned the winner and recognized as the year’s top hauler.

McCrimmon, who drives a Freightliner Coronado equipped with a Detroit Diesel DD16 engine, was thrilled to win the 2011 championship, having participated in the Challenge for five years.

“This means everything to me because I have been competing in the Hauler Challenge since it began,” said McCrimmon. “To drive a Freightliner truck and win the challenge makes it that much more special.”

McCrimmon has worked hard to hone his driving skills over the years, proving to be a valuable asset to his team, a fact that has not gone unnoticed by Joey Logano, driver of the Number 20 car for Joe Gibbs Racing.

“Thumper is a great driver who has been with me since my rookie year. It is nice to see guys like Thumper and the other truck drivers get recognized for their hard work,” said Logano.

Added Roger Phillips, director of safety and facilities for Joe Gibbs Racing: “Freightliner Trucks and Detroit Diesel have gone out of their way to make sure we have vehicles that are reliable. Thumper’s technique together with the power and performance of the Coronado and DD16, results in a winning combination.”

Following McCrimmon was Glenn Shano of Michael Waltrip Racing in second place ($20,000), George Larabee of Penske Racing in third ($10,000) and Mike Williams of Red Bull Racing in fourth ($5,000). The four finalists earned a spot in the championship after besting a starting field of 42 NASCAR hauler drivers in qualifying events.

“All of our Hauler Challenge participants showcased superior technique on a difficult course using their Coronado trucks,” said Stacey Premo, motorsports marketing manager for Freightliner Trucks. “As the Official Hauler of NASCAR, Freightliner Trucks is proud to have partnered with all of the teams to make this season a success.”

The Freightliner Run Smart Hauler Challenge will return in 2012, kicking off in Las Vegas on March 7. It will once again be open to all Nationwideand Sprint Cup Series hauler drivers.