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North Carolina Driver Earns Top Honors at NRMCA National Mixer Driver Championship

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Concrete mixer truck driver Mike Valentine from Stanfield, NC, earned top honors at this year’s NRMCA National Mixer Driver Championship. The event was held at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway® and the JW Marriott Indianapolis in conjunction with the 2014 NRMCA’s ConcreteWorks. Mr. Valentine of Concrete Supply Company, Charlotte, NC, also earned the champion’s check of $2,500. Mr. Valentine is a veteran driver of more than 19 years and currently drives a Mack Granite truck with a Continental rear discharge mixer. Mike was the winner of the 2014 Carolinas Ready Mixed Concrete Association’s South Carolina Division Championship.

Now in its ninth year, this year’s national contest "was an extremely close competition," according to NRMCA Senior Vice President of Operations and Compliance Gary Mullings. Forty eight drivers, the largest number to compete, included state rodeo champions as well as NRMCA member company champions from around the nation. Competing to be the "Best of the Best", a champion was selected based on a cumulative score derived from competitions that included a driving challenge course, visual vehicle inspection, reaction-time-test, delivery ticket station and a 2-hour written examination. Awards were presented for the top three finishers. The Truck Mixer Manufacturers Bureau (TMMB) added additional money to recognize the fourth and fifth place winners as well, with all other drivers tied for sixth. (A video of this year's event has been placed on NRMCA's homepage.)

Second place and a check for $1,000 went to Steven Odehnal of Virginia Beach, VA. Mr. Odehnal is a veteran driver of more than 32 years and has been driving for Capital Concrete for the past three years. He currently drives a Mack truck with a rear discharge Continental mixer. Odehnal is the reigning 2014 Virginia Ready-Mixed Concrete Association Champion. Third place and a check for $500 went to Heath Burgos of Mathew, NC. He has also been driving for Concrete Supply in Charlotte, in his case for the last eight years, and is currently driving an International, five-axle truck with Continental rear discharge mixer. Mr. Burgos is an NRMCA Certified Delivery Professional and is the reigning 2014 Concrete Supply Company Rodeo Champion. 

For the first time in the event’s history, fourth and fifth place finishers were also recognized. The forth place finisher was Todd Brown, from Manatts Inc., Newton, IA. The fifth place finisher was Billy Byrd from Prairie Materials, Wanatah, IN. Each fourth and fifth place finisher received $250 from TMMB.

Also honored at the awards dinner were drivers who distinguished themselves at various stages of the competition. The top scorer of the "Closest to the Egg" station was Brian Kelly from Bard Materials, Strawberry Point, IA. Tied for the top score at the Delivery Ticket Station were Billy Byrd, Simon Martinez, Prairie Materials, Chicago; Jason Nelson, MMC Materials, Cleveland, MS; Todd Sechrist, Barney and Dickerson Ready Mix, Vestal, NY; and Tony Taylor, Irving Materials Inc., Indianapolis.

Drivers who made a basket at the "Chute Hoops" station were Mike Boyd, American Concrete, Ankeny, Iowa; Todd Brown, Billy Byrd, Chris Harrison, Mobley Construction, Russellville, AR; Tony Kluesner, Bard Materials, Dyersville, IA; Phillip Marlow, CalPortland, Clackamas, OR; Cliff Parchman, Argos, Fort Worth, TX; Todd Sechrist, Trent Slavens, Irving Materials Inc., Frankfort, IN; Matt Strickland, MMC Materials, Saltillo, MS; Tony Taylor, Sam Thomas, Delta Industries, Mobile, AL and Don Zavesky, GCC, DeSmet, SD.

The popular bowling station returned to the competition for the third year. The only driver to score a strike was Tony Kluesner. Drivers were also tested to determine who had the fastest reaction time through computerized testing. The title of "Fastest in the Nation" went to Heath Burgos. The highest score on the written exam and title "Smartest Boy in the Room" went to Jerry Graves, CalPortland, Tucson, AZ. Finally, taking the top spot on the Driving Challenge Course was the eventual second place finisher, Stephen Odehnal.

For more information, contact Gary Mullings at 301-587-1400, ext. 1161 or

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