Say Thanks to a Truck Driver During National Truck Driver Appreciation Week

Ron Lemasters | 9/15/2020

Allstate Parts National Truck Driver Appreciation Week News Pilot Flying J TMC

This week is National Truck Driver Appreciation Week, and it's a perfect time to thank those who roll on our nation's highways to make sure our country--and our race team-- keeps moving.

MOORESVILLE, N.C. (Sept. 15, 2020) – When driving anywhere in the United States, one will see a tractor-trailer as a matter of course.

How many of us think about the driver inside and what he or she has to go through to make sure that whatever is in the trailer behind gets where it is going on time and in good shape?

National Truck Driver Appreciation Week began on Sunday and will run through Saturday, and it’s a perfect time to have that thought.

National Truck Driver Appreciation Week is an important time for America to pay respect and thank all the professional truck drivers for their hard work and commitment in undertaking one of our economy's most demanding and important jobs. These 3.5 million professional men and women not only deliver our goods safely, securely, and on time, they also keep our highways safe. This year it takes on a special significance considering the crucial role truck drivers have played during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Of the major methods of mass transportation of goods, professional truck drivers make up the vast majority of them and they are the most visible to the general public. JR Motorsports employs four primary drivers for its four-car NASCAR Xfinity Series team, and that group is a good example of the discipline and hard work it takes to make sure materials—in this case, all the equipment needed to win races—get to the track on time.

Jeff Miles, driver of the No. 1 Pilot Flying J/TMC/Allstate Parts and Service transporter and the transportation coordinator for JRM, is thankful that there is a National Truck Driver Appreciation Week.

“Personally, I appreciate it immensely,” the New York native said. “For one, the average person in the United States has no idea what truck drivers go through to get everything they touch to and from. Pilot Flying J goes way out of its way, not only this week but in general, to make sure that truck drivers have what they need when they stop at their facilities.”

Pilot Flying J, the largest operator of travel centers in North America with more than 750 locations in 44 states and six Canadian provinces, employs more than 28,000 people. TMC Transportation, based in Des Moines, Iowa, is the largest employee-owned open-deck transportation company in the country, and Allstate Parts and Service is one of the largest Peterbilt dealers in the country. All three appear on the No. 1 Chevrolet from JRM as sponsors for driver Michael Annett.

Having Pilot Flying J, TMC and Allstate Parts and Service on your rig is a big thrill, Miles said, because of the respect the companies have among the transportation community. It also means that there is a bit of pressure to be on top of your game while on the road.

“As far as the transportation side of JR Motorsports and me, driving the No. 1 Pilot Flying J race hauler...No. 1, safety is big because the company’s name that’s sponsoring the race cars inside the trailer is branded on the side of the truck,” Miles said with a grin. “We try to be as safe as we can, but it’s a tough job.”

On the annual West Coast runs that begin and end each NXS season, TMC Transportation drivers have played an enormous role in helping getting JRM cars and equipment from one side of the country to the other three weeks in a row. It’s different from what they do on a daily or weekly basis, but enjoyable for the TMC drivers, Miles said.

“An average truck driver’s job is to get whatever freight they are hauling from point A to point B in whatever time,” Miles said. “Our job is, we have to go from Point A to Point B as fast as time allows which is why we have two drivers on all the West Coast stuff. We don’t stop unless we’re at a Pilot Flying J location on the route, putting fuel in the tank.”

NASCAR fans understand how important the truck-driving community is to what NASCAR does. That’s why there are hauler parades at many tracks on the circuit, and why JRM and other NASCAR team drivers get plenty of positive attention on the interstates from NASCAR fans.

“I think NASCAR fans appreciate us, because they know if it wasn’t for us getting the haulers there, there wouldn’t be a show for them to watch,” Miles said. “Hopefully, they get to come back to the track soon. In general, I think the whole industry...transportation by truck...is underappreciated. Normally, we are home two or three days a week. The average truck driver may be gone two, three, four weeks a month. The appreciation level for what they do, in my opinion, is not near what it needs to be.”

On top of an already stiff challenge just doing what they do, the pandemic has put different strains on the truck-driving contingent, Miles said. This past weekend at Richmond is a good case in point.

“We do get a little more shop time, but the at-track time is crazy now,” Miles said. “Last week at Richmond, for example, we parked Friday morning and the crews came in two and a half hours after we did. We had the cars already unloaded, and it was a 13-hour day from there. We got done late Friday night, then turned around and had to be back in at 7 a.m. Saturday to run another race that afternoon. When it was over, we loaded up and came home. It’s pretty hectic with the pandemic. It’s not near as stretched out as it used to be.”

From the first-class transportation team at JRM to the everyday truck drivers all across the country, please join in on appreciating the men and women who keep America moving.

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XFINITY Series Schedule

  • October 31 03:30 PM ET
    NXS at Martinsville*Martinsville Speedway
  • November 7 05:00 PM ET
    Desert Diamond West Valley Casino 200*Phoenix Raceway

XFINITY Series Standings

After O'Reilly Auto Parts 300*

Texas Motor Speedway | 10/24/2020
RankDriverPointsBehind
1Chase Briscoe (P)31330
2Austin Cindric (P)3103-30
3Justin Allgaier (P)3097-36
4Justin Haley (P)3093-40
5Brandon Jones (P)3089-44
6Ross Chastain (P)3078-55
7Noah Gragson (P)3069-64
8Ryan Sieg (P)3050-83
10Michael Annett2128-1005