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Arkansas Driver Named “Best of the Best” At NRMCA’s National Mixer Driver Championship
Monday, October 3, 2016

Silver Spring, MD – October 3, 2016 – Ready mixed concrete mixer truck driver Chris Harrison from Mobley Concrete Company in Russellville, AR, earned top honors at this year’s National Ready Mixed Concrete Association’s National Mixer Driver Championship. The event was held last month at the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center in Nashville, TN, in conjunction with NRMCA’s 2016 ConcreteWorks. Mr. Harrison (at right and also attached) also earned the champion’s check of $2,500. He is a veteran driver of more than 15 years and currently drives a Kenworth truck with a rear discharge McNeilus mixer. Mr. Harrison is the 2014 and 2015 Arkansas Ready Mixed Concrete Association Champion and a two-time runner up of the national championship (2012 & 2015).

Now in its 11th, this year’s national contest “was an extremely close competition,” according to NRMCA’s Senior Vice President of Operations and Compliance Gary Mullings. Eighty three drivers, the largest number to ever 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 five finishers. The Truck Mixer Manufacturers Bureau (TMMB) sponsored the event.

Second place and a check for $1,000 went to Billy Byrd of Wanatah, IN. He is a veteran driver of more than 13 years and drives for Ozinga Ready Mixed Concrete, Inc. He currently drives a Terex truck with a front discharge mixer. Mr. Byrd has placed in the top five of the competition two times previously. Third place and a check for $500 went to Verlin Wagler of Cannelburg, IN. Mr. Wagler has been driving for Irving Materials Inc. (IMI) for the last 21 years and is currently driving a Terex truck with a front discharge mixer. Mr. Wagler is the reigning IMI Corporate Rodeo Champion.

The fourth place finisher who received a TMMB check for $300 was Harvey Harmon of Charlotte, NC, a driver for Concrete Supply Company for the last six years. He is currently driving a Peterbilt, twin-steer truck with a Continental rear discharge mixer. Mr. Harmon is the 2014 Carolinas Ready Mixed Concrete Association Rodeo Champion and last year’s national fourth place finisher. The fifth place finisher receiving a check for $200 was Edward Rieper from Eastern Concrete Materials, a US Concrete Company in Bogota, NJ. Mr. Rieper is a veteran driver of more than 31 years and currently is driving a Mack three- axle truck with a McNeilus rear discharge mixer. Mr. Rieper is the 2015 NRMCA Driver of the Year.

Also honored at the awards dinner were drivers who distinguished themselves at various stages of the competition, including:

• “Closest to the Egg” Station – Jim Brochman, Cemstone Products Company, Woodbury, MN • Delivery Ticket Station – Dan Espy, CalPortland, Portland, OR • Bowling Station – One driver scored a strike: Darrell Cobb from Mobley Concrete Company, Havana, AR. • Drivers were also tested to determine who had the fastest reaction time through computerized testing. The title of “Fastest in the Nation” went to John Marzalik from Prairie Materials, Algonquin, IL. • Inspection Station – Ed Rieper from Eastern Concrete Materials, Bogota, NJ • Written Exam – Billy Byrd from Ozinga Ready Mixed Concrete Inc., Wanatah, IN • Driving Challenge Course – James Lowden, CalPortland, Florence, AZ

Created in 1930, NRMCA is represents the producers of ready mixed concrete and the companies that provide materials, equipment and support to the industry. It conducts education, training, promotion, research, engineering, safety, environmental, technological, lobbying and regulatory programs.

xxx

Contact Info: Gary Mullings
Email: gmullings@nrmca.org
Phone: 301-587-1400



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