Thursday, November 12, 2015

Rearview: OOIDA salutes its veterans

Editor’s note: We’re looking “in our rearview” to bring you some of our favorite stories, columns and items from Land Line’s 40-year-history. This week, in honor of both Veterans Day and the OOIDA Truckers for Troops telethon, we bring you a collection of stories and photos from staff and contributors about their time in the U.S. Military. Come for the awesome throwback pictures; stay for the moving stories.

You would be hard pressed to find a group any more loyal to the military or more respectful to veterans than truckers. And it’s real respect. It’s not buttons or T-shirts with placating statements – it’s genuine, sincere and deep.

The pride and earnest admiration for those who have served in the military is awe-inspiring – so much so it’s hard to describe or even comprehend at times.

It shouldn’t come as any surprise, however, that truckers and veterans are so connected. Estimates vary, but some reports anywhere between 30 to 40 percent of active truckers are veterans of the U.S. armed forces.

Monday, November 9, 2015

OOIDA Member ‘88 Mike’ takes top honors in first ChampTruck racing series

The road that led OOIDA Member Mike Morgan to the points championship of the inaugural Meritor ChampTruck racing series had more twists and turns than the typical racetrack.

A diesel technician at the Mack of Nashville dealership by day, the Wartrace, Tenn., native spent his off time spec’ing and racing his very own “big, black Mack” during the Meritor-sponsored Class 8 diesel truck race series. His handle, “88 Mike” is a nod to the military term for truck driver, which he chose in tribute to his family members and friends who have served in the armed forces, and for his favorite NASCAR driver, Dale Jarrett, now retired.
Mike Morgan poses with his son Mikey alongside his
ChampTruck "Mackvader," a 1999 Mack with an MP7 engine.
Morgan, an OOIDA member from Wartrace, Tenn., won the
points championship of the inaugural Meritor ChampTrucks
World Series Class 8 truck racing.

The championship race was held at Las Vegas Motor Speedway Oct. 30-Nov. 1. Going into the final weekend, Morgan was in a three-way battle for championship with small fleet owner Allen Boles’ Jupiter Motorsports and Hungarian racer Krisztian Szabo’s Truck Race Team USA for first place.

“The points race was up for grabs for sure, but we went out with a game plan to get pole position,” he said. “I figured if we could get pole position, we could get out front and we could hold it. We had a fast truck and we just wanted to keep it there (in front).”

Morgan won the first race of the season in April at New Jersey Motorsports Park, and consistently finished around the top five throughout the season’s other eight races. In addition to winning the series on driver points, his team, Power Shift Racing, finished first on the team leaderboard.