ABF Freight System, Fort Smith, Ark., is sending 19 championship drivers from 10 states to the 71th National Truck Driving Championships this week in Houston.

Professional drivers earn the right to compete in the National Championships by winning state driving championships and by maintaining an accident-free driving record for the past year.

Among the competitors representing ABF are seven repeat winners from 2007, including five former national champion drivers and four 2008 state driving grand champions.

Known informally as the "Super Bowl of Safety," the annual event is sponsored by the Safety and Loss Prevention Management Council of the American Trucking Associations to promote driving safety among the nation's three million professional truck drivers. Competitive divisions include straight truck, three-axle, four-axle, five-axle, tank truck, flatbed, five-axle sleeper, twins or auto transporter. The comprehensive competitions include written examinations, personal interviews, pre-trip inspections and demonstrations of braking, parking, backing and maneuvering skills.