I spent all of yesterday in an uncomfortable chair in a hotel meeting room listening to 35 guys say pretty much the same thing in 35 different ways.

It was the most refreshing day I've had since the last time I was on the selection committee for America's Road Team.

ART is probably the longest-running and most successful image campaign in the business. Each year it recruits a group of drivers who will fan out across the country to deliver - straight from the driver's seat - a message of safety, competence and commitment.

The drivers who are drawn to the tough competition of getting onto the team - many of them million-plus milers with no preventables - are as diverse as the industry but share two things: they understanding that out on the highway we're all in it together, and a passionate commitment to safety. Plus, they're really, really good drivers.

As a follower of industry affairs in Washington, I have learned to mistrust passion - it's often a signal that someone's trying to pull something off. But these guys are real. They tell true stories that make the hair on the back of your neck stand up, and they're on the industry's side. We're lucky to have them.

The selection process will continue today. There are more contestants than there are slots, so some will not be chosen, and that's the way it goes. Watch for our news report tomorrow.