SOURCE: Pilot Flying J

Pilot Flying J

October 22, 2015 11:58 ET

Pilot Flying J Announces 2015 Road Warrior® Grand Prize Winner

Erik Michaels Awarded $10,000 in Honor of His Hard Work, Sacrifice

KNOXVILLE, TN--(Marketwired - October 22, 2015) - Pilot Flying J, the largest operator of travel centers in North America, today named Oceanside, California resident Erik Michaels its 2015 Road Warrior® grand prize winner. Through the Road Warrior® online contest, Pilot Flying J honored professional drivers all summer long by a national call for online story submissions demonstrating hard work and perseverance.

As a long haul driver who recently overcame extreme odds, Michaels' story received the most votes from his peers, winning from the pool of five regional winners who also won a $1,000 prize. In celebration, Pilot Flying J is rewarding Michaels with a $10,000 grand prize. The 2015 Road Warrior® program is just one way Pilot Flying J expresses appreciation for professional drivers everywhere.

"We couldn't be any prouder -- or more thankful -- for the hard work and sacrifice that Erik Michaels and his fellow road warriors exhibit daily," said Ken Parent, chief operating officer, Pilot Flying J. "We received submissions from hundreds of deserving professional drivers, and it was very inspiring to read their stories. Erik Michaels is an excellent representation of the professional driving community."

Michaels, who was nominated by his daughter Anna, has been a professional driver for 45 years and currently drives for Oversize Parcel Service delivering furniture. Roughly two years ago, Michaels endured a major stroke while on the job, causing temporary paralysis and loss of motor skills. After months of hospital stays, Michaels embarked on the long road to recovery, which was comprised of countless doctor visits and physical therapy sessions. Just recently, Michaels made a full recovery and is back to doing what he loves most -- driving professionally.

"With so many worthy candidates, I'm amazed and humbled that my peers selected me to receive this honor. I tip my cap to all of them," said Michaels. "After months of adversity, I can't even begin to describe how welcomed this news is. I would like to thank my daughter for nominating me, my peers for their votes and Pilot Flying J for recognizing the hard work of all professional drivers."

To learn more about Pilot Flying J visit or To join the Road Warrior conversation, follow #RoadWarrior.

About Pilot Flying J
Pilot Flying J, the largest operator of travel centers and travel plazas in North America, is committed to making life better for professional drivers. Headquartered in Knoxville, Tennessee, Pilot Flying J has more than 650 retail locations, 52 Goodyear Commercial Tire Centers (Wingfoot) and 44 Boss Shops which accept MyRewards loyalty cards, Pilot Flying J's loyalty rewards program. The Pilot Flying J network provides drivers with access to more than 70,000 parking spaces for trucks, 4,800 showers and more than 4,400 diesel lanes offering Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) at the pump. Pilot Flying J is currently ranked No. 7 on Forbes' list of America's Largest Private Companies. Visit for more information.

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