The "Bionic Man" is regaining top sulky form

05:18 AM 01 Mar 2014 NZDT
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Tim Tetrick, harness racing
Tim Tetrick

Fifth in a Harnesslink series of occasional stories on 2013's Top Ten drivers, the vehicles they use to commute from track to track, and other recent and pertinent information.

Even "bionic men" take a little time to get back into top shape after a layoff.

Tim Tetrick just received the 2013 U.S. Harness Writers Association's Dan Patch Driver of the Year award this past Sunday at Dover Downs, primarily on the quality of his driving and the quality of the horses he drove, both of which have put him on the top of the North American moneywinning list each of the last seven years.

Tim knows it'll be somewhat more difficult to repeat this year. He put himself behind that personal "8-ball," so to speak - but it had to be done.

"I had to go and have the surgery on my hip," noted the 32-year-old, who has had a degenerative hip condition since his teens. "I already had surgery on the one hip," he added (thus originally earning himself the "Bionic Man" nickname), "and in recent months the other had been bothering me significantly, so I had it taken care of before the biggest part of the season began."

Tetrick came back in early February, "and it was a harder adjustment than many people may think, because there are certain muscles you use, in the hip/upper leg area, that you just can't keep in top shape by using weights or other conditioning - only driving regularly gets those areas in the top condition you need."

Tim, however, did come roaring back to the races, winning at Dover Downs the first day he came back, and then winning his first drive of the night on each of the first two cards when he resumed campaigning at The Meadowlands.

The "earnings opportunity" season is about to become a bit more prime, as Pocono opens its doors for the 2014 season in a couple of weeks, and Harrah's Philadelphia is now scheduled to reopen in March as well, after some reconditioning work on the surface. Of Tetrick's 582 wins last year, 318 came at the Chester oval, where he's been "top dog" often in the last few years.

Winning races at 18 different tracks last year, many within driving distance of his New Jersey base, Tetrick is yet another driver who racks up the mileage on his vehicle, communicating from track to track. "I have a Lexus hybrid in the 300 series, a car I got just last year, and already I'm approaching 45,000 miles on it. I usually am somewhere logging between 50,000 and 60,000 miles a year on my vehicles - and yes, I drive myself from track to track."

No doubt the car will get a tuneup. Tetrick is getting back to top sulky form - among the top ten drivers at The Meadowlands currently, Tetrick's .292 UDR is second, only behind the percentage of Yannick Gingras, who's been driving in absolute "tip-top form" so far this year.

It looks like the Tetrick horsepower is just reaching maximum velocity - just in time for "prime time."

Driver                       Total Wins     Tracks                      Track Wins

Tim Tetrick

582

Philadelphia*

318

   

Meadowlands*

94

   

Dover*

45

   

Lexington*

22

   

Pocono*

22

   

Yonkers

21

   

Mohawk*

16

   

Tioga*

16

   

Meadows*

6

   

Monticello

5

   

Balmoral*

3

   

Harrington

3

   

Saratoga

3

   

Vernon

3

   

Delaware*

2

   

Freehold

1

   

Hoosier

1

   

Ocean

1

       

* -- won $100,000 stake at this track

 

By Jerry Connors for Harnesslink.com

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