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The Bionic Man Goes Home

Published: November 12, 2010 12:19 pm ET

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"I never have been one to go out and ask a trainer for a drive. When I was 18 or 19, my dad told me not to go begging for drives ... for two reasons. No. 1, if you go begging and then screw up the first time, you'll never get a second drive. And No. 2, if they put you down [on a horse], they did it for a reason, so if you screw up, they'll give you another chance. There's a whole lot more pressure on you when you've been the one begging for a drive."

It's been one amazing ride for Tim Tetrick since his days on the Illinois harness racing scene, scoring his first major win behind Plesac in the 2002 American National Open Trot. Since leaving his home state in 2006, Tetrick has gone on to break both single-season records for wins (1,189) and money ($19.73 million US). Chicago Sun-Times writer Larry Hamel talked to Tetrick about coming back to Balmoral for the 2010 American National finals, and the popular driver frankly discusses how he did not want to leave for the East coast.

"I doubt I would have ever left if [the state's tracks] had gotten slots," Tetrick said. "Heck, even if it would have stayed the same way it was the first couple years I was here without slots, you know, racing for good money and with the drives I was getting, I would still be there.

"I'm an Illinois guy. The only reason I left was because I figured I could make more money driving where the purses were better because of slots."

To read more on the American National finals, click here.

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