Driver Ronnie Wrenn Jr., who has a lock on the 2013 North American dash title, told harnessracing.com Friday morning that he will miss about a month of action as a result of wrist surgery scheduled for Jan. 6 at The Ohio State University.
Through Dec. 26, the 27-year-old Wrenn has 696 victories, a 51-win lead over runner-up Dave Palone, who has won four national dash titles including in 2012. Wrenn's win total this year has mostly come at Northfield Park, where he has a comfortable lead in the local standings with 370 victories.
"It's my right wrist, it's an old sports injury that I've put off for years now and dealt with,” Wrenn explained by cell phone as he was traveling from spending Christmas in his home state of Michigan to his home near Northfield Park where he was scheduled to drive Friday night. "I am going to take the time to get it fixed.
"I broke it once playing football when I was younger and injured it again a few times. All the cartilage is gone so they have to remove one of my bones and make some incisions in the tendon.”
Wrenn said doctors told him the likely recovery time is four weeks.
"I'll have a cast on the first week and they want me to be mobile with it,” said Wrenn, who has more than 1,300 career wins in only three full years of driving. "It will be weak the first couple of weeks so I don't want to come back early and damage it more. I'm going to be a little behind, but hopefully I'll be off only three weeks and come back the fourth week.”
Also on the sidelines early in 2014 is driver Tim Tetrick, who led the money standings in 2013 for a seventh consecutive year with $16.1 million in purse earnings. Tetrick had his second hip replacement surgery in five years in early December and he doesn't plan on returning to the sulky until early February.
"It's pretty serious because it's my hand, but I wouldn't say it was as major as a hip replacement,” Wrenn answered when asked about the irony of both the leading dash driver and earnings driver missing time because of surgery.