Tommy D, Iron Man, Brother Tom and Dad were a few of the names we all had for him, but the common description of the man with many names was very competitive, fun to be around and would help out anyone at any time.
Tom Dretzka touched so many lives in his 53 years on this Earth. Born to Paul and Audrey Dretzka on August 26, 1960, he was a free spirit as long as anyone can remember. He started riding motorcycles as soon as he could touch the ground. Brother Dave had a 50 cc mini bike that Tom started riding and the rest was history.
As soon as he was able to legally drive, he would load his dirt bike in the bed of his truck and drive to local tracks to race every weekend to chase his dream of being a pro motocross rider. He built a motocross track on his parent’s 25 acres in Franklin, aka The Farm, where he perfected his riding technique. There would be many days when 5 or more bikes would be racing at The Farm and the sound of the bikes could be heard for miles in the country side of Franklin. This is how Tommy D made connections with so many people in the area. When it got cold the studs were added to the bike tires and it was time for riding on the rivers. He loved to ride and the Wisconsin weather never slowed him down.
Throughout his motocross career he earned 7 state championships. He started competing in Nationals at Loretta Lynn’s Dude Ranch in Hurricane Mills, TN as early as 1994. In 2001, he finished 7th in the nation in +40 class and 10th in the nation in +30 class. He also traveled all over the US exploring, competing, and making new friends at numerous tracks.
Once Tom started a family, with Dottie, he had three kids of his own to share his love for riding and he started to teach and train others to ride. He did not have the warm and fuzzy approach to teaching, but it was effective. His children knew him as a big kid, mentor, and friend; the world was his play ground. His son Joseph is a top rider today and finished 10th in 450A at the 2013 MX Nationals at Loretta Lynn’s Dude Ranch with Tom, as always, right there cheering him on. Jillian was not all about racing herself, but went to the races every weekend with her dad and brother. She recently accepted her dream job with Harley-Davidson Motor Company as a Test Engineer. Erica was not interested in riding but she loved the social side the extended motocross family offered. She is expecting her first child, Jackson, in May 2014. He also taught Sister Peg how to ride on that same 50 cc mini bike and today she enjoys riding her Gold Wing and discovering new places and meeting new people.
There are 100s of others that he has helped with racing techniques to decrease lap times or work on bikes if broken down at the track or on the side of the road. His blue box truck with “Dretzka Racing” on the side is known by everyone in the MX community. If you needed a part or something to fix a bike, Tommy D would more than likely have it in that blue box truck.
May his kind heartedness live within each of you and next time you hear a “YeeHaa” think of Tommy D smiling down on us all.