RICHMOND, Va.: There is no question when NASCAR Xfinity Series rookie Parker Retzlaff showed up on the scene earlier this month at Phoenix (Ariz.) Raceway, he certainly made a statement with his RSS Racing team.
A brilliant effort from Retzlaff during practice, qualifying and in the early stages of the United Rentals 200 continued to surprise teams and drivers alike. His Xfinity Series debut, however, was foiled by a mechanical issue.
And while the finish was tough to swallow following his presence throughout the race, Retzlaff treks to Richmond (Va.) Raceway for Saturday afternoon’s ToyotaCare 250 determined to finish what he started at Phoenix.
“I am very thankful to the RSS Racing team for bringing me an extremely fast No. 38 Ponsse Ford Mustang to Phoenix. Of course, it was a bummer that we couldn’t capitalize on the debut with a strong finish, but that’s just part of racing sometimes.”
Retzlaff heads to the Commonwealth of Virginia to the famed Richmond (Va.) Raceway, where he hopes to again showcase his talent and contend for a top-10 finish in just his second Xfinity Series start.
And despite no prior real-time track experience at the 0.875-mile oval, Retzlaff is focused on the same approach that led to his on-track success at Phoenix.
“Like Phoenix, I’ve never been to Richmond Raceway in real life,” added Retzlaff. “However, I feel like time after time, I have been able to showcase my ability and adapt to new surroundings rather quickly. Of course, I’ve spent a lot of time on iRacing around Richmond and without a doubt, I feel like that will help with the transition on Saturday.
“For us, we showed that as a team we can practice and qualify inside the top-10 and now I really want to focus and finish inside the top-10. Not only as validation for myself but as redemption for us as a team.
“Practice and qualifying are done so quick – that it’s important for us to be on top of our game and then strategize what to do for the race, so we are positioning ourselves to move forward and hopefully challenging for a top-10 or better when the checkered flag is near.”
Ponsse, which manufactures and markets a range of forestry vehicles and machineries such as forwarders and harvesters will return as the primary partner of Retzlaff’s No. 38 Ford Mustang for the 187-mile race.
“I feel very fortunate to be able to have the support of Ponsse, Eco-Tracks, Northern Chill Spring Water and our other partners,” explained Retzlaff.
“Without them, I would not be competing in the Xfinity Series this year. My goal is to go out there and just stick to the same goals we had at Phoenix and just hope we’re able to see both the green flag and checkered flag on Saturday afternoon.”
Retzlaff, 18, graduated to the Xfinity Series in 2022 after spending the last two years competing in the ARCA Menards Series East tour where in 12 starts, the Rhinelander, Wisc. native delivered one top-five and nine top-10 finishes, including a career-best fourth-place finish in June at Southern National Motorsports Park (SNMP).
In addition to Richmond, Retzlaff will drive an RSS Racing entry at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway, Dover (Del.) Motor Speedway, Nashville (Tenn.) Superspeedway, Atlanta (Ga.) Motor Speedway, Pocono (Pa.) Raceway, Kansas Speedway, Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway and the season finale at Phoenix (Ariz.) Raceway on Sat., Nov. 5, 2022.
“It will be extremely beneficial for me to be in the No. 38 Ponsse Ford Mustang for back-to-back races at Richmond and Martinsville,” sounded Retzlaff. “Even though the tracks are different, I hope to be able to take some of the fundamentals of learning to drive the Xfinity car at Richmond and apply it to Martinsville.
“I am also focused on building respect with my peers and teammates and having the chance to race two weekends in a row will help with that building process. I’m just looking forward to getting to Richmond and getting to work.”
Outside of the cockpit, Retzlaff is an accomplished iRacer with 1,615 poles, 1,653 wins, 3,291 top-five and more than 68,800 laps led.
He is also the rookie driver of the No. 6 KOHLER Generators Ford Mustang for Roush Fenway Keselowski (RFK) Racing in the eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series.
The ToyotaCare 250 (250 laps | 187.5 miles) is the seventh of 33 NASCAR Xfinity Series races on the 2022 schedule. Practice begins on Sat., April 2 from 8:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. Qualifying follows shortly after 9:00 a.m. The 38-car field will take the green flag later in the afternoon shortly after 1:30 p.m. with live coverage on FOX Sports 1, the Motor Racing Network (Radio) and SiriusXM NASCAR Channel 90. All times are local (ET).
About RSS Racing:
RSS Racing fields the No. 39 in the NASCAR Xfinity Series with driver Ryan Sieg and the No. 28 in the NASCAR-owned ARCA Menards Series with driver Kyle Sieg.
RSS Racing has competed in NASCAR events since 2009 from its headquarters in Sugar Hill, Ga.