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Parker Retzlaff Overcomes Penalty to Finish 10th at Richmond

Parker Retzlaff navigating around Richmond Raceway (Photo: Ryan Daley | The Podium Finish).

Parker Retzlaff may have entered Richmond Raceway as a relative unknown to the common NASCAR fan, but after Saturday’s Toyota Care 250, he made his presence known.

The RSS Racing driver muscled his way to finish 10th in just his second Xfinity Series start. It was a complete opposite effort compared to his debut at Phoenix where he failed to finish due to fuel pump issues. An impressive result indeed, but the Wisconsin racer really had to earn it.

After another top-10 qualifying effort, the 18-year-old showed his No. 38 Ponsse Ford Mustang was quick on race day. He collected a total of five stage points, but the true hurdle he had to go through was during pit stops, including an uncontrolled tire that relegated him to 22nd on Lap 161.

As the race came to a close, Retzlaff slowly pick-pocketed positions and ultimately re-entered the top-15. While the battle for the win between Ty Gibbs and John Hunter Nemechek was all the rage, Retzlaff ultimately passed series winners Justin Allgaier and Brandon Jones to finish 10th.

Retzlaff’s 10th place finish made it a double top-10 afternoon for RSS Racing with Ryan Sieg finishing a spot ahead of him (Photo: Molly Gastineau | TPF).

With one full race completion under his belt and a lot of cars passed throughout the 250-lap race, Retzlaff was speechless. He wasn’t sure how he got around the competition with such ease. But one thing was certain — following a couple JR Motorsports cars helped.

“I passed a lot of cars and then we got a penalty on pit road, so I had to go back to last,” said Retzlaff. “I just followed Noah (Gragson) and Josh (Berry) up through the field and it ended up just working out for me. It was just such a good car from everyone at RSS.”

Saturday’s race wasn’t the only event Retzlaff competed in at Richmond. He raced the virtual 0.75-mile circuit in the eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series Tuesday night. Unlike reality, Retzlaff didn’t have the strongest showing in his No. 6 RFK Racing Mustang, finishing 35th.

Retzlaff made it clear that a great run made everything cooler compared to what he has accomplished on iRacing.

“It’s really a lot cooler just being on TV and everything and me being able to compete this good. Hopefully, we can take this momentum to next week (at Martinsville),” Retzlaff commented.

For now, it’s all about gaining experience in Xfinity as he’ll have eight more races left on his docket. As mentioned, he’ll run at Martinsville Speedway next Saturday, April 8 (7:30 pm ET on FS1).

Throughout my young motorsports media career, my number-one goal is to be a personnel that can be flexible with my writing and photography in the world of NASCAR, INDYCAR and ARCA. Content delivery is vital because this is my main passion and what keeps me going. I've dealt with several challenges in my life, such as autism and making most out of trips despite relying on transportation. Even my quest of finding acceptance in my profession which has been my biggest challenge since graduating from college in 2016. Despite those hurdles with Motorsports Tribune and now The Podium Finish, I promise that you'll see excellence with my content. With two National Motorsports Press Association photography awards, I'm not slowing down anytime soon. Outside of media, I'm super vocal about my musical tastes that goes from Metallica to HAIM. Not only that, expect my social media filled with references nobody will understand, especially Licorice Pizza.

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