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Parker Retzlaff, Nick Sanchez post solid NXS debuts at Phoenix

AVONDALE, ARIZ. – Nick Sanchez and Parker Retzlaff each made their NASCAR Xfinity Series debut in Saturday’s United Rentals 200.

Sanchez finished 26th, 2 laps down, driving the No. 5 BJ McLeod Motorsports Chevrolet in a day of learning for the Oct. 2021 ARCA Kansas winner.

“Obviously first 100 or so laps were learning on my part, learning the car, who I was racing – after that I got a little more racey but I think I burned my stuff up and stayed out a little too long,” Sanchez reflected. “I wish I had a late-race caution but it’s racing. Biggest thing is, I learned a lot.”

“The car, the way it raced. The tires, everything was new,” Sanchez added. “[It was about] learning to apply what I learned in the ARCA car to the Xfinity car.”

Photo: Jonathan Fjeld/TRE

Parker Retzlaff finished 36th after he posted a strong 6th-place qualifying run in the No. 38 RSS Racing Ford.

His first laps on the real-life Phoenix track came during NASCAR Xfinity Series practice and qualifying – just hours before the race.

“I really enjoyed it,” Retzlaff said. “I’ve done a lot of stuff with it on iRacing and it’s the first time I’ve done it in real life.”

Before the race, Retzlaff set an expectation of a top 10 or a top 15. Although the race did not live up to that expectation, Retzlaff ran a consistent race, in 26th, 1 lap down.

Photo: Jonathan Fjeld/TRE

“It was off to a good start and it was going good, learning as much as I could – I need to work on my pit stops,” Retzlaff commented after the race. “We just had a mechanical failure that ended our day.”

Retzlaff fell out of the race on Lap 158 due to a fuel pump issue – relegating him to a 36th-place finish out of 38 cars.

His next race will be the April 2 Toyota Care 250 at Richmond Raceway.

Footnote: Parker Retzlaff made RSS Racing team history by earning the best qualifying effort for their non-flagship No. 39 car. J.J. Yeley previously set the record when he qualified 9th at Texas in the No. 38 RSS Racing Ford, in April 2018.

Post-Race Interview with Parker Retzlaff:

Video: Jonathan Fjeld/TRE

Post-Race Interview with Nick Sanchez:

Video: Jonathan Fjeld/TRE

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