Young Northwoods racer hopes to earn new sponsorshipSubmitted: 01/22/2017

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RHINELANDER - Racing trophies decorate the walls inside Parker Retzlaff's room.

The 13-year old Rhinelander native has already accomplished more on the track than some racers do in a lifetime.

He says the best part about being a successful young racer is the surprise it brings to his competitors and race fans.

"When I'm in the front or when I win and I get out of the car on the front straightaway, and people see that I'm shorter than everyone else," said Retzlaff.

Parker has his eyes on a new kind of victory, in the champion Auto Parts 'Search for a Champion' contest.

The contest's grand prize is a $50,000 sponsorship from the company.

It's a prize that Parker's dad, Brian, says would benefit Retzlaff Racing on the track.

"An extra motor, maybe extra body, maybe more extra parts and pieces and maybe he'd be able to be more aggressive, and not be so worried about getting the truck back together," said Brian Retzlaff.

As a small team, Retzlaff Racing competes against much larger teams with more financial backing.

That allows the larger teams to be more aggressive on the track, because they're able to repair their cars more quickly in the event of a wreck.

"If they wreck or something, they have enough people to get it back together, or if they blow the motor or something, they have an extra one," said Parker Retzlaff.

While the sponsorship would be a boost to Parker's on track performance, Brian says Parker has shown that he can have success regardless.

"(It) wasn't really that we encouraged him, he just kept wanting to do more and more of it, and he just kept stepping up and proving he could drive it," said Brian Retzlaff.

Parker plans on taking that success to the highest level.

"Hopefully at like 16 or 18, driving trucks, and then after that hopefully racing NASCAR cup cars," said Parker Retzlaff.

Voting for round ends February 2, before 25 finalists are selected.
Voting will then open for those 25 finalists. In both rounds public voting accounts for 33-percent of the total points for each entry.

Hundreds of racers have entered the contest and as of the publishing of this article, more than 80,000 votes have been cast.

To vote for Parker or any other racers, click on the link below.

Related Weblinks:
Retzlaff Racing voting

Story By: Mark Spillane

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EAGLE RIVER - Sunday afternoon, the World Championship Snowmobile Derby wrapped up in Eagle River. This years race was held during an unexpected warm weather spurt which left some drivers wondering about track conditions.

Drivers have been out on the track since Thursday evening. That means that by the championship race Sunday afternoon, wear and tear on the ice could've been an issue. But that wasn't the case.

"We're really excited because these track conditions are about as good as they could be. At the start of the week, we were a little bit worried if we would have enough ice to make it through to the end, and obviously we're going to have way more than enough," said track owner, Chuck Decker.

One of the positives to the warm weather was the number of spectators that came to support the racers.

"The spectators on Friday night was a near-record crowd. Saturday was a near-record crowd. I think today's going to be a near-record crowd as well. It's nice out, warm out, and people are staying outside and enjoying it," said Decker.

One driver that was really loving the track conditions was the 2017 World Champion Nick Van Strydonk.

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WAUSAU - Every five years, Americans and Scottish curling clubs travel to compete in a country wide tour. This year, the Royal Caledonian Scottish Curling Club was back in Wausau for the first time in quite a while.

It's actually been 40 years since the Scottish  competed in North-Central Wisconsin.

"Last time they were here in 1977, we were curling in the barn over at Marathon park so quite different," said Wausau Curling's Steve O'Keefe.

The big trip took an entire year to plan. The Wausau club was excited to finally see the team arrive on Saturday.

"It's such a big deal that most of us were getting goosebumps when we heard the bus was about to pull up," said O'Keefe.

Wausau was just one of 29 stops the Scottish team will make throughout the states. And an interesting fact, curling was actually started in Scotland. For one of their curlers, Bill Arnot, he was born into the sport.

"In those days, a lot of farmers curled. My father curled, my grandfather. My father took me along to the curling rink just to watch him one night and I just got hooked. That was 40 years ago and I still love it," said Arnot.

The Scottish Curling Club decided to come back to Wausau to see the new facility. The friendly competition also added to the excitement.

"Until you actually come, you don't appreciate just how good it is. The fun, the hospitality, the comradery, the facilities you have here in the states are second to none. This facility here is just fantastic," said Arnot.

The points from each stop will be tallied at the last competition in Boston. That's where the Herries Maxwell Trophy will be given to the overall winners.

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NORTHWOODS - Rhinelander hosted Lakeland for a basketball double header as each team picked up a win. The T-Birds came out victorious on the girls side while the Hodags got the win on the boys side.

Mosinee picked up a boys win as well by topping Tomahawk.

Plus Florence defeated Crandon in the Northern Lakes conference.

We also take a look at how UW-Stevens Point men's hockey fared in its matchup against Eau Claire.

Check out all those highlights plus area scores and more tonight on Friday Night Blitz!

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MINOCQUA - In the Northwoods, high school sports teams occasionally  join together to make sure they can form a full team. This season, Tomahawk girls hockey has co-op'd with the Lakeland Union team.

The decision was made because of low numbers on the Tomahawk team.

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NORTHWOODS - Northland Pines boys hockey rolled to another victory while Medford topped Lakeland in a shootout.

Plus we take a look at the Great Northern Conference standings. Check it out!

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WABENO - A lot has changed since the last time the Laona/Wabeno boys basketball team lost a conference game.

Their last loss came in February 2014. That was before Aaron Rodgers won his second MVP trophy. Melvin Gordon was still a Wisconsin Badger. Rickie Weeks still played for the Brewers.

"They've all bought into the program, which has led to the success of our program," said head coach Mike Chrisman.

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EAGLE RIVER - More than 700 racers entered in this year's Vintage Snowmobile Derby in Eagle River.

Just 10 got the chance to ride in the Vintage World Championship race.

One of them was Rhinelander's own Justin Ernst.

"It's taken a lot of people to get me here, and I don't know, it's kind of a surreal moment.," said Ernst.

Ernst was the only Northwoods racer in the top ten, and he said he could feel the local support throughout the weekend.

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ST. GERMAIN - You won't find a Tough Mudder or a Spartan Race up here in the Northwoods, but you don't really need those when you have the Arctic Warrior.

That's exactly what Little St. Germain Lake offered Saturday.

"We thought 'there aren't many obstacle courses in the winter, so let's do that'," said St. Germain Chamber Event Coordinator Judy Jurries.

The first ever Arctic Warrior hosted nearly 100 competitors for an 8K snowshoe race and an 8K obstacle course race.

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NORTHWOODS - Rhinelander defeated Merrill in boys basketball.

Northland Pines ran all over Tomahawk on the girls side while Lakeland stayed undefeated and topped Medford.

Northland Pines girls hockey also won as the Eagles defeated Waupaca 6-3.

Check out all the highlights and more on Friday Night Blitz!

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ANTIGO - One of the walls at Antigo's "Remington Pool" displays a school record board, where Colin Koss's name is shown not once, not twice, but eight times.

Colin didn't come back to Antigo's meet against Lakeland on Thursday to celebrate his records.
Instead he was there to celebrate his mom.

"I was glad I was wearing goggles, I was a little teary-eyed just because it was a special moment," said Koss.

Colin's mom Michelle was killed in a bicycle accident last March.

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