Max Gutiérrez Sets Sights on Defending New Smyrna Title

NEW SMYRNA, Fla.: Since the checkered flag flew on the 2021 ARCA Menards Series East season finale at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway last fall, Max Gutiérrez has been anxiously awaiting his return to New Smyrna (Fla.) Speedway.

The former NASCAR Mexico Challenge Series champion invaded the ARCA Menards Series East last February with little experience but a domineering presence and a methodical approach in the Jeep Beach 175.
Studying his competition throughout the night proved to be a blessing as the Rette Jones Racing development driver took advantage of a green-white-checkered restart to snicker Joe Gibbs Racing’s Sammy Smith and David Gilliland Racing’s Taylor Gray on the bottom lane coming to the checkered flag and edging his competition by 0.046 seconds to win the race in just his third career start.
Reflecting on the memories and blessings that the Feb. 8 race brought to his Mark Rette and Terry Jones owned race team, Gutiérrez returns to New Smyrna in the No. 30 TOUGHBUILT | TekNekk | Distributed Ledger Inc. (DLI) Ford Fusion confident of defending his race title in Tuesday night’s Race to Stop Suicide 200 presented by Place of Hope.
“I am incredibly blessed for this opportunity to come back to New Smyrna and keep that checkered flag within the Rette Jones Racing walls,” said Gutiérrez. “I could not have asked for a better way to start our season last year other than the dramatic fashion we delivered.
“I learned a lot last year running full time in the ARCA Menards Series East and I think that experience will only add to the hustle on Tuesday night.”
While Gutiérrez has a busy season of racing ahead, his 2022 schedule won’t consist of the ARCA Menards Series East championship. Instead, a more diverse ARCA schedule this season will allow the Mexico City, Mex. Native to challenge for wins while continuing to improve his race craft.
“We aren’t racing for points on Tuesday night, but we are racing for that trophy,” added Gutiérrez. “The dynamics of our situation will allow me to be more aggressive on Tuesday night, but I also know that if I want a shot at my second career ARCA Menards Series East victory, I need to keep the fenders intact and be around in the end – like I was last year.”
Gutiérrez’s determination throughout his inaugural trip to New Smyrna put him in the position to deliver Rette Jones Racing their second career ARCA Menards Series East triumph.
“We didn’t have the best car at the start of the race, but we all remained calm and Mark made some great adjustments throughout the race and we were able to capitalize when it counted most. It’s important for me to remember all of that not only leading up to the race – but even during the race too.”
Gutiérrez’s week won’t stop following New Smyrna on Tuesday night though.
On Saturday, Feb. 19, Gutiérrez, 19, will make his ARCA Menards Series debut at the famed Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway driving the No. 32 TOUGHBUILT | Rette Jones Racing car.
“There aren’t words to describe what the Daytona race will mean to me,” sounded Gutiérrez. “Daytona I feel like is every race car driver’s dream and mine is coming true. Our No. 32 TOUGHBUILT car was fast in preseason testing and I think we’ll be easily able to back up the speed throughout practice and qualifying.
“I can’t predict what will happen in the race, but I will do my best to execute a flawless race. While the tracks are on the complete opposite end of the spectrum, you must be in a place to finish first. I cannot thank TOUGHBUILT, TekNekk, Distributed Ledger Inc. (DLI) and GoGig enough for their support of these two races.”
GoGig in fact is increasing its commitment to Gutiérrez and the RJR team in 2022.
“GoGig is proud to sponsor Max Gutierrez and the TOUGHBUILT car at the Lucas Oil 200 at Daytona,” offered Chris Hodges, founder and CEO of GoGig.
“GoGig’s founding principle was to remove bias and promote diversity + inclusion in the hiring process for job seekers by allowing them to remain anonymous. The entire GoGig team couldn’t be prouder to represent Max and his Hispanic heritage in the same manner at Daytona this weekend.”
In addition to TOUGHBUILT. TekNekk and Jimmy Morales Escuderia TELMEX | TELCEL, Distributed Ledger Inc. (DLI), GoGig, Ford Performance, Goodridge Fluid Transfer Systems, Jones Group Demolition and Abatement and JRi Shocks join the Mooresville, N.C.-based team as partners on Tuesday night.
Rette is thrilled to have Gutiérrez back under the Rette Jones Racing umbrella in 2022.
“Max did a terrific job for Rette Jones Racing and we are looking forward to hopefully starting off the 2022 race season – much like we did the 2021 season with a trip in Victory Lane,” he said. “But, there is a lot of great things on the horizon not only for Max but the Rette Jones Racing team as a whole.
“Max knows how to get around New Smyrna and with over 200 laps on the track, the track should prove to be extremely beneficial once again on Tuesday night. Saturday afternoon will be a historic moment for Max and I’m just glad to be a part of it.”
In 10 career ARCA Menards Series East starts, Gutiérrez has one win, two top-five and five top-10 finishes and hoists a series’ average finish of 9.9 over three years.
RJR is co-owned by Canadian entrepreneur and former race car driver Terry Jones.
The Race to Stop Suicide 200 presented by Place of Hope (200 laps | 100 miles) is the first of seven races on the 2022 ARCA Menards Series East schedule. Practice begins for the one-day show on Tuesday, February 15 from 3:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. The results of practice will dictate the starting grid for the season-opening race. The event will take the green flag just after 7:30 p.m. with live television coverage on FloRacing and taped delay coverage on the USA Network.
The Lucas Oil 200 driven by General Tire (80 laps | 200 miles) is the first of 20 races on the 2022 ARCA Menards Series schedule. Practice begins Thurs., Feb. 17 with a fifty-minute session from 4:05 p.m. – 4:55 p.m. Group qualifying is set for Fri., Feb. 18 at 1:30 p.m. The season-opener for the 70th consecutive ARCA season is set the following afternoon on Feb. 19 to take the green flag shortly after 1:30 p.m. The event will be televised live on FOX Sports 1 (FS1) with the Motor Racing Network (MRN) handling the radio waves. ARCARacing.com will also stream live timing and scoring throughout the entire weekend festivities.
For more on Max Gutiérrez, please visit maxgutierrez.com, like him on Facebook (Max Gutierrez Racing) or follow him on Instagram (@maxgutierrezmx).
For more on Rette Jones Racing, please visit RetteJonesRacing.com, like them on Facebook (Rette Jones Racing) or follow them on Twitter (@RetteJones30).
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