Max Gutiérrez determined to represent Mexico at top level of NASCAR

Max Gutierrez, driver of the #30 Tough Built, poses for a photo before the Race to Stop Suicide 200 presented by Place of Hope for the ARCA Menards Series East during of the World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing event at New Smyrna Speedway in New Smyrna, Florida on February 15, 2022. (Adam Glanzman/NASCAR)


Max Gutiérrez (Photo: Adam Glanzman/NASCAR)

Mexico City local Max Gutiérrez stuck the eye of many within the trade when the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series visited Nashville Superspeedway on June 24.

In simply his 2d look with AM Racing, Gutiérrez overcame having his qualifying time disallowed and charged in the course of the box to deliver house an eighth-place run. He completed higher than John Hunter Nemechek, Chandler Smith and protecting collection champion Ben Rhodes.

Exceeding expectancies has been a commonplace theme for Gutiérrez right through his profession, however even he was once stunned at how environment friendly his night time was once at Nashville in opposition to Truck Series regulars.

“Everything happened so quick, and I couldn’t believe it,” Gutiérrez mentioned. “That was one of the best races I’ve ever had, especially since it was my first time at Nashville. We had to come from the back twice, so I had a very good truck that night.”

RACING REFERENCE: Career stats for Max Gutiérrez

Max Gutiérrez
Max Gutiérrez (Photo: Jacob Kupferman/ARCA Racing)

Before Gutiérrez started making a reputation for himself within the United States, he advanced his abilities as a driving force throughout NASCAR-sanctioned occasions in his house nation of Mexico.

NASCAR first established a presence in Mexico again in 2004 with the formation of Desafio Corona, which later turned into the NASCAR Mexico Series. The collection has attracted many gifted drivers from round Mexico like Daniel Suarez, Rogelio Lopez, Ruben Garcia Jr. and German Quiroga, all of whom have made at least one NASCAR get started within the U.S.

The Mexico Series additionally follows its American counterpart by way of using a ladder device designed to get ready drivers for the rustic’s top level of inventory automobile racing. This is composed of the Mexico Challenge Series, which stocks the monitor with the principle department, and the Mikel’s Truck Series.

Gutiérrez briefly were given acclimated to the bodily and psychological calls for of NASCAR by way of profitable the Mikel’s Truck Series Rookie of the Year honors in 2018. He adopted that with a championship within the Challenge Series in 2020 after tallying 5 victories.

When he formally joined the Mexico Series for the 2021 season, Gutiérrez simply took house Rookie of the Year honors with 8 top-five performances. His closest alternative at a win got here at Autodromo de Monterrey, the place he scored a category end of 2d to Ruben Rovelo, who holds essentially the most victories within the historical past of the Mexico Series with 26.

Max Gutierrez
Max Gutiérrez (Photo: Adam Glanzman/NASCAR)

The aggressive intensity of the Mexico Series and the various set of tracks he visits each and every yr are components Gutiérrez believes have made him composed at the back of the wheel. And that has been an very important high quality in his transition to the U.S.

“Racing here in Mexico helps you gain a lot of experience, because you go to short tracks and superspeedways,” Gutiérrez mentioned. “The cars are very competitive, and there’s only half a second separating the top 10. You have a shot at a great future in the U.S. by doing well here.”

With assist from his Mexico Series automobile proprietor Jimmy Morales, Carlos Slim and Felix Sabates’ son Jose, Gutiérrez began competing in brief monitor occasions round North and South Carolina. During the 2020 season, Gutiérrez made his ARCA Menards Series debut with Troy Williams Racing, which led to a full-time trip within the ARCA Menards Series East with Rette Jones Racing the next yr.

The pairing’s first race in combination at Florida’s New Smyrna Speedway proved to be a memorable one, as Gutiérrez ended up profitable on a final lap cross off Turn 4 following touch between Sammy Smith and Taylor Gray for the lead.

To these days, Gutiérrez remains to be in disbelief over how the general lap performed out at New Smyrna. Although he most effective tallied yet another top 5 in 2021 following the victory, Gutiérrez stays motivated to display everybody he may also be aggressive on a constant foundation.

While Gutiérrez is serious about his long run, he’s these days excited by completing his sophomore Mexico Series season on a good no longer. With a handful of races closing, Gutiérrez sits 6th within the level standings with two top fives.

A handful of unhealthy finishes have avoided Gutiérrez from being an element within the Mexico Series name. Despite this, Gutiérrez is determined to shake off his misfortune and tally a win within the collection that formed him into the motive force he’s these days.

“Hopefully we can finish top three in the championship in Mexico,” Gutiérrez mentioned. “My luck hasn’t been the best, but hopefully that starts to turn around as we approach the last race. The experience is only going to make me feel more secure about what I’m doing.”

Max Gutierrez
Max Gutierrez celebrates after profitable at New Smyrna Speedway in 2021. (Photo: Adam Glanzman/NASCAR)

There is a plan for Gutiérrez to in the future to migrate from Mexico to the U.S., however he admitted that proceeding to develop at the back of the wheel and construction connections inside NASCAR are extra urgent problems for him now.

Gutiérrez’s top 10 at Nashville equipped him a big self belief spice up in his skill to in the future compete within the Cup Series. He intends to race full-time within the Truck Series subsequent yr, however he admitted the quantity of races he runs will come down to investment and sponsorship.

With an ideal enhance device, Gutiérrez is assured he can to find the important sponsorship to construct upon his luck in Mexico and rack up many extra accomplishments in NASCAR’s top divisions.

“The journey has been difficult, but I’ve been fortunate to have a lot of people that have helped me out along the way,” Gutiérrez mentioned. “Because of them, I’m right where I’m supposed to be, and I know I’m going to have many more great moments in my career.”

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