With an impressive top-five finish in the most recent ARCA Menards Series East race at Dover (Del.) International Speedway last month, Rette Jones Racing (RJR) development driver Max Gutiérrez hopes for a similar performance in Saturday night’s Southern National 200 presented by Solid Rock Carriers at Southern National (N.C.) Motorsports Park.
In his Monster Mile debut, Gutiérrez recovered from a late-race incident with another competitor to mount a fifth-place finish – his second top-five of the 2021 season and best effort since winning in the season-opener at New Smyrna (Fla.) Speedway in February.
Gutiérrez also recently made his premier ARCA Menards Series national debut at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway two weeks ago where he contended for a top-10 finish before a flat tire relegated him to a 15th place finish.
Still, momentum continues to propel the Mexico City, Mexico native forward and he is eager to put his RJR team back in Victory Lane on Saturday night.
“The last month has been busy, but I’ve been having a blast,” said Gutiérrez, driver of the No. 30 TOUGHBUILT Ford Fusion. “The Rette Jones Racing team brought me a strong car at Dover and then we went to Charlotte and really backed up our speed with a strong performance – just didn’t get the result that we wanted.
“Still, we are showcasing a lot of speed and I believe we can go to Southern National on Saturday and continue to keep ourselves near the front and maybe still have a shot at this championship.”
Gutiérrez feels the ARCA Menards Series East field will mostly be on the same drum line with limited experience at Southern National. While Mason Diaz will likely be the most experienced driver in the field, Gutiérrez is focused on getting to work and doing what we can to be a contender.
“I think we need to treat Southern National a lot like we did Dover,” added Gutiérrez. “We made a lot of progress throughout the race and were the best when it counted most. We need to do that again on Saturday but hopefully, be in a position to contend for the victory.”
With an average finish of 5.5 at the halfway point of the 2021 ARCA East season, Gutiérrez is third in the
championship standings, just one point behind Diaz and 23 behind leader Sammy Smith.
To have a shot at the championship, Gutiérrez knows he’ll have to better his average finish over the next four months to keep his Rette Jones Racing team alive and a contender for their first series title.
“We made some gains at Dover and we’re right in the thick of the battle,” added Gutiérrez. “We can’t be just good at Southern National, we have to be great not only Saturday night but the rest of the year. We’ll just go do our part and see how the rest unfolds.”
In addition to TOUGHBUILT. TekNekk and Jimmy Morales Escuderia TELMEX | TELCEL, BolsaDX.mx, 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 this weekend.
“Max has certainly stepped up his game in the last month,” said team co-owner and crew chief Mark Rette.
“I think it all boils down to experience. He is getting a lot of seat time behind the wheel whether it’s in an ARCA car or racing back home in Mexico, but that’s all positive.
“We have a good baseline of where we want to be when we unload for practice on Saturday, so we start from there and just look to get better and see if we can’t help get Max back in Victory Lane.”
RJR is co-owned by Canadian entrepreneur and former race car driver Terry Jones.
The Southern National 200 presented by Solid Rock Carriers (200 laps | 100 miles) is the fifth of eight races on the 2021 ARCA Menards Series East schedule. Practice begins on Sat., Jun. 12 from 2:45 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. General Tire pole qualifying is set to commence at 5:30 p.m. The event will take the green flag just after 8:00 p.m. with live television coverage on TrackPass on NBC Sports Gold). All times are local (ET).
The event will be rebroadcasted on a tape-delayed basis on NBCSN on Thurs., Jun. 17, 2021, at 4:00 p.m. ET.
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).
About TOUGHBUILT Industries Inc.:
TOUGHBUILT is an advanced product design, manufacturer and distributor with emphasis on innovative products. Currently focused on tools and other accessories for the professional and do-it-yourself construction industries.
We market and distribute various home improvement and construction product lines for both the do-it-yourself and professional markets under the TOUGHBUILT brand name, within the global multibillion-dollar per year tool market industry. All of our products are designed by our in-house design team.
Since launching product sales in 2013, we have experienced significant annual sales growth.
Our current product line includes three major categories, with several additional categories in various stages of development, consisting of Soft Goods & Kneepads and Sawhorses & Work Products.
Our mission is to provide products to the building and home improvement communities that are innovative, of superior quality, derived in part from enlightened creativity for our end users while enhancing performance, improving well-being and building high brand loyalty.
Additional information about the company is available at: toughbuilt.com.
About Rette Jones Racing:
Headquartered in Mooresville, North Carolina, Rette Jones Racing (RJR) was founded in 2015 with the intent of building a successful racing operation built around the fundamentals of hard work and a never give up attitude.
Owned by racers Terry Jones and Mark Rette, RJR plan to field a full-time entry in 2021 in the ARCA Menards Series East, while also hopeful to field vehicles in the ARCA Menards Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS).
The winning ARCA East team also offers technical and setup intel as part of its technical alliance partnership program.
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!