Max Gutiérrez leads ARCA Menards Series East charge to Five Flags

PENSACOLA, Fla.: Rette Jones Racing development driver Max Gutiérrez is still gleaming after picking up a thrilling victory in the Jeep Beach 175 at New Smyrna (Fla.) Speedway, but the ARCA Menards Series East rookie driver knows once he puts on his helmet this weekend at Five Flags (Fla.) Speedway, it will be time to put the joyous emotions aside and concentrate.

Not only is Gutiérrez focused on producing back-to-back ARCA East victories for Rette Jones Racing, but he is determined to protect his points lead ahead of Saturday’s Pensacola 200 presented by INSPECTRA.

“It has been a few good weeks,” explained Gutiérrez who returned home to Mexico shortly after the victory at New Smyrna.

“It has been fun to celebrate the win with family, friends and my partners – but as the days approach to Five Flags, I realize it’s time to be thankful for the blessings of New Smyrna but get focused on the job ahead this weekend.”

Attending school, Gutiérrez has had to rely on video and international texting platforms to communicate with crew chief and co-owner Mark Rette about the team’s plan for the second ARCA Menards Series East race of 2021.

While Gutiérrez does have laps at Five Flags from last October, the former NASCAR Mexico Challenge Series champion knows a tall task awaits him for practice on Saturday afternoon.

“I have laps at Five Flags, but we had some problems there last year. The track is very demanding and unfortunately, we didn’t have a balanced race car which made it a challenging race.

“Thankfully, I’ve been able to talk to Mark and the team a lot over the past couple of weeks. He has helped me with a lot of my questions and even given me some homework to look over.

“Practice will be super important and from there it’s putting up another good lap in qualifying and being at the right place at the right time when it comes to the checked flag.”

With just a three-point gap over Sammy Smith in the ARCA Menards Series East champion standings, Gutiérrez realizes with a win in the bank, the bigger picture is a priority.

“We want to win again, but if that opportunity doesn’t present itself, we don’t need to put ourselves in a spot where we give points away and take us out of the championship. It’s only race two of eight, but we are points racing. Hopefully, we leave Pensacola on Saturday night with the points lead still intact.”

Set for his third career ARCA East start, Gutiérrez knows without support, this weekend would not be possible.

“I cannot thank my partners TOUGHBUILT, TekNekk, Telcel (Jimmy Morales) and Avaya enough for this chance to fight for another win and of course for Rette Jones Racing for the opportunity to drive their race cars.

“We had a lot of fun at New Smyrna and I’d love to have a repeat on Saturday night.”

Rette says he’s proud of Gutiérrez’s initiatives and believes they can be in the hunt for the third career win for RJR.

“Max had never been to New Smyrna before the end of January and look what we did two weeks ago,” added Rette. “I think Max surprised a lot of people in qualifying – with a front row start and only added to it with an exclamation point with the win.

“Hopefully, we can make it double exclamation points this weekend.”

RJR is co-owned by Canadian entrepreneur and former race car driver Terry Jones.

The Pensacola 200 presented by INSPECTRA (200 laps | 100 miles) is the second of eight races on the 2021 ARCA Menards Series East schedule. Practice begins for the one-day show on Saturday, February 27 from 12:15 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. General Tire pole qualifying is set for later in the day at 2:30 p.m. The event will take the green flag just after 5:00 p.m. with live television coverage on TrackPass on NBC Sports Gold. All times are local (CT).

The event will be rebroadcasted on a tape-delayed basis on NBCSN on Thurs., Mar. 4, 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.

Mexico City’s Max Gutierrez Looks for Two-in-a-Row to Start 2021 at Five Flags Speedway

It was a finish everyone anticipated, but no one expected.

Headed into turn three on the final lap of the season-opening ARCA Menards Series East race at New Smyrna Speedway, everyone anticipated contact between the leaders. Taylor Gray had led three times on the night, including the previous five laps as he took the lead on a late-race restart. That restart involved a lot of contact into turn one, sending Mason Diaz around and out of contention.

The next restart, the final one of the race, put Sammy Smith next to Gray coming to the green. Smith had led 78 laps, leading through lap 171 when officials realigned him fourth in the field after a pit road violation. Smith had to be aggressive to get back to the lead because the race was now in overtime. He had two laps to make it happen.

Gray opened a slight lead at the drop of the green and held it for the first of the two overtime circuits. Smith closed the gap coming to the white flag. Everyone anticipated what came next.

Headed into turn three, Smith got to Gray’s bumper and made contact. That’s almost standard operating procedure in full-fendered stock car racing these days. The leader expects a shove from behind on the final lap if the driver in second place is close enough to make it happen. Smith was definitely close enough and carried a lot of speed going into the final two turns of the race. The contact didn’t just send Gray up the track, it sent Gray and Smith up the track and left the bottom groove at the high-banked half-mile wide open.

Enter NASCAR Mexico Challenge Series champion Max Gutierrez.

Driving for 2009 ARCA Menards Series championship-winning crew chief Mark Rette, Gutierrez pounced. He dove to the bottom of the track and filled the gap. When Smith and Gray came down the track, they bounced off Gutierrez, with all three making contact coming to the start-finish line. But that contact couldn’t stop Gutierrez’s momentum and he nipped Smith at the finish by 0.03 seconds, about the distance from the tip of the nose to the center of his front wheel.

Gutierrez, who still lives in Mexico and commutes to the United States to race, scored the first win of his career in the most surprising fashion.

“I can’t believe it,” Gutierrez said in victory lane. “I thought we were in a good place (third) on the last lap for the season championship. Then they started bumping for first and I decided to take it. I am very happy and proud of my team. That is a great way to start off this championship.”

The next step for Gutierrez will be in Saturday’s Pensacola 200 presented by Inspectra Thermal Solutions at Five Flags Speedway. It will be the fourth time the ARCA Menards Series East has raced at the half-mile oval that is the host of the prestigious Snowball Derby every December.

Current series team owner Ben Kennedy, who owns the No. 43 car driven by Daniel Dye, won in 2013 while Ben Rhodes, who recently won the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Daytona International Speedway, won in 2014. Two-time champion Sam Mayer put an exclamation point on his 2020 championship season with his fifth win of the season in last year’s race.

For ticket information, visit FiveFlagsSpeedway.com or TrackEnterprises.com.

Practice for the Pensacola 200 presented by Inspectra Thermal Solutions is scheduled for 1:15 pm ET | 12:15 pm local, with General Tire Pole Qualifying to follow at 3:30 pm ET | 2:30 pm local. Saturday’s race will be streamed live on TrackPass on NBC Sports Gold starting at 6 pm ET | 5 pm local. It will be rebroadcast on a tape-delayed basis on NBCSN on Thursday, March 4 at 4 pm ET.

Max Gutiérrez wins 2021 ARCA Menards Series East opener at New Smyrna

Max Gutiérrez wins 2021 ARCA Menards Series East opener at New Smyrna

Max Gutiérrez wins 2021 ARCA Menards Series East opener at New Smyrna

NEW SMYRNA, Fla: Taking advantage of a second overtime restart at New Smyrna (Fla.) Speedway, 2020 NASCAR Mexico Challenge Series champion Max Gutiérrez stole the victory from Taylor Gray and Sammy Smith with a three-wide pass coming to the checkered flag in Monday night’s Jeep Beach 175.

Max Gutiérrez led only one lap in his Rette Jones Racing debut, but it was the most important as he edged Smith by 0.046 seconds for his first career ARCA Menards Series East victory in just his third series start.

Gutiérrez was announced last week as the driver of the No. 30 TOUGHBUILT Ford Fusion for car owners Mark Rette and Terry Jones for the entire 2021 ARCA Menards Series East season.

“I can’t believe it,” said a jubilant Gutiérrez in Victory Lane. “To qualify second was a surprise for me, but the last green-white-checkered, I was thinking OK (running third), this is good for the championship.

“But on the last corner there were battling for first and I saw an opportunity and I took it. I’m very happy and proud of the team and my sponsors TOUGHBUILT, Telcel, TekNekk and Avaya, I can’t thank them enough for everything. This is a great, great start toward the championship.”

Gutiérrez impressed earlier in the night by qualifying his Rette Jones Racing Ford Fusion on the front row. And despite a hiccup at the start of the race, Gutiérrez spent the entire race battling back from adversity that ultimately put him in a position to win his first career ARCA Menards Series East race even after a lengthy rain delay.

“I can’t believe it,” said team co-owner Rette. “I’m so proud of Max and his determination, not to mention the work by everyone on this Rette Jones Racing team. I knew we had a shot if we timed it right and Max did his job when it counted most and we’re winners again in the ARCA Menards Series East.

“Can’t wait for Five Flags later this month and an opportunity to race for the championship with Max and this Rette Jones Racing team.”

Next up for the ARCA Menards Series East is the Pensacola 200 at Five Flags (Fla.) Speedway on Sat. Feb. 27, 2021.

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 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.

Brittney Zamora to drive for Rette Jones Racing in Daytona ARCA opener

Brittney Zamora

Brittney Zamora to drive for Rette Jones Racing in Daytona ARCA opener

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla.: Officials from Rette Jones Racing (RJR) announced today that female standout Brittney Zamora has been tapped to drive the team’s No. 30 Ford Fusion in Saturday afternoon’s Lucas Oil 200 driven by General Tire ARCA Menards Series season opener from Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway.

ARCA championship-winning crew chief and team co-owner Mark Rette will guide Zamora as she prepares to make her superspeedway ARCA debut on Feb. 13, 2021.

Square1 Flex, VISA, Pit Road Pals and Davis Groupe Promotions will serve as Zamora’s marketing partners for the first ARCA Menards Series race of 2021.

A native of Kennewick, Washington, Zamora burst onto the racing scene with success in the Northwest Super Late Model Series in 2017 and 2018 and became the first female to win a championship in the series.

In fact, Zamora carried the title honors for two consecutive seasons, drawing the attention of many, including ARCA Menards Series West championship team Bill McAnally Racing who signed the promising driver to a full ARCA Menards Series West schedule in 2019.

In her rookie ARCA West season, she scored two poles, netted six top-five and 10 top-10 finishes and captured fifth in the championship standings. She earned a career-best third twice at Tucson (Ariz.) Speedway and Evergreen (Wash.) Speedway.

She joined Jefferson Racing in 2020 but the coronavirus pandemic played havoc with her racing schedule, leaving her to piece races together on a variety of different levels.

Regrouped and determined to race on the east coast, the 21-year-old worked hard during the offseason committed to aligning herself with good people and a winning organization like Rette Jones Racing.

“I am really excited to be joining Rette Jones Racing for my first superspeedway race,” said Zamora. “It is going to be a great experience and I am going to learn a lot. Daytona is a track I have always dreamed of racing at.

“I am confident in Mark (Rette), the RJR team and myself to be successful at Daytona. If luck stays on our side, I know we will have a strong chance to be in contention for a podium and possibly even a win.”

Rette Jones Racing is no stranger to success at Daytona. In January 2020, the Mooresville, N.C.-based team topped the speed charts with female driver Dominique Van Wieringen and contended for a top-five finish before being swept into an accident nearly halfway into last February’s race.

In 2017, RJR finished second in the ARCA season-opener with team co-owner Terry Jones who led 25 of the event’s 80 laps. Jones was preparing to a potentially winning move in the closing laps, but a late-race caution forced the event to end under yellow flag conditions.

Knowing his team is capable of success in front of a captive audience has Rette excited about Zamora’s ARCA Menards Series debut in the sport’s biggest race.

“I’m excited,” offered Rette. “Brittney should be too. I really feel like our No. 30 Square1 Flex Ford Fusion is going to be fast and I know Brittney isn’t afraid to drive, so we should be right up there with the best of the best in the series.

“I’m glad she turned some laps during the open ARCA Menards Series test in January and hopefully that track time will prove to be valuable for when she climbs aboard our race car with an opportunity to become the first female winner in ARCA national series history.

“We had that chance last year with Dominique but came up short. I’m thankful to have a second opportunity to do that this year with Brittney.”

RJR is co-owned by Canadian entrepreneur and former race car driver Terry Jones.

The Lucas Oil 200 driven by General Tire (80 laps | 200 miles) is the first of 20 races on the 2021 ARCA Menards Series schedule. Practice begins Fri., Feb. 12 with a one-hour session from 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. Group qualifying is set for race day, Sat., Feb. 13 at 8:30 a.m. The season-opener for the 69th consecutive ARCA season is set to take the green flag shortly after 1:30 p.m. The event will be televised live on FOX Sports 1 (FS1), while ARCARacing.com will stream live timing and scoring throughout the entire weekend festivities.

For more on Brittney Zamora, please like her on Facebook (Brittz52) and follow her on Instagram (@brittney.zamora) and Twitter (@Brittz52).

For more on Rette Jones Racing, please visit RetteJonesRacing.com, like them on Facebook (Rette Jones Racing) or follow them on Twitter (@RetteJones30).

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.

NASCAR Mexico Challenge Series champion Max Gutiérrez

Max Gutiérrez

NASCAR Mexico Challenge Series champion Max Gutiérrez

joins Rette Jones Racing for 2021 ARCA East season

MOORESVILLE, N.C.: Officials from Rette Jones Racing (RJR) announced today that teenage standout Max Gutiérrez has joined the organization for the full 2021 ARCA Menards Series East season beginning with Monday night’s Jeep Beach 175 at New Smyrna (Fla.) Speedway.

Gutiérrez, 18, will pilot Rette Jones Racing’s flagship No. 30 Ford Fusion with support from TOUGHBUILT, Telcel, TekNekk and Avaya.

Gutiérrez enters the ARCA Menards Series East scene an accomplished racer, including as a six-time Super Kart Champion (2008 – 2013).

Continuing to excel at his craft, Gutiérrez won Rookie of the Year honors in Mikel’s NASCAR Truck Series in Mexico in 2017 before capturing the series’ championship a year later in 2018.

In 2019, he advanced to the NASCAR Mexico Challenge Series where he won two races in 10 starts, while also competing in select Late Model Stock Series events.

Last season, he continued his dominating ways in the NASCAR Mexico Challenge Series where he won five of his 12 races and earned 10 top-five finishes. During the summer he traveled to the United States to compete in the ARCA Menards Series East where he made two starts at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway and Five Flags (Fla.) Speedway respectively, earning a career-best 12th at Five Flags in October.

“First, I’m very happy to be running for the ARCA Menards Series East championship with Rette Jones Racing,” said a jubilant Gutiérrez. “I don’t have the words to express how thankful I am.

“I cannot thank my partners TOUGHBUILT, TekNekk, Telcel (Jimmy Morales) and Avaya enough for this chance and of course for Rette Jones Racing for the opportunity – and to all the people behind this project who made it possible, I can’t wait for the green flag.”

To prepare Gutiérrez for his New Smyrna debut, the Mexico City, Mex. native recently participated in a private test at the Central Florida short track, where he spent the day with co-car owner and crew chief Mark Rette and the rest of the RJR team working on setup, qualifying runs and race pace – all getting their rookie driver ready for the 175-lap battle on Feb. 8.

“We made a lot of gains during the day and everyone left the track pleased,” offered Rette. “Max didn’t leave anything on the table and continued to provide exceptional feedback that allowed us to keep adjusting the handling on the No. 30 TOUGHBUILT | Telcel Ford Fusion with the hope of contending for a top-10 finish on Monday night.

“It’s going to be a stacked tour in 2021, but I feel that Max will be a quick learner and we can compete for not only Rookie of the Year – but the overall ARCA Menards Series East championship.”

Even though Gutiérrez realizes a learning curve awaits him in 2021, his faith in himself and his Rette Jones Racing has him upbeat about overcoming any early season hurdles.

“It is great to be involved in the ARCA Menards Series East to help my development for a path in NASCAR,” added Gutiérrez. “The cars are more powerful than in Mexico and a Late Model, but I feel I can control the car better than any other series I’ve competed in.

“There are goals to be conquered in 2021 and with the help of Rette Jones Racing and my partners, they are helping me make my dream a reality.”

Rette believes his rookie driver can contend for a top-10 finish in his ARCA Menards Series East debut.

“We’re a winning team in the ARCA Menards Series East and we plan to continue that tradition with Max Gutiérrez in 2021,” sounded Rette. “When you have a determined driver and team, you’ve already have conquered half the battle before you even enter the garage.

“Max will utilize practice to his advantage and hopefully we can have a strong qualifying effort that will keep us near the front and allow Max to have a strong and clean race.”

RJR is co-owned by Canadian entrepreneur and former race car driver Terry Jones.

Additional details on Rette Jones Racing’s 2021 season is forthcoming.

The Jeep Beach 175 (175 laps | 84 miles) is the first of eight races on the 2021 ARCA Menards Series East schedule. Practice begins for the one-day show on Monday, February 8 from 3:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. Group qualifying is set for later in the day at 6:00 p.m. The event will take the green flag just after 7:30 p.m. with live television coverage on TrackPass on NBC Sports Gold.

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 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.

Rette Jones Racing adjusts 2020 schedule

Rette Jones Racing adjusts 2020 schedule

MOORESVILLE, N.C.: Despite the reboot of the 2020 ARCA Menards Series East season this weekend at Toledo Speedway, the coronavirus pandemic has hit Rette Jones Racing particularly hard.

Slated to run Tristan Van Wieringen full-time in ARCA Menards Series East competition, COVID-19 has heavily impacted the luxury of being able to travel freely from Canada to the United States.

With restrictions and protocols in place, Rette Jones Racing has decided to withdraw from Saturday afternoon’s Herr’s Potato Chips 200 and reevaluate its program for the remainder of the 2020 season.

“We haven’t missed a race that we planned to attend since the formation of Rette Jones Racing five years ago,” said team co-owner Mark Rette. “It’s very unfortunate that the virus has impacted our team in a different way than most.

“With our sponsor primarily based in Canada, Tristian and co-owner Terry (Jones) residing in Canada, the fundamentals aren’t feasible and it we felt like it was best to just restructure our year the best we could and hope to get Tristan back in some races later in the year.

“With that being said, there is still plenty of races left, we have the cars and personnel ready to go should the opportunity arise for another driver to temporarily get in the seat until Tristan can return.

“We were looking forward to 2020, but now we’ll just regroup and come back when it’s appropriate.”

The latest on Rette Jones Racing is available at RetteJonesRacing.com, the team’s Facebook page or Twitter @RetteJones30.

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 will field entries in 2020 in the ARCA Menards Series East, ARCA Menards Series and NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series (NGROTS).

The winning K&N team also offers technical and setup intel as part of a technical alliance partnership to Sam Hunt Racing and driver Colin Garrett.