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Max Gutierrez, driver of the #32G RJR Chevy, looks on in the garage during ARCA Testing at Daytona International Speedway on January 14, 2022 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by James Gilbert/NASCAR)
(Photo: James Gilbert/NASCAR)

ARCA Graduate of the Week: Max Gutierrez impresses in Nashville Truck Series race

It was a weekend to remember for Mexico native Max Gutierrez.

In just his second appearance in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, Gutierrez drove his way well into the top 10 and battled for a position in the top five through the middle stages of the Rackley Roofing 200 at the 1.33-mile Nashville Superspeedway. Through a late spate of cautions and restarts, Gutierrez managed to hold on to his top ten standing, eventually crossing the finish line in eighth.

Prior to the race at Nashville, Gutierrez had a quietly solid debut at Charlotte Motor Speedway in May, finishing 26th. Most importantly, he brought the truck home in one piece and completed 140 of the race’s 143 laps, gaining valuable experience and track time.

Driving for AM Racing, Gutierrez is paired with long-time ARCA owner Kevin Cywinski and crew chief Jamie Jones. Cywinski has five career ARCA Menards Series wins as an owner, starting with two in 2009 at Daytona International Speedway and Kentucky Speedway with James Buescher at the wheel, one in 2010 with Justin Marks at Palm Beach International Raceway, one in 2011 with Matt Merrell at Berlin Raceway, and his most recent in 2018 at Elko Speedway with Gus Dean driving.

Jones has tasted success in the Trucks and in ARCA, with wins in both. He won at Memphis Motorsports Park in 2005 with Brandon Whitt and in 2006 with David Starr at Martinsville Speedway in the Truck Series, and was on the pit box for Dean’s ARCA Menards Series win at Elko in 2018.

Gutierrez is no stranger to success in his home country. He has won in the NASCAR Mexico T4 Series, earning a pair of wins in 2019 before breaking out in 2020 with five wins and the series championship. In 2021, he jumped into the NASCAR PEAK Mexico Series where he racked up eight top-five finishes and finished fourth in the final standings.

His 2021 season was also memorable for exciting last-lap win in the ARCA Menards Series East event at New Smyrna Speedway. On the final lap, leader Sammy Smith was pushed into turn three by Taylor Gray and both washed up the track through the center of the corner. Gutierrez was there to pounce, and he slipped underneath them both and out dragged them to the start/finish line to win by inches. He would close the 2021 East season fourth in the final standings.

Gutierrez has made two ARCA Menards Series starts so far in 2022, finishing 32nd at Daytona and 10th at Talladega Superspeedway.