Max Gutiérrez to Race in Late Brother’s Memory at Las Vegas Motor Speedway for AM Racing
LAS VEGAS, Nev.: NASCAR CRAFTSMAN® Truck Series (NCTS) rookie Max Gutiérrez heads to Las Vegas (Nev.) Motor Speedway for Friday night’s Victoria’s Voice Foundation 200 competing with a heavy heart.
Shortly before expecting to make his first Truck Series start of the season at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway for AM Racing last month, Gutiérrez’s younger brother and best friend Fico Gutiérrez perished in an automobile accident outside Mexico City.
Taking several weeks to mourn his great loss, Gutiérrez is in a better headspace and determined to keep his emotions in check, the former ARCA Menards Series East winner has decided to fulfill his obligations to his race team and his marketing partners but honor his late brother in his fifth career Truck Series start.
“With the race in Las Vegas, we’re back on track and we’re starting a very important season for me in which I’m sure we’ll get the best results,” said Gutiérrez. “This is a track that excites me a lot and I want to thank all my team for the effort and work we’ve all made to get here.
“This race is totally dedicated to my brother, Fico, who I’m sure will be with me all the time.”
Despite his lack of experience in the NASCAR CRAFTSMAN® Truck Series, Gutiérrez is hoping to roll the dice and produce a similar performance that he showcased at Nashville (Tenn.) Superspeedway last June.
At the time, his third Truck Series start delivered a noteworthy performance at the 1.33-mile track when Gutiérrez roared from the back of the field to mount a competitive eighth-place finish after starting 36th.
“Racing is the best medicine for me and Fico was one of the first to congratulate me after our success at Nashville,” explained Gutiérrez. “I will cherish that moment forever. I know he will be racing alongside me in our No. 22 BolsaDX | Telcel Ford F-150 and I plan to make him proud on Friday night.”
Tackling the third 1.5-mile speedway of his Truck Series career after subsequent starts at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway and Homestead-Miami (Fla.) Speedway, the former NASCAR Mexico Series champion believes he has a good baseline for what to expect during on-track activity on Friday.
“I have been doing my due diligence to prepare for Las Vegas,” he added. “I know my AM Racing team will be bringing a fast race truck and I believe I am focused on capitalizing on that. I learned a lot at Charlotte and Homestead last year and I plan to use that experience to my advantage this weekend.
“I just want to climb in, be competitive and make everyone proud. Racing is everything to me and even though I cannot share those physical experiences with my brother anymore, I believe he is still there as one of my greatest supporters.”
To pay respect to his brother, Gutiérrez’s No. 22 AM Racing Ford F-150 will showcase his brother’s logo on the hood for his first Truck Series start of 2023.
In addition to BolsaDX, ToughBuilt, Jimmy Morales Escuderia TELMEX | TELCEL, Avaya Inc., Ford Performance, Mobil 1, Paychex, PM Packaging and TekNekk join the Statesville, N.C.-based team as partners on Friday night.
Gutiérrez holds four NASCAR CRAFTSMAN® Truck Series starts to his resume with a career-best eighth-place finish at Nashville (Tenn.) Superspeedway (June 2022). Additionally, he holds an average finish of 19.0 and has completed 483 of 487 laps for a 99.2 percent lap completion.
In 11 career ARCA Menards Series East starts, Gutiérrez has one win, three top-five and six top-10 finishes and hoists a series’ average finish of 9.3 over three years.
In seven career premier ARCA Menards Series starts, the 19-year-old has one top-10 and carries a series’ average finish of 16.0 over three years.
The Victoria’s Voice 200 (134 laps | 201 miles) is the second of 23 NASCAR CRAFTSMAN® Truck Series races on the 2023 schedule. Practice begins on Fri., March 3, 2023, from 1:30 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. Qualifying begins immediately following practice at 2:00 p.m. The field will take the green flag shortly after 6:00 p.m. (9:00 p.m. ET) with live coverage on FOX Sports 1 (FS1), the Motor Racing Network (Radio) and SiriusXM NASCAR Channel 90. All times are local (PT).
About AM Racing:
AM Racing is a multi-tiered, multi-faceted Motorsports program headquartered in Statesville, N.C.
Established in December 2015, AM Racing is prided on faith, honesty and intelligent performance.
The family-owned team will compete in the ARCA Menards Series, the NASCAR CRAFTSMAN® Truck Series and the NASCAR Xfinity Series in its seventh year of competition.
The team has named Brett Moffitt and Christian Rose as their primary drivers for the 2023 Xfinity and ARCA Menards Series seasons.