Saturday’s combination race for the premier ARCA Menards Series and the East Series tour thrusts the divisions into a limelight where the competition will fierce but certainly presents an opportunity.
Iowa marks the second appearance in the premier ARCA Menards Series for Gutiérrez who made his second series start in May at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway.
Despite his inexperience on the bigger and much faster intermediate race track, Gutiérrez impressed.
Qualifying 13th, Gutiérrez raced into the top-10 before a flat tire late in the event relegated the team to a 15th place finish. Still, the team is upbeat that they can return to the tour and finish what they started at Charlotte.
“I’m looking forward to being back on the United States side and racing in ARCA competition at Iowa Speedway,” said Gutiérrez who scored a thrilling victory in the ARCA Menards Series East season opener at New Smyrna in February.
“Charlotte was a great opportunity for myself and our RJR team but unfortunately we did not earn the finish I felt like we were capable of. Iowa is a race where we can do that though and I’m optimistic as well that we can perhaps contend for more than a top-10 finish on Saturday night.”
Gutiérrez has flourished on short tracks this season. In five ARCA East races in 2021, all on short tracks, the Mexico City, Mexico native has scored five top-10 finishes, including the victory in February and maintains an average finish of 6.4 leading into the series’ sixth race of the season.
Nestled fourth in the championship standings, just seven points from second-place contender Mason Diaz – Gutiérrez, driver of the No. 30 TOUGHBUILT Ford Fusion realizes keeping his consistency alive at Iowa’s popular 0.875-mile race track is crucial.
“We certainly did not have the finish we were hoping for at Southern National and that put us a little behind in the point standings,” admitted Gutiérrez. “It is not from a lack of effort from our Rette Jones Racing team. We are going to rebound, and I hope it is in a big way on Saturday night and we can recover the points we lost last month.”