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.