NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series rookie Max Gutiérrez heads to Las Vegas 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.

“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.”

“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.

— AM Racing–

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