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When Kyle Busch had to tell eager-to-learn teammate Daniel Suarez ‘No more’

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Kyle Busch is one of the first people young NASCAR drivers go to for advice.

It’s no wonder, given that the younger Busch brother has won 170 combined races in all three of NASCAR’s major series, as well as the 2015 Sprint Cup championship and the 2009 Xfinity crown.

Busch knows the drill all too well: The young drivers want to pick his brain by asking questions, seeking advice, ask for tips on how to drive a certain track, how to set up their race car better and so forth.

When Joe Gibbs Racing elevated Daniel Suarez to full-time status in the Xfinity Series in 2015, the Mexican driver asked Gibbs for advice and how to acclimate himself to NASCAR’s junior league.

We’ll let Busch – as late broadcaster Paul Harvey used to say – pick up the rest of the story:

“Coach (Gibbs) said, ‘Daniel, go to your teammates,’” Busch explained during Tuesday’s Media Day session in Charlotte.

“(Suarez) is very eager, that’s for sure,” Busch said of Suarez wanting to learn everything he can. “He definitely was either told by Coach or Steve DeSouza (JGR Xfinity chief) or both, ‘You better go use the resources as much as you can, so go use Kyle’ because we were teammates in the Xfinity Series.

“So his rookie season in Xfinity he came to me every single Thursday. It was set on the calendar, ‘Daniel Suarez, phone call, 3 o’clock!’ And we’d talk about that weekend’s racetrack, about what to do, about what to expect, this and that, practice, tire wear and everything else.

“Then during our (at-track) practice breaks with Xfinity, if I didn’t have to go back to a Cup car, he’d come over to my hauler and he’d be right there. He wore me out, that’s for sure. It was a good thing, it wasn’t a bad thing. But then  we started getting to the racetracks for the second time, I was like, ‘No, no, you can’t do this again, you already were there once. I already gave you everything I knew the first time’ so no more. I told him he has to cut it back a little bit.

“Then this past year, he came to me a couple times and I said, ‘You know, you don’t use me as much as you used to.’”

Busch, who will now be NASCAR Cup teammates with Suarez as he replaces the retired Carl Edwards, then attempted to imitate Suarez’s reply, saying with an accent, “You told me not to.”

“And I said, ‘No, I didn’t say you couldn’t,’ I just said ‘Use me sparingly, like once every five weeks is ok.’ Now that he has me, Matt (Kenseth), Denny (Hamlin) and Martin (Truex Jr.) to go to, I would be once every five weeks again, so I’m like that works, that’s good.”

Obviously, the 25-year-old Suarez learned his lessons well from Busch: He won the NASCAR Xfinity Championship in 2016. This year, he’ll be going for NASCAR Cup Rookie of the Year honors.

When media session host Doug Rice thanked him for attending the session, Busch slipped back into his Suarez accent and quipped, “No problem, man. Adios.”

Follow @JerryBonkowski

NASCAR America: Chase Elliott ‘biggest surprise’ of Cup playoffs

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Only two drivers are safely in the third round of the NASCAR Cup playoffs. Martin Truex Jr. and Brad Keselowski secured spots through their wins at Charlotte and Talladega.

That leaves six spots to be decided Sunday at Kansas Speedway.

NASCAR America analysts Parker Kligerman and Kyle Petty broke down the drivers competing for spots. Both of them agreed that Chase Elliott, who has finished in second in three of the five playoff races, has a great chance to make it all the way to the championship race in Miami.

“If Talladega had played out, he was either going to be in victory lane or in the top two or three,” Petty said. “When you look at that, he has had the most solid playoffs of any driver out there. We keep talking about the big three: Larson, Busch and Truex. This guy is a sleeper. But he’s my No. 4.”

Said Kligerman: “He’s been the biggest surprise. That 24 team has been incredible through the playoffs. One thing I’ve noticed about that team, just speaking to (crew chief) Alan Gustafson, speaking to Chase, it’s almost as if they want that first win more than they care about the playoffs.”

Watch the above video for more on the playoff drivers.

Friday’s NASCAR Cup, Xfinity schedule at Kansas Speedway

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Things get started today for the pivotal weekend at Kansas Speedway.

The NASCAR Cup Series will have its elimination race in Sunday’s Hollywood Casino 400, where four of the 12 remaining playoff drivers will not advance to the Round of 8.

The NASCAR Xfinity Series begins its Round of 8 with Saturday’s Kansas 300.

But it all begins today, as Cup has its first practice (the other two are Saturday) and qualifying, while the Xfinity Series will have its two practice sessions.

Here’s how today’s schedule shapes up:

(All times are Eastern)

10:30 a.m. – 8 p.m. — Cup garage open

12 – 8:30 p.m. — Xfinity garage open

1 – 2:25 p.m. — First Cup practice (NBCSN, Motor Racing Network)

2:30 – 3:25 p.m. First Xfinity practice (NBC Sports App)

5 – 5:55 p.m. – Final Xfinity practice (NBCSN)

6:15 p.m. – Cup qualifying (multi-vehicle, 3 rounds) (NBCSN, MRN)

NASCAR: Will Jimmie Johnson, Kyle Busch advance in playoffs?

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The last two drivers to win NASCAR Cup titles are in precarious positions ahead of the Round of 12 elimination race at Kansas Speedway.

Kyle Busch, the 2015 champion, is outside the top eight in ninth. He sits seven points behind defending champion Jimmie Johnson.

NASCAR America analysts Kyle Petty and Parker Kligerman debated who they think had the best chance to advance to the Third round after Sunday.

Petty put his money behind Busch, who has finished in the top five in each of his last five starts at the 1.5-mile track.

“He’s one of the big three: Truex, Kyle Busch and Kyle Larson,” Petty said. “I don’t see where these (last) two races (Charlotte, Talladega) have changed anything. The one thing Kyle Busch brings into Kansas City … he brings speed. These guys have had speed all year-long.”

Johnson on the other hand has produced only four top fives all season and just one since he won at Dover in June.

But Kligerman explained why he thinks the seven-time champion will prevail on Sunday.

“Jimmie Johnson knows how to pass and that is what has become evident throughout this season,” Kligerman said. “No, they have not had the fastest cars at Hendrick Motorsports. No, they have not qualified well. They’ve actually been sort of abysmal at qualifying of late.

“… He has three wins this year. Two of those he started at the back.”

Watch the video for more.

NASCAR America at 5 p.m. ET on NBCSN: Daniel Hemric, Daniel Suarez’ racing roots

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Today’s episode of NASCAR America begins at 5 p.m. ET on NBCSN and continues to preview the Round of 12 elimination race at Kansas Speedway.

Carolyn Manno hosts with Kyle Petty and Parker Kligerman from Stamford, Connecticut.

On the show:

  • We’ll debate which past Cup Series champion will advance to the Round of 8. Defending champion Jimmie Johnson currently leads 2015 champ Kyle Busch by only seven points for the final transfer spot. Who has the edge going into Kansas this Sunday? This elimination race will be a heated competition just to finish above the cut line. Log on to NBCSports.com/NASCARVote and weigh in!
  • Xfinity Series playoff driver Daniel Hemric calls into the show to talk about his chances of advancing to the championship four in Miami. He’ll also describe his experience being one of the four drivers to participate in the recent tire test at the Charlotte Motor Speedway “Roval.”
  • We take a look at the Daniel Suarez’s Racing Roots and discuss his transition from Xfinity Series champion to Monster Energy Cup Series rookie.
  • Parker Kligerman hops into the iRacing simulator to preview Sunday’s elimination race at Kansas, as well as the Formula 1 race in Austin, Texas.

If you can’t catch today’s show on TV, you can also watch it via the online stream at http:/nascarstream.nbcsports.com. If you plan to stream the show on your laptop or portable device, be sure to have your username and password from your cable/satellite/telco provider handy so your subscription can be verified.

Once you enter that information, you’ll have access to the stream.

Click here at 5 p.m. ET to watch live via the stream.