Suarez says he and his Joe Gibbs Racing team have been working more closely with Busch and his team the past four weeks.
“I feel like now we are moving in the right direction,” Suarez said Saturday at Watkins Glen International. “Kyle is very good. His team is very good and I mean I would feel very dumb if I don’t take advantage of that, if I don’t learn from that.”
Suarez is outside a playoff spot and likely needs a win to do so. He enters this weekend 96 points behind Alex Bowman for what would be the final playoff spot. Suarez has qualified 11th or better in each of the last three races and has two top-15 finishes during that stretch.
Suarez said he’s been looking at Busch’s data throughout the season but he couldn’t duplicate what Busch was doing earlier in the year.
“Actually, that was the biggest challenge that we had,” said Suarez, who finished third at Watkins Glen last year. “I was able to see everything he was doing. I was trying it. I can’t do it. I cannot get into a corner as fast. I cannot brake as little as he is braking and I can’t get to guys as early as he can. What do you want me to do? That was an issue. That takes time.
“The 18 group has been together for a long time and that’s why they’re very good. I bet the No. 4 guys (and Kevin Harvick) are the same and the No. 78 guys (and Martin Truex Jr.) are the same too. It takes time and good chemistry and knowing each other and talent to be as good as those guys are. We’re not there yet, but we have one of those guys on our team and we have to take advantage of that and learn from them and try to move forward. In the last four weeks it has been much better for my race team.”