"A win Sunday would give us a whole new view of this season," said Suárez who quickly admits his No. 99 Trackhouse Racing team expected better in 2023.
"We know what we are capable of doing. We know we are a playoff team and working hard to make sure we return to that level next season," he said. "We will be better and stronger in 2024. We have a good group here and know what we have to do."
Suárez said he expects a busy off-season with training, working with the team, sponsor commitments and some trips to see family in Mexico and Brazil. The Cup season begins with the Busch Light Clash at the Coliseum exhibition race on Feb. 4 followed by the season-opening Daytona 500 on Feb. 18.
"We have been going hard since February so it will be nice to take a break, go and see some family and relax," said Suárez. "But, it won't be long before you wish you were back at the track. This offseason will go by fast and we will be ready for Los Angeles and Daytona."
Suarez's No. 99 will carry the livery of longtime sponsor Tootsie's Orchid Lounge on Sunday in Phoenix.
Tootsie’s has operated across the alley from Opry Entertainment’s Ryman Auditorium, the celebrated Nashville performance venue and most famous former home of the Grand Ole Opry, almost continuously since 1960. Its proprietor from 1960 to 1978, Hattie Louise “Tootsie” Bess, bought the lounge called “Mom’s” and named it for herself. With its proximity to the Ryman, Tootsie’s quickly became a favorite spot for the Opry’s rising stars to gather during the years when the Opry called the Ryman home.
NBC will televise Sunday's race at 3 p.m. ET