The first round of the 2023 NASCAR Xfinity Series playoff season came to an end with the conclusion of Saturday’s Drive for the Cure 250 at Charlotte Motor Speedway Road Course where Samy Mayer secured his third win of the season.
The result of the final race of the Round of 12 set the eight drivers playoff grid who will compete against each other for the prestigious NASCAR Xfinity Series championship.
The first playoff round was filled with excitement and drama. In the first two playoff races, Justin Allgaier and John Hunter Nemechek took the checkered flag at Bristol Motor Speedway and Texas Motor Speedway respectively.
With no new winner from below the cut-off line at Charlotte ROVAL, the last spot was taken by Sammy Smith, after finishing P11 in the elimination race.
Daniel Hemric, Parker Kligerman, Josh Berry, and Jeb Burton are the four drivers who did not make the Round of 8.
Mayer, who advanced to the Round of 8 after winning the must-win race at Charlotte ROVAL expressed his emotions in the post-race interview.
“I knew we had time. Our car was so fast – it really felt unbeatable… We kicked their tails today, and it just feels so great. This is our second-chance moment. I think we can make something out of it. … We can go on and do great things because of this win,” Mayer said as quoted by nascar.com.
NASCAR drivers advance to the Round of 8
With eight Xfinity Series drivers now left to battle for the 2023 NASCAR Xfinity Series championship, Joe Gibbs Racing driver John Hunter Nemechek who had a breakout season with series-leading seven wins grabbed the top spot once again to begin the Round of 12. Sammy Smith, Cole Custer, Chandler Smith, and Sheldon Creed enter into the playoff as the four drivers below the cut-off line for the Championship 4 race.
Here are the eight drivers who qualified for the 2023 Xfinity Series playoffs:
- #20 – John Hunter Nemechek
- #21 – Austin Hill
- #7 – Justin Allgaier
- #1 – Sam Mayer
- #00 – Cole Custer
- #16 – Chandler Smith #
- #2 – Sheldon Creed
- #18 – Sammy Smith #
NASCAR Xfinity Series returns next weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway for the Alsco Uniforms 302, the fourth race of the 2023 playoff season. The action will go live at 3:30 pm ET on Saturday, October 14, 2023.