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November 29, 2023

NASCAR Playoffs recap: Round of 8, Truck Series

Trucks take the green flag at Bristol Motor Speedway.
Meg Oliphant
Getty Images

Editor’s note: With Champion’s Week in Nashville ongoing, will look back at every playoff round of the 2023 season in all three national series.

Race 1: At Bristol Motor Speedway, Sept. 14

Corey Heim celebrates in Victory Lane at Bristol Motor Speedway.
Jared C. Tilton | Getty Images

Winner: Corey Heim

Key highlights: On Lap 195 of 200, Corey Heim took the lead from fellow playoff contender, Christian Eckes, winning the race by .218 seconds. The win propelled the Regular Season champion into the Championship 4. Carson Hocevar ran fourth and entered the second Round of 8 race 18 points above the elimination line. Defending series champion Zane Smith was penalized for pitting outside his box on Lap 116, and was relegated to the rear of the field.

Full race recap: Corey Heim wins Truck Series playoff race at Bristol

At-track photos: At-track photos: 2023 Bristol Motor Speedway playoff weekend

Race 2: At Talladega Superspeedway, Sept. 30

Brett Moffitt does a burnout after winning at Talladega Superspeedway
Sean Gardner | Getty Images

Winner: Brett Moffitt

Key highlights: Pulling off an amazing three-wide move to the front during an overtime restart, former series champion, Brett Moffitt, snagged the win over playoff contenders Christian Eckes and Ben Rhodes. Eckes moved up the track to block Moffitt from a run, but Moffitt dropped to the middle of the track and pulled away to a 0.089-second victory over Ben Rhodes while Eckes lost momentum, drifted back and ended up in 19th. Zane Smith had a rough afternoon from an incident on pit road to mechanical problems that set him back early. His truck hit his crew member Charles Plank coming into the team’s pit stall on the first stop of the day. Plank, a tire carrier, was OK and even finished out the race.

Full race recap: Brett Moffitt wins Truck Series Playoffs race at Talladega in overtime

At-track photos: At-track photos: 2023 Talladega Superspeedway-2 weekend

Race 3: At Homestead-Miami Speedway, Oct. 21

Carson Hocevar celebrates on the frontstretch after winning at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
James Gilbert | Getty Images

Winner: Carson Hocevar

Key highlights: Carson Hocevar launched himself into the Championship 4 with a win at Homestead-Miami Speedway, marking his first Championship 4 appearance. Zane Smith crossed the line second in a must-win situation but was later disqualified in post-race inspection, due to an unapproved windshield support. The DQ moved Ben Rhodes into second, helping him to advance to the playoffs’ final round, prevailing in a tiebreaker in the standings with rookie Nick Sanchez — the pole-sitter who finished 17th.

Full race recap: Carson Hocevar converts Homestead win, joins Rhodes, Heim, Enfinger in Championship 4 field

At-track photos: At-track photos: 2023 Homestead-Miami Speedway weekend

Drivers eliminated: Zane Smith, Nick Sanchez, Christian Eckes, Ty Majeski