NASCAR Playoffs: Round of 8, Xfinity Series
By Alex Cadavid
2 Minute Read
Editor’s note: With Champion’s Week in Nashville ongoing, NASCAR.com will look back at every playoff round of the 2023 season in all three national series.
Race 1: At Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Oct. 14
Winner: Riley Herbst
Key highlights: Riley Herbst rocketed to his first career Xfinity win at his hometown track, winning by over 14 seconds. Herbst scored an upset win to open the Round of 8 being the only non-playoff driver to notch a victory in the postseason and led 103 of 201 laps en route to the checkered flag. Series points leader John Hunter Nemechek finished second followed by Herbst’s Stewart-Haas Racing teammate Cole Custer. Kaulig Racing’s Chandler Smith and JR Motorsports Sam Mayer rounded out the top five.
Full race recap: Riley Herbst wins first career Xfinity race at hometown track
At-track photos: At-track photos: 2023 Las Vegas Motor Speedway
Race 2: At Homestead-Miami Speedway, Oct. 21
Winner: Sam Mayer
Key highlights: Sam Mayer claimed his first victory on an oval at Homestead-Miami Speedway, holding off Riley Herbst who was crowding him lap-by-lap for the win. Mayer skated by with a mere 0.227 margin of victory and locked in his spot to the Championship 4. Cole Custer led a dominant 114 laps out of 200, only to hit the wall with 50 laps to go, Custer recovered to finish 13th. John Hunter Nemechek earned another second-place finish, Austin Hill and Dale Earnhardt Jr. completed the top five.
At-track photos: At-track photos: 2023 Homestead-Miami
Race 3: At Martinsville Speedway, Oct. 28
Winner: Justin Allgaier
Key highlights: Justin Allgaier won a chaotic race at Martinsville Speedway to return to the Championship 4 for another year. In overtime, there was repeated contact between Richard Childress Racing teammates Austin Hill and Sheldon Creed that caused a domino effect of damage through the field on the race’s final lap. Creed managed to stay out front and collect a second-place finish, however, the melee caused drivers John Hunter Nemechek to finish 18th, Cole Custer 19th, and Austin Hill as a DNF after lining up in the first two rows on the final restart. Leading to Sammy Smith, Riley Herbst and Josh Berry walking away with top-five finishes.
At-track photos: At-track photos: 2023 Martinsville-2
Drivers eliminated: Austin Hill, Sammy Smith, Sheldon Creed and Chandler Smith