The 2023 NASCAR Xfinity Series has just one race left with the season finale at Phoenix Raceway. It’s the second race for the series in Phoenix this NASCAR season after the spring event in early March. Nearly eight months later, four drivers are set to fight for the title: Sam Mayer, Justin Allgaier, John Hunter Nemechek, and Cole Custer. That group unsurprisingly leads the 2023 Xfinity Championship odds for victory this week.
2023 Xfinity Championship odds: Nemechek leads favorites again
John Hunter Nemechek (+165)
Nemechek’s been by far the most consistent driver across the grid this season, and that’s continued into the playoffs. His Xfinity race results include seven wins and a further 10 top-five finishes. Last week in Martinsville was a rare off day for him, with an 18th-place finish.
Phoenix is one of his better tracks on the calendar. He’s made the top 10 in all six career Xfinity Series races there. He’s yet to win but could change that with his form this postseason.
Justin Allgaier (+320)
Allgaier beat Sheldon Creed following an overtime restart for last week’s win in Martinsville. It secured a spot in the championship four for the fourth time in five years. Now, he has a chance to take his first Xfinity championship.
Allgaier’s won in Phoenix before, with victories in the 2017 spring race and 2019 fall event. He’s finished in the top 10, specifically in this race seven of the last eight runnings. He’ll be hungry to break through and has the success in Phoenix to do it.
Cole Custer (+400)
Custer’s also had success in Phoenix before, with five top-10 finishes in his last six races there. The Phoenix spring race this season was the lone outlier when he finished 12th.
Custer had an off week by his standards in Martinsville with a 19th-place finish. That’s a departure from his form for most of the playoffs where he’s notched two pole positions and three stage one wins. He’ll need to return to prior playoff form to win his first title.
Sam Mayer (+800)
Mayer’s Homestead win secured his spot among the final four drivers this week. That was his second playoff win this year and punctuated an inconsistent postseason run. He’s either finished in the top five (including wins in Homestead and Charlotte) or lower than 20th, nothing in between. Historically, he hasn’t raced particularly well in Phoenix, with no top-10 results in four Xfinity races there. The NASCAR odds have him up near the front due to his playoff wins but Mayer could struggle.
Sammy Smith (+800)
The 18-year-old Smith became one of the youngest winners in series history when he took the win in the spring event at Phoenix Raceway. He led the most laps and held off threats from fellow rookies (Chandler Smith) and Cup Series drivers (Kyle Busch) alike for the win.
During the playoffs, Smith’s been consistent but missed out on top results. Last week he took pole position, led the most laps, and won stage two but finished third. He’s finished no lower than 17th in the playoffs and no one else in the Xfinity Series can best that. He could spoil the top four’s coronation with another surprise victory.
2023 Xfinity Championship odds: Sleeper picks for the win
Austin Hill (+1600)
Hill challenged Nemechek for the title lead for much of this year but fell through as the races wore on. He’s still one of the better drivers in the starting lineup for NASCAR Xfinity racing and kept that up in most of the playoffs. He couldn’t manage a win in the round of 8, though, and is on the outside looking in for the title.
Hill finished seventh in the spring Phoenix race and has done well at similar tracks (ninth in Richmond, third in Loudon). He won’t take home the title this season but a win here would be a nice way to end a promising season on a high.
Chandler Smith (+1800)
Could both rookies named Smith sweep the Phoenix events in 2023? Potentially. Chandler Smith raced to fifth in the spring Phoenix race and drove well at circuits similar to Phoenix. A win and most laps led in Richmond plus a second-place from the pole in Loudon give him good results at similar tracks to Phoenix. He’s struggled in the last two Xfinity races finishing 34th in Homestead and 36th in Martinsville. He’ll need to use that good track record from earlier this season to bounce back.
Sheldon Creed (+2200)
Creed came so very close to that elusive first victory one week ago. The second-place finish was his best of the playoffs by far and marked an improvement from a week prior in Homestead.
Last year, he finished second in Martinsville and then sixth in Phoenix. After a much improved regular season and playoffs, he could go a few spots better.
2023 Xfinity Championship odds: picks for Saturday’s title race
It all comes down to this. A quartet of drivers set to take home their first Xfinity Series title. Most of them have fought for the title this late before but a new champion will be crowned in 2023.
Of the favorites, it’s once again hard to argue against Nemechek. He’s been the strongest driver throughout the season and has good results at tracks like this in 2023 (second in Richmond, victory in Loudon). Especially on the back of a strong regular season, he deserves a good result and the title.
Allgaier looks solid as well and could win consecutive races for the first time since 2020 for his first Xfinity title. Of the sleepers, Hill looks promising to put one final stamp on the 2023 season.
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