The 2023 Xfinity Series season kicked off at Daytona International Speedway in February. Seven months later, things look very similar to the result of that race. Austin Hill, John Hunter Nemechek, and Justin Allgaier finished 1-2-3 in that race. Now, with one race left before the start of the playoffs, that trio remains atop the standings. The Xfinity Series Kansas Lottery 300 marks the end of the regular season and those three lead the odds for victory.
Nemechek holds slight edge in odds for victory
Nemechek took pole position, led the most laps, and won stages 1 and 2 last week in Darlington but Cup Series driver Denny Hamlin ended up with the win. He bounced back from a bad result in Daytona (28th) to secure a third-place result. With no Cup Series drivers taking part in the NASCAR Xfinity race this weekend, Nemechek leads the odds for victory at +225.
Nemechek won this event in 2018 and has yet to finish lower than eighth in Kansas in his Xfinity career. Last year, he won the Craftsman Truck Series race from pole. This is one of his better tracks and he’s rightly favored for the win.
Allgaier sits third in the Xfinity standings but second in odds for victory in Kansas at +350. He’s been solid but unspectacular there. Thirteen career NASCAR Xfinity results there have yielded no wins but he’s finished outside the top 10 just three times. His best result was second place last year. He has just one win in 2023 and another here would go give him a bump in confidence ahead of the playoffs.
Hill, the current Xfinity leader, finished second to Hamlin in Darlington last week and is third in odds at +450. His track record isn’t quite as good as Nemechek’s; he only has one career win in Kansas (Craftsman Truck Series in 2020). He finished fifth here in the 2020 Xfinity race and 12th last season.
He’s raced well on similar tracks on the NASCAR Xfinity schedule. He won in Las Vegas and took 11th in Michigan. His last win came in Pocono but he’s made the top five three times in the six races since. A win here would bring him even with Nemechek for the most in the Xfinity Series in 2023.
Other top Xfinity drivers close behind
Josh Berry and Cole Custer are tied for the next-shortest odds for victory at +650. Berry is winless in 2023 but sits sixth in the championship standings. He’s had strong results in Las Vegas (fifth) and Michigan (second from pole position) and took seventh here last year. A win would be a surprise given he’s been out of victory lane in 2023 but he has the pace to do it. His former JR Motorsports teammate Noah Gragson won last year as well.
Custer continues to improve after a slight dip in performance late in the season. He managed fourth last week in Darlington, making it four top-seven NASCAR Xfinity results in a row. No one on the grid can match that pace. His best career result in Kansas was seventh in a 2020 Cup Series race. Besides that, he’s never made the top 10 in a NASCAR race there. This bet is banking more on momentum than historic performance.
Sam Mayer (+900) rounds out the top six in both the odds and the Xfinity standings. He currently sits fifth following an 11th-place finish in Darlington. He raced well in Las Vegas (seventh) and Michigan (fifth) and is just three weeks removed from a win in Watkins Glen. He’s made the top 10 in both of his career Xfinity races in Kansas and could be back near the front again.
Xfinity Series Kansas Lottery 300 sleeper options
Rookie Chandler Smith (+1800) could be in for a good race after inconsistent race results lately. He took pole position and led the most laps in Las Vegas and had a solid result in Michigan (20th). He’s raced to top-five results in the Craftsman Series, most recently last year. He’s a long shot but there’s a chance.
At some point Sheldon Creed (+2800) has to get a win, right? The Richard Childress Racing driver’s been second or third four times in 2023, including second-place finishes in Watkins Glen and Daytona. Eighth last week in Darlington is another solid showing but he needs to break through for a good result. Last year, he took 11th in this event. Look for him to finish higher this time around.
Predictions for the Xfinity Series Kansas Lottery 300
The regular season finale is here and won’t be affected by multiple Cup Series drivers like last week. It’s down to the Xfinity Series’ best to battle for victory ahead of the playoffs beginning in Bristol. Of the favorites, this looks like Nemechek’s race to lose. He looked great last week and has won this race in multiple levels of NASCAR racing. For a better payout, look to Berry or even Smith for great returns.
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