NASCAR Truck Series: 2023 Truck Series Playoff Preview

Sixteen races have decided the ten drivers who are going to be racing for a championship. Here is a preview of everything you need to know about the 2023 Truck Series Playoffs.

The Truck Series follows a similar playoff format to the other NASCAR series but with several unique changes. The playoffs start earlier than the other two and fewer drivers make the playoffs.

The Truck Series eliminates different numbers of drivers throughout the playoffs, unlike the four for both Xfinity and Cup. Here is everything you need to know about the Craftsman Truck Series Playoffs.

How do the Truck Series playoffs work?

The playoffs are an elimination-style format, meaning after three races a set number of drivers are eliminated from the competition. The first round, the round of ten, will eliminate the two drivers’ lowest in the points standings.

The second round, the round of eight will eliminate the lowest four drivers after three races. The final four will race at Phoenix Raceway for the championship in the final race.

Drivers can lock themselves into the next round by winning a race or earning enough playoff points. Winning a race will award five points and stage wins will award one point. Drivers who are not eligible for the playoffs can still win races, but the playoff points will not be awarded to them.

If no drivers in the playoffs win races, the top three in the playoff point standings can be locked in.

Who is racing in the Truck Series playoffs?

The ten drivers who will be racing for the championship are:

Corey Heim

The 2023 Regular Season champion and 2022 Rookie of the Year, Corey Heim has won two races. Those races were Martinsville and Mid-Ohio, a short track and a road course.

In 2022, Heim won races at Atlanta and Gateway, a superspeedway and a flat oval. Heim has run incredibly fast at lots of tracks, which should help him with the diverse schedule of the playoffs. Heim drives the #1 Tundra for TRICON Garage.

Zane Smith

The defending Truck Series champion, Zane Smith has two race wins this season and is second in the playoff standings behind Heim. Smith won the opening race at Daytona and the first road course race at the Circuit of the Americas.

In 2022, he won four races, Daytona, COTA, Kansas, and the final race at Phoenix. He has won at a lot of different tracks, making him a pick for any race during the playoffs. Smith drives for Front Row Motorsports in their #38 F-150.

Carson Hocevar

The driver with the most wins in 2023 with three, Carson Hocevar is having a breakout season. He scored his first career win at Texas, then had an impressive drive at Nashville, and most recently won at Richmond.

Hocevar drives for Niece Motorsports in the #42 Silverado.

Christian Eckes

In his first season with McAnally-Hilgemann Racing, Christian Eckes scored the team’s first two victories. He got the team’s first win at Atlanta and then followed it up with a win at Darlington.

He drives the number #19 Silverado for MHR.

Grant Enfinger

An eleven-year veteran of the series, Grant Enfinger has two wins this season, Kansas and Gateway. In 2020, he scored four wins and finished fourth in the championship points, the best season of his career.

He has nine wins in his career and is looking to add a championship to that resume. Enfinger drives for GMS Racing, in their number #23 Silverado.

Ty Majeski

A short-track ace, Ty Majeski locked himself into the playoffs on points alone. He had a breakout season in 2022, winning at Bristol and Miami, and scored three pole positions.

He finished fourth in the points last year. Driving for Thorsport in their #98 F-150, he is still looking for that first win in 2023.

Ben Rhodes

2021 Truck Series Champion, Ben Rhodes has competed in the last seven Truck Series playoffs.

His only win so far this season has come at Charlotte, but has four top-five finishes and ten top-ten finishes. Like Majeski, he also drives for Thorsport, in the #99 F-150.

Nick Sanchez

The only rookie competing for the championship, Nick Sanchez has shown he belongs in the Craftsman Truck Series.

This season, Sanchez has scored four pole positions, two top-fives, and eight top-tens. Driving for REV Racing, who he drove for in ARCA, he drives the #2 Silverado.

Matt DiBenedetto

The first Truck Series Playoff opportunity for Matt DiBenedetto and his team Rackley W.A.R., DiBenedetto earned his way into the playoffs with a top-five and nine top-ten finishes. He scored his first Truck Series win at Talladega in 2022. Dibenedetto drives the #25 Silverado.

Matt Crafton

A three-time champion of the series, Matt Crafton has the most experience out of the nine other drivers in the playoffs. He just barely made the playoffs, earning more points than Stewart Friesen at Richmond.

Crafton has not scored a win since 2020 and is looking to break that streak and earn a fourth championship in 2023. Crafton also drives for Thorsport, driving the #88 F-150.

What tracks are in the playoffs?

Round of 10

Indianapolis Raceway Park

The first track on the playoff schedule, IRP is a 0.686 mile oval with 12 degrees of banking.

Milwaukee Mile

Returning to the Truck Series for the first time since 2009. The Milwaukee Mile is a 1.015-mile oval with 9.25 degrees of banking in the turns and 2.5 on the straights.

Kansas Speedway

The Truck will return to Kansas for a second time during the playoffs. Kansas is a 1.5-mile speedway, with 17-20 degrees of progressive banking in the turns, 9-11 degrees on the tri-oval, and five degrees on the back straight.

Round of 8

Bristol Motor Speedway

The second short track on the schedule, Bristol is a 0.5-mile high-banked short track. Like Kansas, it also has progressive banking, with 24-28 degrees in the corners and 4-9 degrees on the straightaways.

Talladega Motor Speedway

The only Super Speedway in the playoffs, Talladega is the biggest and fastest track that NASCAR travels to. Talladega has 33 degrees on banking in its corners and 16.5 degrees through its tri-oval.

Homestead Miami Speedway

Another 1.5-mile speedway, Homestead-Miami will decide the final four drivers racing for a championship. Another track with progressive banking has between 18-20 degrees of it depending on how close you get to the wall.

Championship Race

Phoenix Raceway

The final race of the season, Phoenix is an oval-like track with four different corners. The turns have between eight to eleven degrees of banking and large paved section drivers can use them to shorten the track.

When is the final race of the playoffs?

The Craftsman 150 at Phoenix Raceway, the final race of the season will be run on Friday, November 3rd at 10:00 PM ET.

Now that you have all the information about the Truck Series playoffs, get ready for the first race this Friday at Indianapolis Raceway Park, the TSport 200.

Featured image credit: Meg Oliphant/Getty Images