Posting a fast lap is crucial in order to qualify for the New England Dodge Dealers Milk Bowl. In an effort to trip off the digital timing device which is set up at the end of the front straight away as early as possible, many drivers adjust their driving styles. During a race, most drivers lift their foot from the gas at the start/finish line. However, due to the location of the device, many drivers keep their foot on the gas for as long as possible, carrying too much speed entering turn one which causes them to spin. In years past, numerous cars spun off the track following their final lap. Surprisingly only two drivers, including the 2001 New England Dodge Dealers Milk Bowl pole sitter, Pete Fecteau of Morrisville, fell victim to this on Saturday.

Many drivers have adopted a new time trialing technique allowing them to achieve full speed down the front stretch. In 2005, several racers entered turn four and attempted to square off the corner. The racers enter the third turn in the high groove and use the bottom lane to exit turn four. The old method required the drivers to tap the brake slightly for a smooth entrance into the straightaway. However, this season, most drivers implemented a sweeping technique. The new method allows drivers to arch their car high into the entrance of turn three and maintain the line until they approach the front stretch. It appears as if the innovative system may be partially responsible for the record breaking fast times from nine drivers.

Following the Booth Bros. / HP Hood Time Trials Joey Polewarczyk Jr. of Hudson, NH was all smiles. I cant believe Im on the pole for the New England Dodge Dealers Milk Bowl, he said. There were a lot of fast cars that went out after me, including Jean-Paul Cyr, Brent Dragon, Cris Michaud and David Pembroke. I knew I had a fast time but I didnt know how mine would stand up next to theirs. The 17-year-old driver continued, Then I went out there in the qualifier and was racing hard against David Avery and hit the wall, Im starting to wonder if I can come to this track and not hit the wall, he added with a grin. To start on the inside of Brent Dragon is really special. Hes a veteran and wants to win the Milk Bowl, but Im a young guy and I want it just as badly. We will give it our best shot when the green flag falls on Sunday.

Milton, VTs Brent Dragon echoed the sentiments of the pole sitter. Joey (Polewarczyk) is a great driver. He began racing with us last season and Ive seen a lot of growth in him since then. Its really neat to be starting alongside someone who is less than half my age! The veteran racer continued, Im excited for the first segment. I started on the outside of Eric Williams in the Mekkelsen RV Memorial Day Classic in May and won, so if history repeats itself Ill be kissing the cow on Sunday.

Veteran racer Joey Laquerre of East Montpelier, VT posted his best lap time at 13.158 seconds. My car felt good, it was a decent lap for this track. Those 50-lap qualifiers are really going to be tough; there are a lot of great drivers here today. The 63-year-old driver continued, I cant believe that Joey Pole kid, what a fast lap he turned. There are a lot of talented young drivers that make this such a strong and successful Tour.

New Gloucester, ME driver Ron Henry was the first driver to break the track record in 2005; unfortunately his luck did not carry through to the 2006 New England Dodge Dealers Milk Bowl. Im really struggling here today; we missed a lot of practice due to a broken pan hard bar. You need as much time as possible to figure this track out. He continued, I was only able to post a 13.208 seconds lap time and my car got torn apart during my 50-lap qualifier. Unfortunately Im going to be in the B Feature, but Im going to give it my best shot to try to get into this race.

Blame it on the fire suit, Jean-Paul Cyr was sporting a fire suit he had purchased earlier in the season. I wore it at the first race of the season and didnt like it so I sent it back to get a different one. I never really liked my new one but the old is so faded, its my lucky suit. Jean-Paul, the pole sitter for the 2005 Milk Bowl, was forced to qualify through one of the 50-lap qualifiers on Saturday.

Scott Payea of Milton posted a lap time of 13.152 in his second career Booth Bros. /HP Hood Time Trials. I think my lap was pretty good, a 13.1 at Thunder Road is decent. I cant believe that the pole is a 12.9, thats really moving around this track. The 24-year-old driver continued, I hurt my car pretty badly in the qualifier, a car directly in front of my spun coming out of turn four into the front stretch and I had no where to go. My car ended up climbing the wall, there was enough damage to keep me from returning. Luckily my time was good enough that I was able to qualify. The Milk Bowl is just such a special race and its nice to know when I leave here tonight that Ill be one of the 30 guys who are able to take part in the pre-race festivities.

The 1997 and 2000 New England Dodge Dealers Milk Bowl Champion, Phil Scott of Montpelier was a little disappointed following his Time Trialing effort. All through practice it looked as though I had one of the fastest cars here. I was pretty confident that I was going to be one of the guys locked into a top three starting spot. My car wiggled a little bit in turn three on my final lap and that may have cost me some of the time I was looking for. The Washington County Senator continued, Luckily I had a good run in my 50-lap qualifier so Im in the show and at the end of the day on Saturday thats all that really matters.

Defending Milk Bowl Champion Patrick Laperle from St. Denis Quebec was able to qualify for the Milk Bowl through his 50-lap qualifier. Im glad that I was able to get into the race. My lap wasnt as fast as I thought it was going to be. (13.121) Im just happy to have the chance to defend my title as the Milk Bowl Champion.

Image 1- The #97 of Joey "Pole" rests at the Widow Maker following a spin in the first of three 50-lap qualifier's Saturday.

Image 2- The front row for the 43rd New England Dodge Dealers Milk Bowl. Brent Dragon (55) will start on the outside of youngster Joey "Pole" (97) on Sunday, October 8th.

Image 3- The Scott Payea machine (89) climbs the front stretch wall during his 50-lap qualifier on Saturday.

Image 4- Former winners of the New England Dodge Dealers Milk Bowl battle during the second 50-lap qualifier on Saturday. Phil Scott (14) winner of the 1997 & 2001 Milk Bowl, Patrick Laperle (91) the defending Milk Bowl Champion and 2004 winner Cris Michaud (6).