The TD Bank 250 is without a doubt the highlight of New England Late Model type racing. It is not often that the number of cars failing to make the race is the same as the number that do. This is why many say that qualifying alone is worth the price of admission.

The qualifying format for the TD Bank 250 consists of Heat Races, Consolation Races and a Last Chance “Hooligan” Race. It is possible for a driver to qualify by virtue of placing in the top four of his 25 lap heat race, or, for the less fortunate, run 95 laps without ever making the show. Below is the qualifying procedure for the TD Bank 250.


Determines starting position in Heat race

Each driver’s name is added to a list when they roll their cars through pre-race inspection. That list is used to determine the order of “The Draw”. A member from each team must plunge their digits into a bucket containing up to 100 numbered chips. A simple task that could mean the difference between sitting in the drivers seat…or the grandstands.


Top 4 Qualify (positions 1-24)

Heat races are an intense and nerve-wracking experience. One 25-lap race will set the tone for your day. Finish in the top four and you have a few hours to prepare for one of the biggest races of your life. Fail to do so and chances are you’ll be scrambling up until the main event.


Top 3 Qualify (positions 25-33)

No driver wants to stare the Last Chance Qualifier in the face knowing they must win to get in. TD Bank 250 Consolations will put every bit of your driving ability through the ultimate test of skill and determination. Expect to see plenty of paint-swapping and torn sheet metal as these races are not intended for the faint of heart.


Only the winner qualifies (position 34)

Talk about pressure. It’s a race where second-place will earn you a seat in the grandstands. The winner is presented with a buyout option at the end: Take a $1,500 check and a seat in the stands or start at the rear of the field. And don’t count out the winner of this race. The 2005 last chance winner, Mike Rowe, became the first driver to take full advantage and win the main event, earning $26,000. 2002 victor Alan Wilson placed 4th in the big show taking home $6,000. Ricky Craven and Tracy Gordon also have led the main event after winning the non-qualifiers’ transfer spot.

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