OGDEN -- Close, close races highlighted Saturday afternoon's action at the 2012 Cutter and Chariot World Championships at the Weber County Fairgrounds track.
With six undefeated teams laying out Saturday's fourth round, resting up for today's final championship run, the rest of the field got down to the business of qualifying for the final.
Utah state champion Ekstrom and Gift, and former world champion Wasatch Pallet No. 1 qualified for the first division dash with impressive victories.
Action begins at noon today, with the first division championship set for about 2:45 p.m.
With the warm weather helping build the crowd, Ekstrom and Gift (Golden Spike Association) ran in 22.43 seconds.
Moments earlier, Wasatch Pallet No. 1 (Skyline) posted the low time of the day in 22.24.
Sitting out is Idaho state champion Parkinson and Johnson. The three will race for the title.
Fans cheered drivers as old as 86-year-old Don Atwood, six rookie drivers and a handful of women drivers as well. Awards for top rookie, best groomed team, etc., were handed out Saturday night. The top association will be determined by race results.
Several races had to be decided by a few hundreths of a second in Round 4 of the five-day run.
In the third race of the day, Dunford, Hansen and Hartman (Wasatch Slopes) edged Eisele and Ron (Interstate), 23.03 to 23.07.
The next race was just as exciting as Paul Breany No. 2 (National) won in 22.90 seconds, ahead of Hillstead Ranch (All American) in 22.92, and 2 Strong Quarter Horses (Golden Spike) in 22.93.