All the participants here at the 19th annual Snowbird Nationals are now in “serious” mode as we cross over the halfway point en route to the big show on Sunday. In both on-road and oval, racers tried desperately to get into the top 9 of their respective classes to avoid the dreaded bump and runs on Saturday afternoon. Unlike other big races where the top 10 racers automatically go into the A-main, the ‘birds have something special in store for the racer in 10th place at the conclusion of qualifying. Affectionately known as the BQ-screw award, the 10th place qualifier starts on the pole of the the B-main on Saturday where they must win to get a bump up into the A-main on Sunday! Adding to that challenge is the ever changing grip levels. The groove always comes up as the event goes on, and this year it has done so superbly. The knock on effect is that those who are lacking grip will pick up a few more tenths. However, there are plenty of racers who are already on the verge of being bound up, hooking, spinning or downright flipping over from any excess side bite. Such are the challenges at these big races that every racer must gauge their next setup change on feedback from racers who have run before them. Chasing the setup becomes the route to victory, and often times, a first or second round TQ gets lost in the B-main as the event progresses. As Friday qualifying finishes up, both on-road and oval have now had three rounds each. Saturday will bring just one more round of qualifying for both on-road and oval to set the stage for the crowd pleasing B-main bump and runs. The B-mains are always exciting to watch, in the ballroom or on the webcam, as racers battle for that illusive 10th spot in the A-main!